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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 June 23, 2019

        20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

        20 Things People Regret the Most Before They Die

        Close your eyes and imagine that you’re at your own funeral—a bit morbid I know, but there’s a reason for it. Now think about what you’d like people to say about you. What kind of a life do you want to lead? People die with all kinds of regrets. Don’t be one of them.

        1. I wish I’d cared less about what other people think.

        It’s only when you realise how little other people are really thinking of you (in a negative sense) that you realise how much time you spent caring and wasting energy worrying about this.

        2. I wish I had accomplished more.

        You don’t have to have won an Oscar, built up a business or run a marathon, but having small personal accomplishments is important.

        3. I wish I had told __ how I truly felt.

        Even if the “one” doesn’t exist, telling someone how you truly feel will always save you from that gut wrenching”but what if…” feeling that could linger for life if you stay quiet.

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        4. I wish I had stood up for myself more.

        Sometimes, it’s too easy to think that if you go all out to please everyone you’ll be liked more or your partner won’t run off with anyone else. I think age probably teaches us to be nice but not at the expense of our own happiness.

        5. I wish I had followed my passion in life.

        It’s so easy to be seduced by a stable salary, a solid routine and a comfortable life, but at what expense?

        6. I wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.

        Life is short, and you never really know when the last time you speak to someone you love will be. It’s these moments that really stay clear in peoples’ minds.

        7. I wish I had let my children grow up to be who they wanted to be.

        The realisation that love, compassion and empathy are so much more important than clashes in values or belief systems can hit home hard.

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        8. I wish I had lived more in the moment.

        Watching children grow up makes you realise how short-lived and precious time really is, and as we age, many of us live less and less in the present.

        9. I wish I had worked less.

        There’s always a desire to have loosened up a bit more with this one and the realisation that financial success or career accomplishment doesn’t necessarily equal a fulfilled life.

        10. I wish I had traveled more.

        It can be done at any age, with kids or not but many talk themselves out of it for all kinds of reasons such as lack of money, mortgage, children, etc. When there’s a regret, you know it could have been possible at some stage.

        11. I wish I had trusted my gut rather than listening to everyone else.

        Making your own decisions and feeling confident in the decisions you make gives us fulfilment and joy from life. Going against your gut only breeds resentment and bitterness.

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        12. I wish I’d taken better care of myself.

        Premature health problems or ageing always makes you wonder if you’d eaten healthier, exercised more and been less stressed, would you be where you are today?

        13. I wish I’d taken more risks.

        Everyone has their own idea of what’s risky, but you know when you’re living too much in your comfort zone. In hindsight, some people feel they missed out on a lot of adventure life has to offer.

        14. I wish I’d had more time.

        Many people say time speeds up as we age. The six weeks of summer holidays we had as kids certainly seemed to last a lifetime. If time speeds up, then it’s even more important to make the most of every moment.

        15. I wish I hadn’t worried so much.

        If you’ve ever kept a diary and looked back, you’ll probably wonder why you ever got so worked up over X.

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        16. I wish I’d appreciated ___ more.

        The consequences of taking people for granted are always hard to deal with.

        17. I wish I’d spent more time with my family.

        Some people get caught up with work, move to other parts of the world, grow old with grudges against family members only to realise their priorities were in the wrong place.

        18. I wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously.

        Life is just more fun when you can laugh at yourself.

        19. I wish I’d done more for other people.

        Doing things for others just makes life more meaningful.

        20. I wish I could have felt happier.

        The realisation that happiness is a state of mind that you can control sometimes doesn’t occur to people until it’s too late.

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