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Last Updated on October 30, 2018

10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And Ways to Be Motivated)

10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And Ways to Be Motivated)

How many times have you said to yourself that you’re going to do something but you end up not following through with it because you weren’t motivated enough? You end up crossing that workout, call to a friend, study session or shopping trip off your to-do list without even completing the task.

But you are not alone, millions of other people are also unmotivated at some point. We will look into the reasons why we will have a lack of motivation every now and then and look at ways of reversing this trend so you can end up motivated.

1. They only see the bad side in anything that happens.

Usually, unmotivated individuals have a terribly pessimistic view on their chances of success.

Psychologists have labelled this as having a low level of self-efficacy, which is the innate ability to influence the outcome of a project or venture. There are lots of myths about how to fix this, such as writing down your goals and simply visualizing success.[1] The latter is unproductive as it wastes a lot of energy on daydreaming!

What to do?

The secret to staying motivated is to honestly audit your skills and the challenges that lie ahead. Sometimes a difficult goal is useful in spurring a person on to do better. We persist because the challenge is personally rewarding.

2. They forget the benefits and rewards.

Most unmotivated people get distracted by a daunting challenge. They think of the blood, sweat and tears that face them in achieving a task or objective. They forget to think of the long-term rewards and benefits, which is an essential element in motivation.

What to do?

Every time when you don’t feel motivated, visualize the rewards you’re trying to get. Celebrate small wins often, so you know rewards and benefits are not that far away from you.

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    3. They set themselves unrealistic goals.

    In the business world, having stretch goals is often advocated as the path to success since it will increase motivation. Researchers and psychologists have recently found that this is actually false.[2] Demotivation may set in because the problems are just too complex and unnerving.

    What to do?

    A much better approach is to break down projects into smaller challenges, where one can see results in a much shorter space of time. This compartmentalization will give much more motivation, encouraging the individual to see a project through to the end.

    4. They do not know about mini habits.

    When they think about getting what they want, they want to do something big once and for all. So when they fail to do so, they feel defeated and unmotivated. What they don’t know is that to achieve greatness, it’s about the small things they do every day.

    What to do?

    There’s a great book I love; it’s Stephen Guise’s Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. The concept is a simple one to help with demotivation.

    The idea is to start with one mini habit at a time and gradually progress. This could be walking up a flight of stairs a day, eating one less doughnut or writing a paragraph – if you have writer’s block. The idea is to leverage the power of personal habits in reaching lifestyle goals.

    5. They do not seize opportunities.

    Have you noticed how demotivated people often tell you that they never got a lucky break? The truth is that they never sought out opportunities that would give them the chance of success, wealth and happiness.

    The secret is that opportunities are out there, just waiting to be taken. They are not simply given to you on a silver plate.

    What to do?

    Seize every opportunity and take the risk. Learn how to step out of your comfort zone here. Remember, you will never be ready, so do it anyway!

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    6. They are unwilling to work harder.

    The tendency is to consider the payoff before making all that effort. They want immediate gratification before persisting and persevering. Access to the Internet at work will distract them further. One study has found that unmotivated employees are probably the majority (of the 64%) who waste time on social media at work.[3]

    What to do?

    Even the most talented person works hard to get what they want. Work hard is better than talent, always.

      7. They often play the blame game.

      It is always somebody else’s fault when they did not get that promotion. It’s not their fault that the marriage ended on the rocks. It was their partner’s fault, of course.

      The fact is that you cannot control what other people do or the way they think. Recognizing that it was mostly your fault will help you analyze what went wrong, helping you avoid that pitfall the next time. Once you have done that, you will be better motivated to move on.

      What to do?

      Take responsibility for what happened to you. When you realize you have complete responsibility for your life, you become completely free.

      “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.” — John Burroughs

      Learn to stop complaining and start to take responsibility for your life.

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      8. They don’t know how to use their time wisely.

      There are lots of ways to manage time better but unmotivated people tend to be time-wasters. They cannot schedule very efficiently and always procrastinate.

      Time is elastic. Stretch it so that you can get more out of it. Once you conquer the time management problem, you will become more motivated because you can praise yourself for achieving what most people find really difficult. Taking credit for your achievements is a great way to stay motivated.

      What to do?

      The best way to stay motivated, regarding time, is to repeat to yourself that you are the only one who can control your time. Nobody or nothing else can do that for you.

      Take a look at this guide to improve your time management skills:

      A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

      9. They don’t believe that they are talented.

      When people think of all the talents and creativity they lack, they block themselves off and demotivation takes hold.

      However, when they concentrate on the actual skills, talents and qualities they possess, they become much more motivated.

      Negative thoughts will drag you downwards in a horrible spiral. Positive thoughts help you soar above the crowd.

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      What to do?

      Believe in yourself and the talents you have. If you lack confidence in yourself, here’s a Step-By-Step Guide on How to Be More Confident.

        10. They rely on social media.

        Research on students’ use of social media has pointed out that there is a reduction in creativity, less practice in writing skills and an increase in multi-tasking for these students. All these factors have contributed to lower grades and poor academic performance. This may be one reason why many become demotivated.

        Everybody is prone to being less motivated by the appearance or success of others, flaunting their status on Facebook. As the image so vividly illustrates, maturity comes when you stop posting every detail of your life on Facebook or Instagram.[4]

        What to do?

        Take a break with social media. Learn how to break the habit of endlessly sticking to social media here: 5 Psychological Reasons You Are Addicted to Facebook and 5 Ways to Break the Habit

        Another great way to stay in the motivated fast lane is to prepare for obstacles and setbacks before they even occur. This is one of the best ways of fighting back the demotivation inferno.

        Final thoughts

        Out of these many reasons why people are unmotivated, which one fits your case most?

        Know your reason why you don’t feel motivated and tackle its root cause. Stop procrastinating, take your first step to make a small change. Make that small change your daily habit and you will be staying motivated all the time!

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

        Reference

        More by this author

        Robert Locke

        Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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        Last Updated on December 17, 2018

        Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

        Why You Think You’re Not Good Enough and How To Believe in Yourself

        Have you ever wanted to say something at work, but a little voice of doubt crept in and said, “what if you are wrong”?

        Maybe you wanted to apply for that promotion or ask that special someone on a date, but something kept you from taking action. When you think you’re not good enough, you tend to fear the outcome and lack faith in your abilities. That is why it is vital you discover how to believe in yourself so you can accomplish your goals and create your dream life.

        Whatever your situation, the fears and self-doubt your false beliefs create will always stop you in your tracks. Identifying the beliefs that cause you to sabotage your life is the first step to removing them.

        Self-doubt causes inaction, and inaction leads to regret. When you are not following your passion and living your dream life, you are left with a lot of questions:

        • What if I took a chance on myself?
        • Could I have had a better life if I took more risks?
        • Am I be satisfied with the legacy I am leaving behind?
        • What could I have accomplished if I did not settle for less?

        So why would you think you’re not good enough?

        1. Parenting

        The perception you have of yourself is based on your past experiences. There are studies that show children mimic everything from their parents ability to regulate emotions, to their parents belief about money.[1]

        I have had clients who did not believe they were good enough because they did not receive any positive reinforcement as a child. When they were young, their parents were extremely overprotective.

        Think of your childhood challenges like dragons you had to slay. Each obstacle you overcame was another dragon you successfully removed from your life. As you slay more dragons, your self-esteem and confidence increase. When someone has overprotective parents, their parents end up slaying the dragons.

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        As a result, the child builds more confidence in their parent’s abilities, while still doubting their own.

        If you are never encouraged to slay your own dragons, you start to doubt whether you can. It is only natural for a child to conclude their parents are always helping them because they think they need it. This child ages into an adult who still believes they are not good enough. They seek the help and confirmation of others, and they rarely stand-up to opposition.

        Solution: Slay Your Dragons!

        If you want to believe in yourself, you are going to have to take steps to rebuild your trust in yourself. Start by keeping your word to others and arriving on-time. By showing yourself that others can (and do) trust you, you are going to feel more comfortable trusting yourself.

        As you move onto larger and more challenging tasks, you have built a foundation of trust in your ability to keep your word. Next, you are going to want to reclaim your sword from others. At first, you may want to confide in whoever it is currently slaying your dragons.

        Understand if it is your parent or someone who loves you, they want the best for you and mean well. You are simply going to tell them that you want to do the work, and will ask them for their thoughts in the planning phase. Feel free to check in with them and give them updates on your progress, while making sure they understand you are wanting to do the work yourself.

        Then when the task is completed, let them know so you can celebrate together. Now that you have slayed your own dragon, you can start to reclaim your confidence. By you utilizing them as your guide, you get the added bonus of someone you respect and admire, telling you how amazing you are.

        Think of it like a symbolic passing of the torch. Now, you are both dragon slayers. Which means all the positive attributes you attributed to them slaying your dragons, now belong to you.

        2. Over-Exaggerating and Oversimplifying

        Your past experiences may involve you or someone close to you failing. When you experience failure, you can lose your desire to continue. This has less to do with whether you are brave or scared, and more to do with the fact that your mind does not like failure.

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        No one enjoys participating in events in which they under-perform. Outside of the usual reasons of embarrassment, feelings of inadequacy, and fear of failure – it is simply not fun.

        Who wants to play baseball if they strikeout every time it is their turn? Would you enjoy singing in front of an audience if you were booed off the stage every time you performed? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

        The thing about those two examples is no one really strikes out “every” at-bat. It is also unlikely someone could be booed off the stage “every time” they performed in-front of an audience.

        What ends up happening is you oversimplify and exaggerate your past experiences and then your mind believes you. If you believe you are not good enough to ask someone on a date because they “always” tell you no, then do not be surprised you never muster the courage to do so.

        If you want to overcome these feelings of inadequacy, start by changing your beliefs. This exercise does not need to be complicated. If you believe you strikeout every time it is your turn, I want to you to go to a batting cage and keep swinging until you hit the baseball.

        When you experience success, I want you to take a mental note, write it down, or have someone video it. This is your proof that you do not always strike out. Then, whenever your belief that you are not good enough resurfaces, you are going to replay that video.

        Regardless of the situation, you can find a successful experience that you are overlooking.

        Solution: Read About the Failures of Others

        It sounds a little crazy, I know, but reading about the failures of other successful people will improve your confidence. In a study conducted by Columbia University, they found that teaching students about the failures of great scientists encouraged them to do better.[2]

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        When you are battling fear and self-doubt, you tend to over-exaggerate the abilities of others and diminish your own by comparison. You start to believe the successful are successful because they are courageous risk-takers, who do not take no for an answer. You tell yourself, they are meant to succeed, while you on the other hand are not.

        When you are able to relate to the successful, you start to realize they have the same struggles and challenges you do. The only difference is they kept going.

        Now it is not a question of whether you can succeed, it is a question of whether you want to succeed.

        3. Undervalue Yourself

        What is the main difference between someone who believes they are good enough and someone who does not? The person who believes they are good enough understands they are a person of value.

        What I mean by this is if you do not believe you are worth being listened to, you will not have anything to say. If you do not believe you are good enough to be respected and treated as such, you will accept and rationalize all kinds of mistreatment.

        There is an old saying that we are treated as we allow ourselves to be treated. When someone has the confidence and self-esteem that commands respect, they will not accept being treated any kind of way. However, if someone does not see themselves as worthy, they will remain in toxic situations because they do not believe anything better is on the horizon.

        Dr. Jennifer Crocker, who worked on a series of self-esteem studies, found in her latest research that:[3]

        “College students who based their self-worth on external sources–including appearance, approval from others and even their academic performance–reported more stress, anger, academic problems, relationship conflicts, and had higher levels of drug and alcohol use and symptoms of eating disorders”

        Solution: Internalize Your Self-Worth

        Instead of valuing yourself based on the awards, recognition, and accolades of others, you need to search internally. By basing your perception of yourself on your core values, you can regain control over self-image.

        Instead of focusing on things that are outside of control, keep your mind on what it is that makes you special. You are not defined by your job, relationships, religion, or education. Rather, you are defined by the manner in which you participate in these things. You may be a creative, hard-working, and compassionate person; and that shows up in every thing you do.

        Understand that you do not need to be creative, hard-working, and compassionate all the time to consider yourself these things. You are not trying to be perfect, but you are trying to connect with your true self.

        By understanding the similarities in which you tackle objectives, you will build a consistent and powerful self-worth that stands apart from external confirmation.

        Final Thoughts

        Do not allow your past experiences do dictate your future success. You do not want to look back on your life and have a lot of questions and regrets.

        Build trust in yourself by taking action today. This will help you build the confidence you need to believe in yourself and your ability to become the champion of your life.

        More Inspiration About Motivation

        Featured photo credit: Riccardo Mion via unsplash.com

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        Reference

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