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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It

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Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It

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?

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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.

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.

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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. Then, read on to learn more about how to build a sustainable motivation engine.

Common Symptoms Of 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.

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.

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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?

Join Lifehack’s free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. In this focused-session, you’ll learn how to:

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  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]

Reserve your spot for the free session here, and learn how to build your own motivation engine and always stay motivated!

Find a purpose that you truly believe in, and you’ll never struggle with motivation again.

If you feel like giving up, this is what you need to know: 8 Things To Do When You Want To Give Up

Featured photo credit: Andrea Leopardi via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

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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Last Updated on January 19, 2022

What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

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What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

If you’ve ever thought or said something like this, then you are using fear-based motivation:

  • “If I don’t get that promotion, I’m going to be seen as a failure so I better stay up all night to work on this proposal.”
  • “If I speak up for school reform, the internet trolls are going to get me, so I better be quiet even though I care a lot about this issue.”
  • “If I don’t exercise enough, I’m going to look like crap, so I better go to the gym six days a week, even if my body is killing me.”

Fear-based motivation is exactly what it sounds like—getting yourself and others to do things out of fear of what will happen if you don’t do it and do it well.

What you might not know is that while fear-based motivation might work in the short term, it can have long-term detrimental effects on your performance, relationships, and well-being.

Is Fear-Based Motivation Helpful?

If using fear as motivation comes naturally for you, you aren’t alone. Our brains use fear to keep us out of trouble. Normally, you want to move away from what feels harmful towards what feels safe.

This brain function is important when there is a genuine threat to your well-being, like if there is a rattlesnake on the hiking trail. Your brain will use fear to motivate you to move away from the snake as quickly as possible. But when you use fear-based motivation to accomplish your life and career goals, the constant state of fear puts unnecessary stress on your mind and body and can end up working against you.

The Darkside of Fear-Based Motivation

Take, for example, when your trainer at your gym motivates you during your workout by yelling things like, “Bikini season is coming! You don’t want your cellulite to be the star of the show!” or “Burn off that piece of birthday cake you ate last night!”

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Sure, you might be motivated to do ten more burpees, but what is going on in the back of your mind? You probably have an image of a group of people standing around you at the beach laughing at you in your bikini, or you feel guilty about eating that piece of cake and criticize yourself for not being able to control yourself.

Reliance on Negative Thinking

For most of us, this type of thinking causes stress and can bring down our energy levels and mood. The reliance on negative thinking is the problem with fear-based motivation. It forces us to put our attention on what is wrong or what could go wrong instead of anticipating and celebrating what is right. This, in turn, narrows our focus and prevents us from seeing the bigger picture.

When your brain senses a threat, whether it’s a rattlesnake hiding in the grass or the possibility of being laughed at in your bikini, your brain will move you into a protective stance. Your vision narrows and you prepare to fight, flee or freeze.

You can probably imagine what this looks like in the case of a rattlesnake, but how does this impact your bikini experience?

The High Cost of Fear-Based Motivation

Imagine that you plan a beach vacation with your friends three months from now. The first thing you picture is sitting on the beach with your tummy rolls and cellulite. You immediately sign up for three months of boot camp classes at the gym and banish all sugar and booze from your diet. You are determined not to make a fool of yourself on the beach!

Will the fear of not looking like a supermodel under the beach umbrella motivate you to get in shape and eat better? Possibly. But at what cost?

For three months, every time you picture yourself looking “less than perfect” in your bikini, you feel fear of being ashamed. Shame makes you want to hide, and that makes it harder to find the motivation to go to the gym instead of sitting on the couch eating ice cream.

You become so focused on how you are going to look on the beach that you lose out on all the fun and joy of life. You pass up on going shopping with your friends for new outfits because you aren’t at your goal weight yet. You stop doing the things you love to do to spend more time at the gym. You avoid family gatherings where you will be confronted with tempting food. You over-train to the point of hurting yourself.

The Healthier Alternative to Fear-Based Motivation

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in your bikini! If that’s important to you, keep your goal in mind but change the way you motivate yourself. Instead of using the fear of feeling ashamed to motivate you, try using love-based motivation.

Love-based motivation uses love instead of fear to lead and inspire you. It comes from a different part of your brain than fear-based motivation. Love-based motivation comes from the part of your brain that is responsible for joy, creativity, and passion.

5 Questions of Love-Based Motivation

There are many ways to deploy love-based motivation. The trick is to use one or all of the following to motivate you towards your goal: empathy, curiosity, innovation, vision, and heart-centered action.

Here are five questions you can use to motivate yourself using love-based motivation.

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1. What Would You Say to a Friend?

Chances are that you talk to your friends in a much kinder way and with more empathy than you talk to yourself. You wouldn’t tell a friend, “you better starve yourself and hit the gym three times a day to look good in that bikini!” Instead, you would probably say something like, “I’m so excited to go on this vacation with you! I can’t wait to spend time catching up while sipping margaritas on the beach.”

Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend.

2. What Are You Curious About Learning That Might Help You Get to Your Goal?

More often than not, achieving our goals is more about the journey it took us to get there than the goal itself. Curiosity makes journeys more fun. Perhaps you are curious about doing a triathlon but you don’t know how to run. If you spend three months learning to run, you would get into better shape and learn something new.

3. How Can You Get to Your Goal in a Way That Feels Good?

Using the “Yes, And” game is a great way to come up with innovative ideas for working towards your goals. If your first instinct is to go to the gym six days a week but you aren’t jazzed about it, find something that you like about that idea and make it better.

For example, if what you like about going to the gym is that you work up a sweat, what if instead of the gym, you join a dance class where you can learn some new moves to show off on your vacation?

4. What Is Important to You About Your Goal?

When you dig into your goal, chances are that you’ll find a deeper meaning. If your goal is to “look good in a bikini,” ask yourself why that’s important to you.

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For example, “I want to look good in my bikini because I want to have fun on vacation.” Then, ask yourself how much having fun on your vacation depends on how you look in your swimsuit.

5. What Heart-Centered Action Can You Take That Will Help You Reach Your Goal?

Whether your goal remains bikini-focused or changes to ways of having a good time on your vacation, choose an action that you can take that feels like it is coming from a place of love instead of fear.

For example, suggest to your friends that you take scuba diving classes as a group before vacation. It will get you moving and bring your friends together.

Long-Term Happiness and Satisfaction

Fear-based motivation may help you achieve your goals in the short term, but it won’t lead to long-term happiness and satisfaction. Fear isn’t designed to be used for long periods, and you will eventually tire of the fear and give up on your goals. Love, however, is designed for longevity.

Finding your motivation in a place of love will fuel you to reach your goals, whether your goals are about feeling good in a bikini, getting a promotion at work, or speaking up for what you believe in.

More Tips on Boosting Motivation

Featured photo credit: Jeremy Perkins via unsplash.com

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