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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless and Unmotivated

7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless and Unmotivated

Plenty of people set out each year to change their lives. You may want to lose weight, increase your income, recommit yourself to your faith, or spend more time with your family. Yet, less than 8% of them actually accomplish their resolution.[1] Somewhere along the way, you face an obstacle that leaves you feeling restless and unmotivated.

It is essential to recognize that feeling restless is a normal part of life. Things do not always happen as quickly or as efficiently as you anticipate. Depending on why you feel that way, there are a variety of actions you can take to bounce back in life.

Below are the seven most common causes of restlessness, along with a few strategies to feel peaceful and motivated.

1. Suppression of True Passion

Everyone has two little voices in their head. One voice belongs to your inner self, while the other is your inner critic.

Your inner self is the voice of your imagination, confidence, and a sense of purpose. This allowed you to march to the beat of your own drum when you were young. If you wanted to play, you played. When you were ready to sleep, you went to sleep.

As you aged, though, you were conditioned to believe that following your purpose made you selfish or irresponsible. Your inner critic started to take over and told you why playing it safe was the best option. As a result, you started feeling restless because you needed to suppress your desires to please others.

This internal battle is exhausting. Thus, you must be true to yourself all the time. Allow your inner self to guide you and accept the fact that you can’t please everyone.

2. Battling on Too Many Fronts

When they say you can have anything you want, they don’t mean everything at once. You may be feeling restless and unmotivated because you set yourself up for failure.

For example, you may find it challenging to reduce your spending while trying to eat healthily. Most will agree that healthy eating requires you to spend more money on raw foods, after all. Since your goals run opposite of each other, you must prioritize your goals.

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The same would be true if your goal is to earn a promotion and be with your family more. Promotions usually require you to take on more projects while maintaining your current workload. Naturally, you will build efficiency as you become familiar with the new tasks, but you may need to work overtime on multiple occasions, too.

3. Negative Perspective About Life

Failure tends to make you feel like reevaluating your life. The following questions may come to mind as you deal with setbacks:

  • Was this really what I was meant to do?
  • Should I have played it safer?
  • Does this mean it is not for me?

Feeling restless is a natural feeling when you are wondering if you wasted the last few years chasing a far-fetched dream.

The problem with asking yourself, “What went wrong?” is that it will produce a negative answer.

Negative perspectives are difficult to overcome. In truth, it might show you that you could have always done better. That is why so many people never leave the analysis phase of changing their life. Right before taking action, they realize how something can improve, so they end up not doing anything.

Instead of consistently recognizing all that is wrong with the world, start to train yourself to identify what is right in your life. Try asking yourself, “What is one positive outcome of trying and failing?”

4. Lack of Confidence

Somewhere along this journey that we call life, you stopped believing you were good enough, which led to feeling restless.

A quick fix for this cure is to think of something that makes you feel incredibly confident. It could be as simple as your ability to ride a bike or ace a job interview.

Would it be fair to say you have not always had confidence in your interview skills? What changed then?

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What changed is the fact that you have secured several jobs over the years. The same idea goes with your confidence in your ability to ride a bicycle.

When you accomplish a goal, doubt vanishes from your consciousness. You no longer feel the need to spend three days preparing for a job interview or researching how to ride a bike. You are confident because you have successfully passed a variety of interview questions before[2].

Build Confidence to Stop Feeling Restless

    You lack confidence and feel restless if you haven’t prepared sufficiently for the task at hand.[3]

    5. Excessive Dependence on Others

    Depending on other people is not always a bad thing. As an African proverb states, “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”

    When you work with others, you have an accountability partner who motivates you to continue. However, the problem arises when you depend too much on others.

    The more you depend on others, the more you relinquish control of parts of your life. (Check out more reasons to reduce your dependency here: 11 Reasons Why You Need To Be More Independent)

    It is comparable to those group projects you had in school. If you don’t like to procrastinate, you will be frustrated by a partner who does not look at the assignment until a week before its due date.

    To stop feeling restless and keep others from siphoning your motivation, you need to collaborate with people who share your core values.

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    6. Experiencing Burnout

    Burnout is no joke. It is usually the result of trying to do too much too quickly[4]. You feel as if you have lost time; you want to make up for the last five years in a short time.

    Burnout can make you feel restless

      A classic example would be someone who has gained 90 pounds over three years and now wishes to lose it all in three months.

      Is it possible? Probably, but what kind of diet would someone need to maintain in an attempt to lose a pound a day?

      Similarly, imagine someone has wanted to start a business for the past couple of years. They have always found a reason to push the date back, but now they feel a sense of urgency. They slave away in their day job and work and work on the business all night, causing them to get only an hour of sleep.

      You may undoubtedly feel like things are finally progressing in the right direction, but how long can you keep this pace up?

      When you eventually burn out, you will be feeling restless, significantly when your gains slowly erode. Because of that, you need to maintain a realistic timeline for your goals. Remember: You are building a life-changing habit, and that takes time.

      In the meantime, take care of your mental health through relaxation techniques like deep breathing

      7. Being an Army of One

      Whether it is difficult for you to trust others or you are attempting to conceal your setbacks, secluding yourself is a recipe for disaster.

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      There is a reason why the best among us have coaches and mentors. Seeing things from a different perspective is beneficial, especially if it’s from an expert at achieving the same goals you set for yourself.

      Too often, when you isolate yourself, your perception may become skewed to your own biases. From the numerous studies regarding diversity, one highlights the increased returns created by a diverse board versus one that lacks diversity.[5]

      Sometimes the only thing you are missing is the ability to run an idea by someone else. It’s not even that you need them to create the concept, but there is a benefit to talking things out with others. Don’t take the burden on yourself. Outside of feeling restless and overwhelmed, your results may suffer.

      Final Thoughts

      The first step to stop feeling restless and unmotivated is to start paying attention and acknowledge something did not go quite as planned.

      Whether you set an unrealistic timeline or you face an unforeseen setback, recognize you need to make an adjustment. This allows you to stop holding onto the past so that you can propel into the future.

      Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness tend to drain your motivation. You will find success by allowing yourself to make adjustments as you gain additional insights and knowledge. Remember: your past doesn’t dictate your future if you change the actions that have created your past results.

      More on Getting Rid of Restlessness

      Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      More by this author

      Undre Griggs

      Coaching To Help Professionals And Organizations Change Their Beliefs So They Can Get Results.

      8 Traits of the Most Resilient Person What Motivates You in Life? 5 Steps to Find Out feeling restless 7 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Restless and Unmotivated How to Raise Your Self Worth and Trust Yourself More The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

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      Last Updated on January 27, 2021

      Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

      Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

      How do you usually go about your day?

      Do you wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day looking forward to being at home and unwinding?

      We often hear about work life balance – having a good balance between work and personal time. Whilst this may sound like a smart idea, it can also imply that we should dedicate at least half of our time to work–and sacrifice time for our “personal life”.

      To me, that seems… off balance. Because, the truth is, it’s nearly impossible to split your time equally between the two. And, you may end up stressing out if you’re not able to meet that expectation of balance.

      Instead, why not think of having work life harmony instead?

      With this mindset, you can actually integrate work into your life in a way that feels more complete. This way, you don’t need to view work and having personal time as separate.

      So, how do you achieve work life harmony?

      Work Life Harmony Explained

      The difference between work life balance and work life harmony is pretty simple. With the former, there is an implication that you have to sacrifice your “life” for work. But, this is the worst way to go about things! How can you truly be at peace in life if you dread 8 hours of your day?

      Work life harmony on the other hand, allows your work to be a part of your life. This means that you can choose to be happy both at home, and at work! Work no longer needs to be seen as the ‘bad’ or un-fun activity.

      Having work life harmony also ensures you’re truly present in whatever place you find yourself.

      Just take a look at Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for example.

      He uses a non traditional approach to work by making time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still puts aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

      He believes that all his staff should stop trying to achieve a ‘balance’ in their work and personal lives as that implies a trade off. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between the two.

      As the world’s richest man, he must be doing something right!

      Rethink Time Management

      Now, when we think of striking a balance, we usually associate it with time, don’t we? How much time are we spending at work versus how much time are we spending in our personal lives? Are we taking enough time to be with our loved ones, to do meaningful activities with others or even for ourselves, or are we just dedicating all our time to work?

      This is the so-called-balance that many struggle with.

      With work life harmony, we learn to rethink time management. By re-assessing how you manage your time, you’ll have a lot more of it. It’s incredible how much time can get wasted over the period of a day–especially when you’re not accurately tracking it.

      Unfortunately, unless you’re consciously making an effort, your brain is not always the best at making accurate judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing. It tends to have a bias towards short term benefits and short term costs.

      As there are often many more options our brains link to short term benefit; when you’re trying to focus on a task that gives you a long term benefit, that task usually becomes low priority. This is otherwise known as Priority Chaos.

      In order to overcome this and be in better control of your time, identify the tasks that need the most focus to get accomplished. If it’s a big task, then it’s good to break it down into smaller bite-sized actions that will provide you with a clearer short term benefit.

      When setting up tasks, give yourself a time limit. The brain has a bias towards short term benefits, and your attention span is limited, so if your tasks are going to take ages to complete, you’ll end up losing focus… and wasting time.

      Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to prioritize them. Since you have a time limit, your focus should be on the top priority tasks. By doing this, you will already be able to get more done in less time at work!

      Have Passion for What You Do

      Managing your time is important in achieving that work life harmony. But, perhaps of greater importance, is loving what you do in life. One of the most effective ways to achieve a work life harmony is to really enjoy, or find a purpose, in what you do for a living. Even though everyone isn’t always lucky enough to find a position that pays them for pursuing their passion, you can strive to find meaning in what you are already doing, or pursue something new entirely!

      For example, say you work at an office that sells paper. While many people wouldn’t consider this a world changing pursuit, I beg to differ. Think of all the individuals in the world that rely on paper. From creative types to quantum physics experts, your role at your workplace brings incredible value to many many people all over the world. You will have, without a doubt, helped bring a new idea into existence. Several new ideas to be precise.

      So, think about what you’re doing now. Is it something that allows you to embrace your passion?

      Or perhaps you might not even know what it is that you love or enjoy doing. Why not explore and reflect on what gives you joy and contentment? Is there an area or industry that you could see yourself exploring to experience that fulfillment?

      Can you find a deeper purpose in what you’re already doing?

      When you’re able to find meaning in your work, you’re that much closer to achieving work life harmony.

      Don’t Be Intimidated By Obstacles and Limitations

      Creating work life harmony is also about understanding yourself–which includes your limitations and past obstacles–as this allows you to become more resilient.

      If you never had to experience struggles, challenges or setbacks, then you would never be forced to adapt and mature. So in theory, having to face obstacles in life is actually quite necessary.

      Most of us think of setbacks and obstacles as negative. Though, if you’re able to maintain an optimistic attitude, you’ll almost always have a higher chance of success of overcoming those obstacles to reach your eventual goal.

      Your attitude towards setbacks will define the outcome of whether you rise from the challenge or remain stuck in it. So, in order to achieve work life harmony, it’s important to have a resilient attitude as challenges will always come your way–especially when you strive to integrate work into your life, and not a separate or dominant part of life.

      Delegate When You Need To

      Of course, when you want to increase productivity and minimize the time or effort spent, a great way to do so is to delegate!

      If you spend a lot of time doing tasks on your own that could be delegated to others (whether at work or at home) you’re losing a lot of precious free time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

      At the end of the day, we all have a limited amount of time. So we should all be striving to create a harmonious work and living situation where we can find meaning in all that we do.

      While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones or tasks needed to get there may be meaningful. That’s because we have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task is going to be enjoyable or easy to complete. That’s where delegation comes in.

      Delegation simply allows you to leverage time from an external source, thus giving you opportunities to increase your own quality of time. Keep in mind that delegation should be done with deliberate attention, otherwise you may end up over relying on others.

      If you find that you’re running into the problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

      Embrace the Circle and Become Happier and More Productive

      Living in harmony is about feeling good about the ways in which you spend your time, despite how busy you may be. Your switch from work mode to a more personal mode should be effortless. It’s about integrating your personal life and the things you love into your busy work life!

      It all begins with the shift in perspective. Understanding what your passions are, and learning to be resilient, before taking a different approach to the way you manage your time and everyday tasks.

      These are steps that you can start taking to move away from balance to harmony. 

      Featured photo credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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