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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.

        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 Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

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        Last Updated on August 6, 2020

        6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

        6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

        We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

        “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

        Are we speaking the same language?

        My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

        When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

        Am I being lazy?

        When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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        Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

        Early in the relationship:

        “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

        When the relationship is established:

        “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

        It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

        Have I actually got anything to say?

        When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

        A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

        When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

        Am I painting an accurate picture?

        One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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        How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

        Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

        What words am I using?

        It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

        Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

        Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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        Is the map really the territory?

        Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

        A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

        I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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