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Last Updated on April 22, 2020

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

10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How 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]

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.

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    What to Do?

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

    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.

      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.

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        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!

        More to Boost Your Motivation

        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.

        7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days 10 Reasons Why People Are Unmotivated (And How to Be Motivated) 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 10 Simple Morning Exercises to Make You Feel Great All Day What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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        1 Why Am I So Sad? 9 Possible Causes You Shouldn’t Ignore 2 How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace 3 10 Things That Even You Can Do to Change the World 4 5 Ways to Get Out of a Bad Mood (Backed by Psychology) 5 How a Gratitude Journal Can Drastically Change Your Life

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        Last Updated on December 4, 2020

        How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

        How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

        We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

        However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

        Let’s take a closer look.

        Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

        A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

        Builds Workers’ Skills

        Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

        Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

        Boosts Employee Loyalty

        Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

        If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

        Strengthens Team Bonds

        Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

        However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

        Promotes Mentorship

        There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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        Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

        Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

        How to Give Constructive Feedback

        Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

        Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

        1. Listen First

        Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

        Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

        You could say:

        • “Help me understand your thought process.”
        • “What led you to take that step?”
        • “What’s your perspective?”

        2. Lead With a Compliment

        In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

        You could say:

        • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
        • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

        3. Address the Wider Team

        Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

        You could say:

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        • “Let’s think through this together.”
        • “I want everyone to see . . .”

        4. Ask How You Can Help

        When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

        You could say:

        • “What can I do to support you?”
        • “How can I make your life easier?
        • “Is there something I could do better?”

        5. Give Examples

        To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

        What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

        You could say:

        • “I wanted to show you . . .”
        • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
        • “This is a perfect example.”
        • “My ideal is . . .”

        6. Be Empathetic

        Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

        You could say:

        • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
        • “I understand.”
        • “I’m sorry.”

        7. Smile

        Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

        8. Be Grateful

        When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

        You could say:

        • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
        • “We all learned an important lesson.”
        • “I love improving as a team.”

        9. Avoid Accusations

        Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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        You could say:

        • “We all make mistakes.”
        • “I know you did your best.”
        • “I don’t hold it against you.”

        10. Take Responsibility

        More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

        Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

        You could say:

        • “I should have . . .”
        • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

        11. Time it Right

        Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

        If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

        12. Use Their Name

        When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

        You could say:

        • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
        • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

        13. Suggest, Don’t Order

        When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

        You could say:

        • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
        • “Try it this way.”
        • “Are you on board with that?”

        14. Be Brief

        Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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        One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

        15. Follow Up

        Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

        You could say:

        • “I wanted to recap . . .”
        • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
        • “Did that make sense?”

        16. Expect Improvement

        Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

        By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

        You could say:

        • “I’d like to see you . . .”
        • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
        • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
        • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

        17. Give Second Chances

        Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

        You could say:

        • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
        • “I’d love to see you try again.”
        • “Let’s give it another go.”

        Final Thoughts

        Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

        More on Constructive Feedback

        Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

        Reference

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