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Last Updated on March 22, 2022

Why We Lose Motivation and How to Feel Inspired Again

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Why We Lose Motivation and How to Feel Inspired Again

How often do you get started on a project, full of enthusiasm, then slowly feel yourself losing motivation?

The work that you used to look forward to starts to feel like a chore. You wonder why you’re even bothering. You might give up on the project all together. Perhaps you take a new job that’s full of challenges, but quickly lose interest and hand in your notice? Maybe you start taking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to do, but quit after a couple of weeks?

If you’re struggling with motivation, you’re not alone.

Read on to find out why you’re not motivated, and what you can do to fix it.

Signs You’ve Lost Motivation

Wondering if your motivation has taken a hit lately? See if any of these common symptoms sound familiar.

Being Bored with Your Routine

Tired of doing the same old thing, day in, day out? Sick of your job, or your big project, or your schoolwork? Looking for ways to avoid what you’re meant to be doing? Feeling sick and tired of whatever you’re doing is a sign that your motivation is dwindling.

Feeling Like You Can’t Make a Difference

Maybe you started on a project full of hope and enthusiasm, looking forward to changing the world with your contributions. If that feeling has left you, and you feel like what you’re doing is pointless of meaningless, it’s time to act.

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Not Being Satisfied with What You’ve Done

Are you a perfectionist? Trying to be perfect is a common cause of motivation loss, because it just isn’t possible. Many of us are afraid to try new things or complete projects, thinking, “Why bother? I know it won’t be good enough.” Instead, we should focus on trying our best.

Feeling Stressed About What You’re Doing

Do you regularly feel stressed and overwhelmed by your workload? When your work is causing you worry, you’re more likely to avoid it, which creates a vicious cycle or stress and motivation loss.

Comparing Yourself to Others

“We’re the same age, but he’s so much more successful than me.” This kind of comparison is a quick way to destroy your motivation for whatever you’re doing. Stop trying to be better than others, and focus on being the best version of yourself instead.

The 3 Hidden Motivation Killers

Lacking Purpose

If you don’t care about what you’re doing, you won’t be motivated. Fact. Find meaning in what you’re doing, or change your focus to something you do care about.

Setting Unrealistic Targets

Setting impossibly high goals and failing to reach them will make you want to give up, fast. Instead, set achievable targets and enjoy the satisfaction of achieving many small goals – they’ll soon add up.

Trying to Please Everyone

It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time. Focus on your purpose, and do what you think is right – don’t try to change yourself to appeal to others.

How To Stay Motivated 100% of the Time

Ready to learn the secret to staying motivated for the rest of your life?

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Don’t Rely on Quick Fixes to Get Motivated

There is a way to get your motivation back – for good.

We’re talking about long-term fixes, not short-term remedies like taking a break, listening to motivational songs, or downing energy drinks. While these strategies might work for a while, they’re nowhere near as effective as finding long-lasting motivation.

Do you want to struggle through each project, gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to get the work done? Or would you rather tap into endless motivation that doesn’t feel like a huge effort?

If you truly want to learn how to stay motivated, you need to understand what drives you – and what you really don’t care about.

How? Find out your motivation style first. Take this free assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style? and find out what kind of motivational factors work best for you.

Build a Sustainable Motivation Engine

To always stay motivated, find a purpose that you truly believe in. Then, you’ll never struggle with motivation again.

  1. Identify a clear purpose. Make it something you really, truly care about.
  2. Set measurable, achievable goals. Set yourself up to succeed with clear goals that you know you can meet.
  3. Be ambitious. Don’t set goals too low – have faith in yourself and what you can achieve.
  4. Think beyond yourself. Motivation only lasts so long when we’re focused solely on ourselves. Think about how your mission will help others, and you’ll tap into a new well of motivation. This is how Elon Must maintain his endless motivation – he believes he has a responsibility to the human race.[1]

Find out more in What Is Motivation And How To Get Motivated (Your Ultimate Guide)

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How Highly Successful People Feel Inspired Again

Here you will find some real examples of how highly successful people feel inspired again when they have lost motivation.

Steve Jobs: Connecting the Dots

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” –Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs at a Stanford commencement speech said that giving this speech the students was the closest thing he came to graduating college. He’s never finished college. He recalls that the working class savings that his parents had made their entire life was being spent on his tuition on a college he says was as almost as expensive as Stanford. After 6 months, he couldn’t see the value in it and dropped out. Not knowing where to go in life, he decided to take a class in calligraphy. He, however, didn’t see any practical application for it in life.

Ten years later, they were designing the first Macintosh computer, and it all came back to him. He used the ideas that he had learned in calligraphy class, including the different types of typography, and put it in the Mac. It was the first computer to have beautiful typography, which has affected the different types of typography that we use today. If he had never dropped out in collage, he would have never taken that calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do today.

Sometimes when you’re trying to reach a goal, it’s impossible to connect the dots where you currently are. Somehow you just have to trust in yourself, and have faith that you will reach your dreams, despite not having the slightest clue or perfectly laid out road to where you are going. Nobody can connect the dots looking forward; you only can connect them when you’re looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future; you have to trust in something, whether it’s karma or destiny, but trusting yourself is the first step towards feeling inspired and having the motivation to move forward.

Tim Ferris: Allowing Your Environment to Predetermine Your Mood

“There is a direct correlation between an increased sphere of comfort and getting what you want.” –Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss has always advocated the idea of using your environment to your advantage. He believes that controlling your environment is often much more effective than relying on self discipline. He finds that he writes the best between the hours of midnight and 1 AM to 3 to 4 in the morning. As he is writing, he will put a movie in the background so it will feel like he is in a social environment, even though the entire movie is on mute. Next to him may be a glass of tea. This is what puts him in the mood to do quality writing and make him so successful.

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Look around your room right now or your workspace. Does it inspire you? Does it give you motivation? Is it noisy or quiet? Sometimes the hardest thing we do to ourselves is try to force ourselves to work in an area that is subconsciously telling us, “I can’t work here.”

And when you are constantly trying to discipline yourself, you will feel worse and be less productive. Instead try to build your ideal workplace and ideal time. Free it from distractions. Perhaps add a piece of artwork or a quote of your favorite person nearby you on the wall. Maybe add a beautiful plant in the corner to give you inspiration. If you feel more energy and enthusiasm during the night, schedule your day to work at midnight if you can. If you can realize the power of having a productive environment, you will naturally feel inspired and motivated to get work done.

Jack Canfield: Don’t Work So Hard

“Research now seems to indicate that one hour of inner action is worth seven hours of out-in-the-world action. Think about that. You’re working too hard.” –Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield was once giving a speech to an audience. He tells of a story of a chiropractor who went into his dream city, near Pebble Beach, and asked chiropractor associate if they could hire them. They told him no because they had 1 chiropractor for every 8 patients. Instead of letting his external reality which was out of his control determine his future, he went back to visualize and think about it, and something would come to him. He put a pen in his new office one day, and put concentric circles that he needed to go ask people in town that he was opening up a new chiropractor office and if they were interested in joining.

Over 6 months he knocked on 12,500 doors, talked to 6,500 people, and gathered over 4000 names to the people who wanted to go to his open house. He opened his chiropractor in a town he was told there was too many chiropractor. In his first month in practice, he netted $72,000. In his first year in practice his gross income was over a million in income.

Now you may look at this and say knocking on 12,500 doors is hard work. To you it is, but to the man it was probably effortless. Jack Canfield says there are 2 types of action – outer and inner. Outer action is actually going out to do the action – whether it’s networking with people, going door-to-door to make a sale, or just writing at home. Inner action is other things like visualization, meditation, and affirmations.

If you’re trying to force your way into taking action, it could be a sign that you are working too hard. Most people won’t wake up and waste an hour visualizing, meditating, or affirming, and the first thing they think about is asking what do I need to do today? And when they get the answer, they feel miserable, as if their work suddenly weighs them down. But Canfield says that if you spend time to focus on your goals, you’ll receive good feelings – feelings that help you feel inspired and motivated to take real action.

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Don’t try to paddle upstream. That’s just basically going everyday saying to yourself that you need to force yourself to work every day. Instead, paddle along the stream of the river. Trust yourself, let your environment work in your favor, and spend some a little bit of time putting yourself in a state before you work. Inspiration will come to you from different ways – inside and out – and give you the motivation to guide yourself towards reaching your dreams.

Featured photo credit: Andrea Leopardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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Eloise Best

Eloise is an everyday health expert and runs My Vegan Supermarket, a vegan blog and database of supermarket products.

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