Advertising
Advertising

10 Types of Demotivation And How To Overcome Them

10 Types of Demotivation And How To Overcome Them

Whether it is fear, the challenge or one of many other possible reasons, we all can become demotivated. Productive Flourishing have very kindly shared their guest post from Cath Duncan of Remembering For Good with us, in which Cath discusses 10 types of demotivation and how you can overcome them:

Motivation is central to creativity, productivity and happiness. Motivation is what causes us to act, and when we act, we create movement, growth and change, we feel involved, masterful and significant, we feel powerful through experiencing how we can change the world, and we create more of what we love in our lives. And all of this gives our lives purpose and happiness.

De-motivation is like snow

It’s said that Eskimos have multiple words for snow because snow is so familiar to them that they can appreciate the subtle differences between different types of snow. These additional distinctions enable Eskimos to respond differently to different types of snow, depending on the challenges and opportunities each particular type of snow is presenting them with.

Most of us have just one distinction for demotivation, which means that you’re likely to assume that you’re struggling with the same problem whenever you’re demotivated, when in fact demotivation is a category of problems that has many different distinctions within it. When you have just one distinction for demotivation, you’ll apply the same old strategies whenever you feel demotivated, which for many people looks like this: set goals, push harder, create accountability checks that will push you, and run your life using GTD methods and to-do lists. These strategies are ineffective with most types of de-motivation, and in some instances they can even make you more demotivated.

At its essence, demotivation is about you not being fully committed to act, and there are many reasons why you might be in that position. Having more distinctions for your demotivation will help you to identify the real reasons for your unwillingness to commit to action, so that you can pick the right tools and strategies to get motivated again.

Here are 10 different types of demotivation and the strategies that will help you to get motivated again (click to share – thanks!):

1. You’re demotivated by fear

When you’re afraid, even if you’re entering territory that you’ve chosen to move into, a part of yourself is determined to avoid going forward. Fear slows you down and makes you hesitant and careful, which can be beneficial to you, but sometimes your fears are based on your imagination rather than an accurate assessment of the risks in your reality. If your fear is big enough, even if you’re also excited to go forward, the part of you that wants to keep you safe can successfully prevent you from going forward into territory that’s both desirable and safe.

Advertising

How to get motivated again: To get motivated, you need to deal with your fear. Start by naming your fears so that they’re out in the open. Remember to say a gentle thank you to your fears – they’re trying to protect you after all. Then question your fears; “Why am I afraid of that happening?” “What are the chances that would really happen?” Some of your fears will slip away now.

Look at the fears that are left. What are these fears telling you about the research you need to do, the gaps you need to fill and the risk management strategies you need to put in place? Honor that wisdom by building it into your plan. Finally, consider breaking the changes you’re wanting to make down into smaller steps and focus on just the next few small steps – this will calm your fears.

2. You’re demotivated by setting the wrong goals

Martha Beck has a great model for understanding motivation. She explains that we have an Essential Self and a Social Self. Your Essential Self is the part of you that’s spontaneous and creative and playful, the part that knows what’s most important to you. Your Social Self is the part of you that developed since the day you were born, learning the rules of the tribe and working hard to make sure that you’re safe by making you follow the rules of the tribe.

We’re all surrounded with so many messages that feed into our Social Selves and we’re keen to impress our tribe. When you feel demotivated, it’s because you’re setting goals based purely on what your Social Self wants and this is pulling you away from the direction your Essential Self is wanting you to take. Your Essential Self uses demotivation to slow you down and try to disinterest you from the toxic goals you’ve set.

How to get motivated again: Take some time to review your goals. Because your Essential Self is non-verbal, you can easily access your Essential Self through your body. Notice how your body responds as you think of each of the goals you’re trying to work on. When your body (and particularly your breathing) show signs of tightness and constriction, that’s a pretty good indication that you’re trying to follow toxic goals. If you get a constricted reaction, scrap your current goals and question all your stories about what you “should” do with your life. Notice what makes you smile spontaneously or lose track of time and set goals around that stuff instead.

3. You’re demotivated by lack of clarity about what you want

When you haven’t consciously and clearly articulated what you want, your picture of your future will be vague. We like what’s familiar and so we resist what’s unfamiliar and vague and we stay with and re-create what’s familiar to us instead. If you’re not clear about what you want to create, then it makes sense that you’ll lack motivation to act because you’d rather stay with your current familiar reality.

How to get motivated again: If you want to create something different to what you’ve been experiencing, it’s not enough to just know what you don’t want. You need to know what you want instead, and you need to articulate a clear and specific vision of what you want to create so that you can become familiar with that new outcome and feel comfortable to move towards it. Take some time to articulate what you want and why you want it.

Advertising

4. You’re demotivated by a values-conflict

Your values are what’s important to you in life. If you have a values conflict it means that there are two or more values that are important to you but you feel that you can’t satisfy all of those values in a particular situation. This causes you to feel conflicted and pulled in different directions as you try to find ways to get what’s important to you. You might have brief spurts of motivation to work on something and then lose motivation and start working on something else or your motivation might dry up altogether because the energy of dealing with internal conflict quickly tires you out and saps your motivation.

How to get motivated again: You need to unpack your values-conflict and play mediator to get the parts of you that are advocating for different values to play on the same team again. Start with acknowledging the internal conflict. Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle so that you have two columns. Write about the two different directions you feel pulled in, one in each column and summarize it with a statement of what each part wants. Now pick one column and chunk it up; “Why does this part want that? What does it hope to get as a result of having that?” Keep asking the question and writing your answers until you feel that you’ve hit on the end result that part ultimately wants. Now do the same for the other part and notice when you get to the level where the answers in the two columns are the same.

Ultimately, when you chunk up, all of the parts of yourself always want the same thing, because they’re all you. Now that you know what you really want, you can evaluate the strategies that each part had been advocating for and decide which strategy would work best.

Often once you’re clear on what you really want, you spot new strategies for getting it that you hadn’t noticed before. Sometimes by doing this exercise you’ll find ways to satisfy all of your values, but sometimes that’s not possible. If you’ve taken time to think through your values and you’ve consciously chosen to prioritize a particular value over your other values for a while, this clarity will ease the internal conflict and your motivation will return.

5. You’re demotivated by lack of autonomy

We thrive on autonomy. We all have a decision-making center in our brains and this part of us needs to be exercised. Studies have found that this decision-making center in the brain is under-developed in people who have depression and that, by practicing using this part of the brain and making decisions, depression often clears.

In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink writes about the research that shows that when it comes to doing creative work, having some autonomy to decide what we do, when we do it, how we do it and who we do it with is core to igniting and sustaining motivation, creativity and productivity.

How to get motivated again: Consider how much autonomy you have in relation to the goals you’ve been trying to pursue. Are there areas where you feel constricted and controlled? Consider how you could gradually introduce more autonomy in your task, time, technique, location and team, and then if you’re employed, have a discussion with your manager and ask for greater autonomy in a few specific areas of your work.

Advertising

6. You’re demotivated by lack of challenge

Challenge is another crucial ingredient for motivation that authors like Daniel Pinkand Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” highlight. When it comes to dealing with challenges, there’s a sweet spot. Too great a challenge and the fear becomes too great and saps our motivation (see point 1), and if the challenge is too small, we quickly get bored and struggle to stay motivated. We’re designed to be living, growing creatures and we need constant challenge and opportunities to master new skills. Without challenge, our Essential Self steps in and demotivates us as a way of telling us that we’ve departed from the path that’s right for us.

How to get motivated again: Review your goals and the projects you’re working on. Are they challenging you? Are they going to require you to grow in order to achieve them or are you treading water in your comfort zone doing only the things you know you can do? Try tweaking your goals to make them a bit more challenging, take on projects that will require you to grow and find a new thing or two to learn to stimulate yourself.

7. You’re demotivated by grief

At the beginning of any change, we go through a phase of wondering if we should or could hang onto the way things were and grieving what we’d be losing if we make significant changes. Confusion, self-doubt, mistrust of the world around us and feeling lost are common symptoms and the bigger the change, the more powerful these symptoms. Sometimes we even go through a bit of depression and social withdrawal. Martha Beck calls this the “Death and Rebirth” phase of change in her book, Finding Your Own North Star. With all the grieving and fearing and feeling lost that goes on in this phase, it’s normal for your motivation to dry up.

How to get motivated again: If you’ve just experienced a trauma or loss, or are going through a major change and finding that there are days where you’re hit hard with Death and Rebirth symptoms, don’t try to make make yourself motivated and proactive. You can’t rush grieving and the undoing of your old life and ways of thinking and you can’t skip the Death and Rebirth phase and go straight into Dreaming and Scheming.

You need to give yourself a lot of space for nurturing and reflection. Look after your body with good food, rest and exercise. Express your grief, confusion and fears with people who can listen lovingly. Spend time in nature and with calm, loving people to center yourself. Accept every feeling and thought you have – they’re all normal and safe. Take one day at a time and go easy on yourself. Confusion, forgetfulness and clumsiness are all normal in this stage. The grieving will end when it’s ready and if you relax into it and express your grief, it’ll be sooner rather than later.

8. You’re demotivated by loneliness

This is an especially important one for those of us who work alone from home. You know those days when you feel a bit cabin-feverish, you just don’t feel like working and you’d rather be out having a drink with a friend or playing a game of soccer? Well perhaps it’s because we’re designed to be social creatures and sometimes your Essential Self is just longing for some connection with other people and so it steps in and hi-jacks your work motivation so that you’ll take a break from work and go and spend some time with other people and give your Essential Self what it needs.

How to get motivated again: Take a break and go and spend some time with someone you enjoy. You may be surprised at the motivating impact this has and find yourself much more clear and productive when you return to your work. And then look for ways that you can begging to build more networking and joint venturing into your work.

Advertising

9. You’re demotivated by burn-out

Since I attract over-achieving Type A’s, and as a recovering Type A myself, I know that sometimes we’re banging on about wanting to get more done even after we’ve exceeded the limit on what’s sustainable. If you’re feeling tired all the time, have lost your energy for socializing, and the idea of taking a snooze sounds more compelling than the stuff you’re usually interested in, then you’ve probably pushed yourself too long and hard and you may be burned out.

Your Essential Self will always work to motivate you to move towards what you most need and away from goals, projects and ways of working that take you away from what your Essential Self craves. So if you’re burned out and needing sleep, your Essential Self may even sap the motivation from the things that you’re usually really ignited about – just to get you to meet your core needs again.

How to get motivated again: Sleep. And then when you’re done sleeping and the quality of your thinking has been restored, check back in with your Essential Self about what’s most important to you, hang out here on Charlie’s blog, pick up The Dojo, and start to build sustainable ways of doing more of what’s important to you.

10. You’re demotivated by not knowing what to do next

Your end-goal might be nice and clear, but if you haven’t taken time to chunk your end-goal down into smaller goals, you’ll get stuck, confused and demotivated when it’s time to take action. Some projects are small and familiar enough that they don’t need a plan, but if you’re often worrying that you don’t know what to do next and you don’t have a clear plan, then this might be the source of your demotivation.

How to get motivated again: If you want to keep your motivation flowing steadily through all stages of your projects, take time to create clear project plans and to schedule your plans into your calendar.

Use your fears to point you to the potential risks you need to manage in your plan. Write down all your, “I-don’t-know-how-to” concerns and turn these into research questions. The first part of any planning stage is research, and you’ll find new research questions along the way, so realize that conducting research should be part of your action plan at every stage of your project. Finally, ask yourself what smaller goals need to be achieved for you to achieve your end-goal and schedule deadlines for yourself.

Goal-setting and pushing is rarely the answer

Goal-setting, planning, organizing and accountability structures are often touted as the big solution to demotivation and the silver bullet that will get you creative and productive again, but notice that it’s only a useful strategy for dealing with some types of demotivation. With many other types of demotivation, goal-setting, planning, organizing and accountability structures will only make your demotivation problem worse.

Over to you…

  • Have you been able to pin-point the type/s of demotivation that you tend to struggle with most?
  • Have you been stuck in demotivation right now?
  • What do you need and which motivation strategy is going to give you what you need right now?

About the Author: Cath co-founded the Creative Grief Coaching Certification program, where she and Kara Jones train social workers, therapists, life coaches and nurses to use conversational creativity and art-making to support bereaved people to live wholeheartedly after loss. Cath has also authored the Remembering For Good Grief Workbook and numerous grief articles at RememberingForGood.com.

How To Recover From 10 Types of Demotivation | Productive Flourishing

More by this author

30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier 20 Fascinating Webcams You Can Watch Online Right Now 8 Ways To Stop Emotional Manipulation 30 Of The World’s Most Breathtaking Hiking Trails You Must Visit How You Can Find Peace… On A Map!

Trending in Productivity

1 Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset 2 Have You Fallen Into the ‘Busy’ Trap? Here’s Your Way Out 3 How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter 4 Do You Want to Know the Secret to Living a Fulfilling Life? 5 6 People Management Tactics to Lead a Diverse Team to Success

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on November 15, 2018

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

Success In Reaching Goals Is Determined By Mindset

What do you think it takes to achieve your goals? Hard work? Lots of actions? While these are paramount to becoming successful in reaching our goals, neither of these are possible without a positive mindset.

As humans, we naturally tend to lean towards a negative outlook when it comes to our hopes and dreams. We are prone to believing that we have limitations either from within ourselves or from external forces keeping us from truly getting to where we want to be in life. Our tendency to think that we’ll “believe it when we see it” suggests that our mindsets are focused on our goals not really being attainable until they’ve been achieved. The problem with this is that this common mindset fuels our limiting beliefs and shows a lack of faith in ourselves.

The Success Mindset

Success in achieving our goals comes down to a ‘success mindset’. Successful mindsets are those focused on victory, based on positive mental attitudes, empowering inclinations and good habits. Acquiring a success mindset is the sure-fire way to dramatically increase your chance to achieve your goals.

Advertising

The idea that achieving our goals comes down to our habits and actions is actually a typical type of mindset that misses a crucial point; that our mindset is, in fact, the determiner of our energy and what actions we take. A negative mindset will tend to create negative actions and similarly if we have a mindset that will only set into action once we see ‘proof’ that our goals are achievable, then the road will be much longer and arduous. This is why, instead of thinking “I’ll believe it when I see it”, a success mindset will think “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

The Placebo Effect and What It Shows Us About The Power of Mindset

The placebo effect is a perfect example of how mindset really can be powerful. In scientific trials, a group of participants were told they received medication that will heal an ailment but were actually given a sugar pill that does nothing (the placebo). Yet after the trial the participants believed it’s had a positive effect – sometimes even cured their ailment even though nothing has changed. This is the power of mindset.

How do we apply this to our goals? Well, when we set goals and dreams how often do we really believe they’ll come to fruition? Have absolute faith that they can be achieved? Have a complete unwavering expectation? Most of us don’t because we hold on to negative mindsets and limiting beliefs about ourselves that stop us from fully believing we are capable or that it’s at all possible. We tend to listen to the opinions of others despite them misaligning with our own or bow to societal pressures that make us believe we should think and act a certain way. There are many reasons why we possess these types of mindsets but a success mindset can be achieved.

Advertising

How To Create a Success Mindset

People with success mindsets have a particular way of perceiving things. They have positive outlooks and are able to put faith fully in their ability to succeed. With that in mind, here are a few ways that can turn a negative mindset into a successful one.

1. A Success Mindset Comes From a Growth Mindset

How does a mindset even manifest itself? It comes from the way you talk to yourself in the privacy of your own head. Realising this will go a long way towards noticing how you speak to yourself and others around you. If it’s mainly negative language you use when you talk about your goals and aspirations then this is an example of a fixed mindset.

A negative mindset brings with it a huge number of limiting beliefs. It creates a fixed mindset – one that can’t see beyond it’s own limitations. A growth mindset sees these limitations and looks beyond them – it finds ways to overcome obstacles and believes that this will result in success. When you think of your goal, a fixed mindset may think “what if I fail?” A growth mindset would look at the same goal and think “failures happen but that doesn’t mean I won’t be successful.”

Advertising

There’s a lot of power in changing your perspective.

2. Look For The Successes

It’s really important to get your mind focused on positive aspects of your goal. Finding inspiration through others can be really uplifting and keep you on track with developing your success mindset; reinforcing your belief that your dreams can be achieved. Find people that you can talk with about how they achieved their goals and seek out and surround yourself with positive people. This is crucial if you’re learning to develop a positive mindset.

3. Eliminate Negativity

You can come up against a lot of negativity sometimes either through other people or within yourself. Understanding that other people’s negative opinions are created through their own fears and limiting beliefs will go a long way in sustaining your success mindset. But for a lot of us, negative chatter can come from within and these usually manifest as negative words such as can’t, won’t, shouldn’t. Sometimes, when we think of how we’re going to achieve our goals, statements in our minds come out as negative absolutes: ‘It never works out for me’ or ‘I always fail.’

Advertising

When you notice these coming up you need to turn them around with ‘It always works out for me!’ and ‘I never fail!’ The trick is to believe it no matter what’s happened in the past. Remember that every new day is a clean slate and for you to adjust your mindset.

4. Create a Vision

Envisioning your end goal and seeing it in your mind is an important trait of a success mindset. Allowing ourselves to imagine our success creates a powerful excitement that shouldn’t be underestimated. When our brain becomes excited at the thought of achieving our goals, we become more committed, work harder towards achieving it and more likely to do whatever it takes to make it happen.

If this involves creating a vision board that you can look at to remind yourself every day then go for it. Small techniques like this go a long way in sustaining your success mindset and shouldn’t be dismissed.

An Inspirational Story…

For centuries experts said that running a mile in under 4 minutes was humanly impossible. On the 6th May 1954, Rodger Bannister did just that. As part of his training, Bannister relentlessly visualised the achievement, believing he could accomplish what everyone said wasn’t possible…and he did it.

What’s more amazing is that, as soon as Bannister achieved the 4-minute mile, more and more people also achieved it. How was this possible after so many years of no one achieving it? Because in people’s minds it was suddenly possible – once people knew that it was achievable it created a mindset of success and now, after over fifty years since Bannister did the ‘impossible’, his record has been lowered by 17 seconds – the power of the success mindset!

Read Next