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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 February 21, 2019

        The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

        The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

        In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

        Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

        Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

        Conflicts are literally everywhere.

        Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

        Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

        Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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        Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

        Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

        Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

        The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

        Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

        Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

        How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

        Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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        Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

        Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

        How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

        Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

        Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

        Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

        How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

        Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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        Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

        Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

        How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

        Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

        Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

        Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

        How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

        Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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        Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

        Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

        How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

        Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

        Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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