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Published on October 22, 2018

What to Do When You Lose Your Motivation in the Workplace

What to Do When You Lose Your Motivation in the Workplace

The first thought that strikes most of us at the thought of any work is how perilous it is and how we wish that we could just quit it. Remember the good old times when you first started your job, that feeling in the stomach, and the nervousness?

The attitude and motivation that surged within you at that time was unbeatable. You would quip yourself to stand ahead in the line to be the first to do anything and everything. All you wanted at that time was to be in the good books of your seniors and make a name for yourself.

Surely, not more than one per cent of us feel the same, one year into the same job, for which we interviewed with all keen interest one day. Have you ever stopped to wonder why is that the case? Why is it that a job role that once excited you beyond imagination and thrilled you to the very core, eventually turns into a monotonous activity that you have to indulge in, simply for the sake of earning the bucks? Why do you start to lose motivation in the workplace?

Advancing in the career comes with a lot of hard work and an attitude that cannot be found in many. The same attitude might convey to your seniors that you are here to make a difference in the organization and that you actually care about the good and bad of your organization. Your attitude and initiative towards the activities happening in the organization directly displays your willingness to lead the organization towards success.

However, what happens between the very first day of your work and a year later is a story which makes the whole difference and brings us to this topic.

Over time, people tend to get comfortable at a place where they are and they start taking things for granted. People tend to float along with the pace of work in your organization and rather than taking the initiative, their approach turns to dealing with what comes their way.

At the same time, most of us still continue to dream big and wish to stand apart from the rest but the motivation to do so starts fading. Let us discuss some tell tale signs which sing the story of a person who has lost his spark at his work place.

Sure Shot Signs That You Are Losing Motivation

Take a clear look at these signs and try to identify if you fall in any one of them. If yes, it might be time for you to boost yourself and charge ahead with better initiative at the workplace.

1. No ideas come from you

No matter how less you think of yourself, you know it very well how you used to come up with ideas when the situation demanded, how you used to relay your alternatives to your superiors in the hopes of being noticed and falling straight in their good books.

One year later in the same job, if you feel that you have lost that zeal and going with the flow feels better, then it’s time for you to accept that you have lost the motivation at your work place. This could be because your ideas were not accepted earlier or that you had to face a lot of resistance after giving your idea, which might make you feel as though it is an unnecessary step which will take you through a lot of trouble.

It is common to get such thoughts but what is more important to understand is the fact that if you stop taking such initiatives, not only are you going to put yourself behind among your fellow peers but you are also going to run out of job satisfaction while you watch others move ahead with their ideas.

At times, it might be completely satisfying to watch yourself going freely with the work flow but in the long run, accept it that it will hurt your sentiment to watch others do what you used to do at a time.

2. Staying mum even when you disagree

Fresh at your job, it is quite common to feel like you want yourself to be heard and step ahead in the ranks by way of your opinions. Speaking up and voicing your opinion seems to be one way by which you can make yourself known in an organization.

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However, sometimes, when your voice does not get heard, or gets drowned among a horde of other voices or else, faces rejection in the name of being negative or unworthy, you might feel as though your effort was for nothing. So it might often happen that even though you continue to voice your concerns and express your opinion about something, no one might actually take your voice for its face value and move ahead with the idea anyway.

A direct effect of this situation can manifest as an uncompetitive feeling within you, where you feel that it is quite unworthy to quip for improvement of an idea. Your attitude changes to let them do it if they want, what have I got to lose?

It is common to feel this way and might even sound justified but you know it, it doesn’t make any sense. If you won’t look out for the best interest of your team mates, then who will?

3. You are not updating yourself

Another sure shot way to identify your lack of interest in the workplace is when everyone around you is learning to stay updated but you are lagging behind.

You tend to avoid attending seminars, functions and conferences where important decisions are being made, or else, someone is brought upon to divulge certain knowledge. You tend to feel that these activities are worthless and not worth your time.

Again, this has to do with feeling too comfortable with your current job role. As long as you are able to get things done, you do not feel the need to update yourself with the latest happenings around you.

Without even realizing that you are putting yourself behind everyone else, this behavior continues unless something tells you that you need to move forward.

4. Lack of initiative

Fresh on the job, you used to take the first opportunity that could put you in the good books with the seniors and make you a known personality in the organization. You were always bubbling with ideas and jousting for attention whenever you could seek the chance.

Meeting deadlines was never a trouble for you because you were always ahead of them and came up with your work before time.

Having settled into the routine, you feel that it is no longer necessary to be as active as before and being comfortable is more important for you. The problem with this comfort is that you never realize when it turns into a lazy habit and before you even know it, you have completely adopted it as a way of how things should be done.

Now, things keep piling in front of you and you still take that as a given feature of your job role, basically being okay and comfortable with whatever keeps coming your way.

5. No motivation to advance in the career

With little control over what you are presently doing in your job, you lack direction about where you are headed and where you seek yourself in the coming one or so years.

You are completely letting the work flow guide your direction and tackling things only if they come your way. Other than that, there is no motivation on your part to try something new or to carve out new career opportunities on your own.

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These are just few of the major events which are certainly indicating one thing: you have completely lost it in your workplace and you have let your comfort get the best of you.

Now, you are not as keen as you used to be before and things are best the way they are. So the question that springs up over here is, should you allow this behavior and attitude to breed within you, is it healthy for your career or do you really need to do something about it? Let us try to find out.

Why people lose their motivation at work

This does not need a lot of thinking or explanation. The reasons are quite obvious, if not staring you straight in the face. Take a look at the following events:

  • You are never heard in your organization. Your peers and superiors are a group of douchebags who take pride in being above you, or rejecting your ideas and suggestions each time. Even if your take on a situation is worthy enough of being heard, your voice is simply quashed blatantly and rejected.
  • You are always rejected with your ideas and suggestions being termed as useless and unworthy.
  • Your ideas are stolen and the credit for the same is given to someone else every time.
  • You are not allowed to speak or come forward with ideas when the time calls.
  • You are left out of important decisions and meetings, making you feel dejected or unwanted in an organization.
  • You feel as though you are a victim of window dressing as your ideas are always thrown away, even after being credible enough to support decision making.

These are just few of the circumstances under which it is common to feel at a loss of motivation to continue in your current job role or to be as active with your work. As a result, over time, people tend to lose their interest and motivation with their current work and fall prey to their lethargic comfort.

Under such circumstances, it is common to fall behind in the career and get too comfortable with the flow of things. The attitude turns from an action oriented and engaging one, to facing what comes your way.

Slowly, a job which mattered to you so much at one time, for which you toiled hard to work at, becomes a looming monotony which just keeps dragging day on day.

The question which we need to address here is, what to do when you fall prey to such loss?

What to do when your current job role does not motivate you any longer?

Unless you are too happy and comfortable in the place where you are, you would obviously want to get rid of the dull and gloomy feeling of lacking the right motivation.

Here’re some quick ways to get you off the hook and help you sway in the right direction:

1. Remember the first time you entered this place

It helps to recall the reason why you started something in the first place. Nothing works better as a motivation than reminding yourself why you are doing this and what got you started in this direction.

Gove yourself ample dose of the memories and events from your first few days at your work place. Recall how you used to feel energetic and engaged when you came forward with your ideas. Boost yourself with the memories of the time when you were given credit for your suggestions and everyone applauded your work.

Nothing works better at boosting your motivation than your own thoughts. Use it to your advantage and remind yourself that you can still be at that place, only if you came out of your comfort zone and made a little more effort.

Trust me, it will pay you in the long run to get off the hook right now and make a run for the limelight, just like your old days.

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2. Give yourself credit for being where you are

You worked a lot to get to this place and earn this job position which has killed you to boredom today, isn’t it? Remind yourself of the days of preparation that it took to come for an interview with your superiors and to be selected amidst that curiosity and anxiousness.

Remember the butterflies which stopped you from eating anything until you heard the results of the interview and got selected. You did a great job at being selected for this job role, which anyone would kill to have.

Respect the fact and start working in the capacity that you are capable of. It will reward you dearly in the long run for sure.

Reward your excitement from the first day at work and try to inculcate the same excitement, every single day when you step into your work place. Work will become more rewarding and exciting once you adopt that ideology.

3. Write down what troubles you

If you have no one around at your workplace to whom you can turn and explain your turmoil, perhaps it is a good idea to put it down on paper.

Bash about the problems and troubles you are facing in the workplace and write down why you want to get out of them. You might come across the problem area once you try and adopt this piece of advice after all.

After this, shun out anything that sounds irrelevant and focus on the positive aspects which can help you improve and remove the obstacles from your job satisfaction.

4. Connect

When boredom and monotony take over in work life, it becomes quite obvious to seek out what others around you are doing or how they are performing. If not competitive, the one way in which you can see this phenomenon is to feel motivated from those whom you admire, or whose work seems to impress you.

You are probably looking at people who seem to be performing better at work than you or who are showing exemplary results with their output at the work place. It might be a good idea to connect with them over social media or through email.

You can take this opportunity to share your thinking and ideologies and gain insights into the type of work that both of you do. This might be the right stepping stone towards a promising work life and even motivate you to perform at par with these people, if not better.

This conversation could start by a token of appreciation from you about the work that this person does. It could then turn into a plea of advice and a word of caution here. Try not to sound to desperate or too envious or arrogant, as both situations might completely put off the other person from conversing in a friendly manner.

5. Take out the redundant tasks

When you are engaged in a loop of monotony at work place, there are high chances that you are doing your job the wrong way, sometimes procrastinating stuff or else, avoiding several jobs altogether. You really need to take this negativity out of your work routine if you hope to be productive at work.

Try to be more active and seek companionship with your peers. It is quite possible that you might not like all of them but if you keep complaining about them or speaking behind their back, you are not only wasting your time but also stopping yourself from moving forward.

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Fix your schedule to include only tasks which add value to your work, instead of going after silly talk.

6. Get yourself a little distracted

Lack of motivation is like an ailment, one that does not go away with a common medicine. What you might need under such conditions is a treatment, or a therapy that can assure job satisfaction and motivate you to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes, all you need is a pint of distraction.

Yes, you read that right. Distraction can sometimes be the best way to find the right direction in your work life. When you find yourself in a position that does not nurture you or help you grow, you need to move and shake around some legs so that you can swim out of the redundant tasks and find yourself a place which helps you grow.

This might require a lot of work and action from your end because you know it quite well, no one in your work place is going to do it for you. If you want to seek distraction, or rather, a suitable work role for yourself, you have to jiggle around for it yourself.

This jiggling could be in the form of quipping forward for a project or an assignment and taking on a job role, where you find yourself working efficiently. This opportunity is likely to keep you occupied and busy and bring back the memories of your action oriented approach from old days.

If you cannot find something for the time being, which will harness your skills and talent and let you portray them in the right direction, you could engage yourself in some training or internship, which will likely keep you busy for some time and also help you gain new knowledge in the process.

Whatever you do, make sure that you find yourself something which poses a deadline for you, such that you feel the pressure and urgency of the matter and find yourself occupied with the deadline.

Final Thoughts

Challenging yourself is the best remedy to spin out of a loop in which you might have got tangled. Find ways to nurture your skills and talents because you know you are worth it.

Realization is the key to understanding that you might be letting your talents go waste, only because you have fallen in for a habit of comfort and laziness. It is time for you to come out of the lax attitude that you have developed and seek something better in your work place, which you rightfully deserve.

Let yourself grow each day and achieve something new that takes your career to new heights. Losing motivation at the work place is not the end of the road.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

More by this author

Ankit Garg

Serial entrepreneur and working towards Early Retirement

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Last Updated on March 12, 2019

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again

The statistics are dismal. A recent study has found that 69% of people feel trapped in the same old routine, and only 3 out of 10 people are happy with their lives.[1] People are feeling stuck.

Some are feeling stuck in their careers, feeling like they’re too far along one path to make a change. Some are feeling stuck in their personal lives. The toll of the daily grind sucks most of their time and energy. So their relationships, self-care, and personal goals get lost in the shuffle of the treadmill existence.

When people come across these challenges of feeling stuck, the feeling sometimes doesn’t go away. It often intensifies as time goes on. As the stuck feeling intensifies, some people choose to settle. Subconsciously, without even realizing it, they end up pushing their dreams and goals further and further down.

Others, if the feeling of being stuck intensifies to an unbearable point, choose to make changes. They may choose to pivot in their careers, even after years at a successful job. They may end up making big changes in their relationships, or start putting their fitness at a higher priority. They may make drastic changes to finally feel free. These changes can be incredibly difficult to make, especially if a person has lived many years in a certain lifestyle.

Feeling stuck is NOT fun. I’ve been there. I get it.

Why Are You Feeling Stuck?

People feel stuck once in a while. There are many causes of feeling stuck. Many people work toward goals that don’t actually align with who they are at the core or what they truly desire. I call these “False Objectives”.

Living a life of False Objectives can cause people to feel very stuck and frustrated. People can build lives that are very “successful” according to society; but if you’ve built your life based on False Objectives, you’re not going to feel fulfilled. You’ll end up feeling stuck.

Another cause of feeling stuck is not knowing who you are. If you don’t understand how you’re innately wired – your strengths, your gifts, your talents, your passions – it’s tough to make decisions that enable you to maximize those. It’s tough to reach your full potential if you don’t know who you are.

You can feel stuck if you’re doing work that doesn’t allow you to maximize your innate strengths. If you’re doing work that doesn’t bring out the best in who you are at the core, you’ll likely feel some dissatisfaction and you won’t reach your full potential.

Other people feel stuck because they haven’t surrounded themselves with mentors or peers who have achieved what they want to achieve. They stay in certain routines while craving to do life differently. As Jim Rohn says,

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“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

If your goal is to run a marathon and you’re spending most evenings and weekends drinking beer with your coworkers, you’re probably not going to run that marathon. If your goal is to live a location-independent lifestyle and work anytime from anywhere, but everyone in your social circle is at traditional jobs; it’ll be tough to break free from the 9-5 mentality.

How Feeling Stuck Screws You up Secretly

Feeling stuck screws up people’s lives. The consequences of feeling stuck can range from mild to severe. People may feel a mild discontentment with life and end up succumbing to the idea that life is “okay,” and settle. (Nancy’s story will resonate with you.) They may never reach their full potential, their highest levels of happiness and satisfaction. And they may not make the impact on the world that they could make, and have a looming sense that there could be “more” to life.

Often, though, the feeling of being stuck comes with much larger consequences. Feeling stuck can hinder career growth and contribute to disrupted marriages. It can lead to huge midlife crises.

The feeling can (and frequently does) increase as the years go on, leading to significant regrets about unfulfilled dreams. In fact, the number one regret of the dying, according to Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” She writes:[2]

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Many people had not honored even a half of their dreams, and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”

    How to Approach Life Differently

    Thankfully, some highly effective strategies can prevent you from feeling stuck. Using these strategies can help you avoid significant problems in your life. It’s different than conventional living, and it works.

    Commonly, people live with many set routines. While certain routines are helpful, becoming stuck in the daily grind routine can get frustrating. Many people eat roughly the same foods each week, go to the same place each day, talk to the same people, keep the same commitments, and end up living life on autopilot.

    It’s tough to feel like you’re progressing forward when each day is spent doing the same uninspiring routine. In order to avoid feeling stuck, it’s important to live intentionally. It’s crucial to live in the driver’s seat of your life and get out of autopilot mode.

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    First, ditch the False Objectives. Just because everyone in your family are doctors doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you. Just because all your friends are married with a big house, a white picket fence, and 2 kids doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you. Just because everyone you know works 9-5 doesn’t mean that’s the best path for you. It’s not easy to design your life intentionally, but it’s critical in order to avoid feeling stuck.

    Remember, the majority of people feel stuck. So, if you’re doing things like the majority of people, you’ll likely feel stuck, too. You’ll need to think differently and create your life differently.

    Two Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day

    In order to intentionally design your life, avoid falling prey to False Objectives, and prevent feeling stuck, there are questions to ask yourself every day. These questions can help you stay focused on what matters most to you, help you avoid feeling stuck and frustrated, and create the best life possible.

    1. Why am I going to do what I’m going to do today?

    If you’re showing up to work each day and giving your years to your job, it’s important that your “why” is deeper than “to pay the bills.” Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing can help you make choices that inspire and motivate you.

    By asking yourself why you’re going to do what you’re going to do today, you will be living intentionally. In today’s incredibly busy, easily distracted world, living intentionally and focusing every day on what matters most is unique.

    When you choose to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing every day, it will help you stay focused on what’s truly important to you. This can prevent you from getting stuck.

    2. What would future want me to do today?

    Imagine yourself, in the future, as the best version of you. What would that version of you want you to do today? Making decisions from the viewpoint of the future you can help you move forward and prevent the stuck and frustrated feeling.

    When you make decisions from the viewpoint of future you, you will develop perseverance and reap the benefits of delayed gratification. Today’s society is very focused on instant gratification, but a lot of great things in life take time and effort. Learning to take small steps forward by making decisions from the future you’s standpoint can help you progress toward your biggest goals and dreams.

    How to Get Unstuck

    After asking yourself the two questions, work on the plan to get unstuck. I’ve personally tried these strategies and they work for me.

    1. Choose goals you truly desire to accomplish

    This might sound obvious but we all get sucked into False Objectives at times. When you’re setting goals in your career and your personal life, make sure they are goals that matter to you.

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    Working hard toward big achievements that don’t align with your values, priorities, and who you are at the core is a fast-track toward feeling stuck.

    Learn about your strengths, your gifts, and your passions. Choose goals that align with who you are at the core, and work toward goals that align with your inner strengths and gifts. This will help you maximize your potential and minimize the stuck and frustrated feelings.

    2. Watch your mindset

    Often, we think we’re stuck, but the problem is our mindset. Being mindful of our mindset and self-talk is important to living a life of freedom and fulfillment. Work on rephrasing your self-talk in order to improve your mindset.

    For example, if you tell yourself, “I could never start a business,” rephrase it to, “I don’t know how to start a business YET, but I can learn.” If you find yourself saying, “I don’t have enough money to travel,” tell yourself, “I don’t have the money right now, but I can make a plan to save money to travel. Rephrasing your self-talk can help you see opportunities and possibilities instead of feeling stuck.

    Occasionally, even the most driven people have days where they feel unmotivated. Check out this article for tips to get motivated when you feel like doing nothing:

    What Motivates You And How to Always Stay Motivated

    Those tips can help you break free from the rut.

    3. Get out of your comfort zone and add some excitement to your day

    Shaking up your daily routine and adding some excitement to your days can help you get unstuck.

    While breaking out of your daily routine can be uncomfortable, it can be a great way to invigorate your life. You can start by getting out of your comfort zone in small ways. Here are 10 ways to step out of your comfort zone and overcome your fear. As Brian Tracy says,

    “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

    Getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing growth can help you to continue to move forward and prevent you from getting stuck.

    4. Surround yourself with people who have done what you aspire to do

    It’s easy to get stuck if you’re trying to accomplish something and you’re struggling to believe it’s possible to accomplish it.

    Instead of letting yourself be isolated and stuck, commit to learning from people who have done what you aspire to do. This can help you believe it’s possible to achieve the same goals. It can also help you to be inspired to progress forward instead of staying in stuck-land.

    You can seek out a mentor, or even read inspiring books or listen to motivating podcasts by the people who have achieved your biggest goals and dreams.

    Final Thoughts

    It’s frustrating to feel stuck. But you don’t need to stay stuck if you know the right ways to break free from the rut.

    Practice living intentionally by asking yourself the 2 critical questions:

    • Why am I going to do what I’m going to do today?
    • What would future want me to do today?

    When you constantly reflect about what you truly want and whether you’re doing the things that lead you to what you desire, you’ll feel less stuck gradually.

    Featured photo credit: Krists Luhaers via unsplash.com

    Reference

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