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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

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10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It

Being demotivated is arguably one of the worst feelings in the world. You feel as though you have no direction and, despite the fact that you are not getting any enjoyment out of getting nowhere, you feel no urgency or drive to make the effort to change your situation.

While this may seem like a bleak situation, fret not! Motivation is like money; even if you have none of it at the moment, you can always get some more!

If you’re reading this, you have most likely run into a wall of demotivation and wonder why you may be experiencing this and what actions you can take to get out of it.

Before we dive into the reasons, it’s best you take this free assessment on motivation style to find out what your motivation style is, so you understand better what’s triggering your lost of motivation. Take the assessment here first!

Now, let’s get to the 10 reasons why you’re demotivated:

1. You Are Working Without Purpose

The biggest reason why someone may be feeling demotivated is that they are living their lives without goals or intent.

If you’re living a life without purpose, you are bound to go through the motions without any sense of direction, feeling as though you are doing things simply for the sake of doing things rather than to work towards something that you want.

Sounds familiar?

Fortunately enough, demotivation that is caused by a lack of life purpose can be easily fixed. All you have to do to work on this demotivational factor is to figure out what it is you are looking for out of life and to establish specific, bite-sized, achievable goals that can help you to get there.

With a life plan you are passionate about, you’ll feel motivated in all aspects of your life quite quickly once more.

This article can help you find your internal drive: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

2. Your Lack of Motivation Stems From Fear

When we fear progress, we refuse to move forward, becoming stuck at a certain point in our lives that allows us to only achieve so much on a daily basis. Whether this is an obstacle you have created for yourself in your professional life or your personal life, it becomes more difficult to break free of this cycle as each day passes. This, in turn, manifests into discontent and demotivation.

So, what can you do about this fear when it affects your motivation levels?

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The first thing to do is to take note of the fact that you are putting off progress because you are afraid of a certain outcome.

Next, it is important to ask yourself what you are afraid of hearing in relation to your situation and whether or not that fear should really be stopping you from moving forward.

Finally, you need to start chipping away at that fear step-by-step until you face it head on and conquer it.[1]

True that life can be scary at moments. But is there anything scarier than missing out on opportunities and not living your life to the fullest?

3. You’re Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons

Our body knows how to react in any given situation and the lack of motivation that has you down may be a direct result of what you are doing.

Ask yourself, is everything I do done for the right reasons?

Say, for example, that you are currently working a job that pays well but isn’t truly fulfilling. You know you are working for the financial stability and this keeps you there but it is not truly what you want to do. This slowly wears you down and, because the position provides no purpose for you, you don’t have any real motivation to continue on with the position.

This concept is applicable to all areas of life and, if you feel unmotivated, it is quite possible that you are doing things for the wrong reasons instead of doing things that fulfill you.

What you need is a sustainable motivation drive that ensures you’re doing things for the right reasons. Learn how to build your own motivation engine by joinging the Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation for free. In this focused session, you’ll learn the steps to build a sustainable motivation engine that will keep you motivated. Join the free class here.

4. You Take on Too Much and Are Overwhelmed

It’s great to be ambitious and it is also perfectly fine to take on quite a bit of work and achieve as much as you can during the day. However, when you take on too much, you stretch yourself too thin and become burnt out rather quickly.

If you’re too overwhelmed by the many projects you are pursuing, you are less likely to want to do them. If you fall behind, you lose further motivation and you wind up not enjoying the tasks you are supposed to accomplish and lose the drive to see them through.

The key to staying motivated with anything is to take as much on as possible without making it unenjoyable. Being able to get through your day without feeling stressed and pressed for time goes a long way in helping you to keep your purpose and motivation intact.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important that you learn better time-management skills and more about your limitations in order to craft a better schedule for yourself immediately.[2]

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5. You May Be Dealing with Symptoms of a Mental Illness

Although mental illness symptoms are easy to spot for some, others can deal with a mental illness without ever suspecting it.

For example, there are plenty of professionals who deal with dysthymia for years, which is a low-grade form of depression that leaves the individual able to engage in their day but still provides the classic symptoms of fatigue and lack of motivation.

You may also be dealing with full-blown depression, which can result in hopelessness and a lack of enjoyment in daily activities. It also carries more severe consequences if left untreated.

If you believe that you may be dealing with a mental illness, it is important that you seek for mental health assistance immediately to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and learn how to properly cope with the condition.

You are worth it!

6. Your Goals Are Too Big

Having goals is necessary to leading a purposeful life. However, it may be your goals that are actually at the source of your current motivation problem.

Do your goals look like this:

I want to launch my website and fill it with 100 blogs by the end of this year.

Rather than this:

I want to launch my website by the end of next month and write one blog each week for my new website.

The difference between the two goals is that one is far too large and vague while the other one is achievable and specific.

Think about your to-do list. Is it filled with endless tasks that seem impossible to tackle or is it filled with small steps that foster achievement and excite you when you finish them?

If your goals are too large and you are expecting too much from yourself, you are not going to motivated to chip away at that goal on a consistent basis. Smaller steps are much easier to accomplish and will keep you motivated to achieve the larger end goal.

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Break it down and keep it simple! Learn how to set achievable and specific goals here: How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life

7. You’re Engaging in Self-Sabotage

Perhaps you feel that you don’t have the skills to see it through. Perhaps you think others don’t think you’re capable of achievement and are purposely sabotaging yourself and prevent yourself from moving forward.

In either case, your lack of motivation may be due to your desire to stunt your growth rather than to unleash and prove your greatness to the world.

Why do you feel that you aren’t capable of what it is you seek to do? If it is the other way around, why do you feel as though others don’t think that you are capable?

Sit down and write down a list of your accomplishments, skills, and strengths. Once you see it written down, you can easily begin to see your own value.

Whether it is to prove someone wrong, to prove yourself right, or to simply shine, breaking through self-doubt or self-sabotage can help you to regain your motivation that is lost under these circumstances.

Learn how to overcome your self doubt in this article: How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

8. You Believe You Should Have Accomplished More by Now

With the exception of a rare few, a lot of people put pressure on themselves and put themselves down because they think that they haven’t accomplished enough out of all of the time that they have been alive.

It can be easy to get into this state of mind. But the past is the past and the only thing you are in control of is the future.

When you allow yourself to indulge in the past, you fall into the habit of giving up and going through the motions. This habit strips you of motivation and prevents you from making any progress whatsoever.

As the old saying goes,

“Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

You can’t expect to meet your life goals instantly. Instead, work hard each day and measure your progress. Each step forward is a step in the right direction.

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Don’t give up!

9. You Have a Habit of NOT Doing Anything

It can be hard to hear but some people are just one of those individuals who do absolutely nothing on a daily basis.

They have plenty of tasks and potential but they choose to not do it simply because they don’t feel like it. And when they finally sit down to take responsibility and move forward, they wonder why they feel demotivated and have such difficulty getting things done.

The truth is that getting your life together is hard. You are going to have to do a lot of things you don’t enjoy to get back on track and live the life you want.

Sit down, show up, and do what you must in order to get to where you want.[3]

Lifehack’s CEO has some unique advice on this: How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

10. You’re Settling and Refusing to Push Your Limits

On the opposite spectrum of overwhelm is underwhelm. Underwhelm begins to set in when you are settling on accomplishing less rather than pushing your limits and doing what you know you are perfectly capable of handling.

This choice to not do what you are able to and push your limits can cause a lack of motivation as you are consciously deciding to settle for less and stay in mediocrity rather than moving forward and accomplishing more.

It’s something that we all do when we start to feel a little lazy or tired but it is up to you to hold yourself accountable.

If you can make it happen, it is up to you to make sure that you follow through.

Still doubt if it’s better to push your limits? This will change your mind: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

The Bottom Line

Even the best of us become demotivated but it is necessary that we get back our drive to push forward and live our best lives.

Using these 10 points, you are guaranteed to find the reasons behind your lack of motivation and the next steps you need to take to recover that drive and passion.

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Featured photo credit: S O C I A L . C U T via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

How to Get Out of a Rut and Start Living the Life You Desire 9 Types of Motivation That Make It Possible to Reach Your Dreams 10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It 25 Hard Work Motivational Quotes to Help You Achieve More How to Help a Friend With Depression Learn to Love Life Again

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Last Updated on January 19, 2022

What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

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What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

If you’ve ever thought or said something like this, then you are using fear-based motivation:

  • “If I don’t get that promotion, I’m going to be seen as a failure so I better stay up all night to work on this proposal.”
  • “If I speak up for school reform, the internet trolls are going to get me, so I better be quiet even though I care a lot about this issue.”
  • “If I don’t exercise enough, I’m going to look like crap, so I better go to the gym six days a week, even if my body is killing me.”

Fear-based motivation is exactly what it sounds like—getting yourself and others to do things out of fear of what will happen if you don’t do it and do it well.

What you might not know is that while fear-based motivation might work in the short term, it can have long-term detrimental effects on your performance, relationships, and well-being.

Is Fear-Based Motivation Helpful?

If using fear as motivation comes naturally for you, you aren’t alone. Our brains use fear to keep us out of trouble. Normally, you want to move away from what feels harmful towards what feels safe.

This brain function is important when there is a genuine threat to your well-being, like if there is a rattlesnake on the hiking trail. Your brain will use fear to motivate you to move away from the snake as quickly as possible. But when you use fear-based motivation to accomplish your life and career goals, the constant state of fear puts unnecessary stress on your mind and body and can end up working against you.

The Darkside of Fear-Based Motivation

Take, for example, when your trainer at your gym motivates you during your workout by yelling things like, “Bikini season is coming! You don’t want your cellulite to be the star of the show!” or “Burn off that piece of birthday cake you ate last night!”

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Sure, you might be motivated to do ten more burpees, but what is going on in the back of your mind? You probably have an image of a group of people standing around you at the beach laughing at you in your bikini, or you feel guilty about eating that piece of cake and criticize yourself for not being able to control yourself.

Reliance on Negative Thinking

For most of us, this type of thinking causes stress and can bring down our energy levels and mood. The reliance on negative thinking is the problem with fear-based motivation. It forces us to put our attention on what is wrong or what could go wrong instead of anticipating and celebrating what is right. This, in turn, narrows our focus and prevents us from seeing the bigger picture.

When your brain senses a threat, whether it’s a rattlesnake hiding in the grass or the possibility of being laughed at in your bikini, your brain will move you into a protective stance. Your vision narrows and you prepare to fight, flee or freeze.

You can probably imagine what this looks like in the case of a rattlesnake, but how does this impact your bikini experience?

The High Cost of Fear-Based Motivation

Imagine that you plan a beach vacation with your friends three months from now. The first thing you picture is sitting on the beach with your tummy rolls and cellulite. You immediately sign up for three months of boot camp classes at the gym and banish all sugar and booze from your diet. You are determined not to make a fool of yourself on the beach!

Will the fear of not looking like a supermodel under the beach umbrella motivate you to get in shape and eat better? Possibly. But at what cost?

For three months, every time you picture yourself looking “less than perfect” in your bikini, you feel fear of being ashamed. Shame makes you want to hide, and that makes it harder to find the motivation to go to the gym instead of sitting on the couch eating ice cream.

You become so focused on how you are going to look on the beach that you lose out on all the fun and joy of life. You pass up on going shopping with your friends for new outfits because you aren’t at your goal weight yet. You stop doing the things you love to do to spend more time at the gym. You avoid family gatherings where you will be confronted with tempting food. You over-train to the point of hurting yourself.

The Healthier Alternative to Fear-Based Motivation

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in your bikini! If that’s important to you, keep your goal in mind but change the way you motivate yourself. Instead of using the fear of feeling ashamed to motivate you, try using love-based motivation.

Love-based motivation uses love instead of fear to lead and inspire you. It comes from a different part of your brain than fear-based motivation. Love-based motivation comes from the part of your brain that is responsible for joy, creativity, and passion.

5 Questions of Love-Based Motivation

There are many ways to deploy love-based motivation. The trick is to use one or all of the following to motivate you towards your goal: empathy, curiosity, innovation, vision, and heart-centered action.

Here are five questions you can use to motivate yourself using love-based motivation.

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1. What Would You Say to a Friend?

Chances are that you talk to your friends in a much kinder way and with more empathy than you talk to yourself. You wouldn’t tell a friend, “you better starve yourself and hit the gym three times a day to look good in that bikini!” Instead, you would probably say something like, “I’m so excited to go on this vacation with you! I can’t wait to spend time catching up while sipping margaritas on the beach.”

Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend.

2. What Are You Curious About Learning That Might Help You Get to Your Goal?

More often than not, achieving our goals is more about the journey it took us to get there than the goal itself. Curiosity makes journeys more fun. Perhaps you are curious about doing a triathlon but you don’t know how to run. If you spend three months learning to run, you would get into better shape and learn something new.

3. How Can You Get to Your Goal in a Way That Feels Good?

Using the “Yes, And” game is a great way to come up with innovative ideas for working towards your goals. If your first instinct is to go to the gym six days a week but you aren’t jazzed about it, find something that you like about that idea and make it better.

For example, if what you like about going to the gym is that you work up a sweat, what if instead of the gym, you join a dance class where you can learn some new moves to show off on your vacation?

4. What Is Important to You About Your Goal?

When you dig into your goal, chances are that you’ll find a deeper meaning. If your goal is to “look good in a bikini,” ask yourself why that’s important to you.

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For example, “I want to look good in my bikini because I want to have fun on vacation.” Then, ask yourself how much having fun on your vacation depends on how you look in your swimsuit.

5. What Heart-Centered Action Can You Take That Will Help You Reach Your Goal?

Whether your goal remains bikini-focused or changes to ways of having a good time on your vacation, choose an action that you can take that feels like it is coming from a place of love instead of fear.

For example, suggest to your friends that you take scuba diving classes as a group before vacation. It will get you moving and bring your friends together.

Long-Term Happiness and Satisfaction

Fear-based motivation may help you achieve your goals in the short term, but it won’t lead to long-term happiness and satisfaction. Fear isn’t designed to be used for long periods, and you will eventually tire of the fear and give up on your goals. Love, however, is designed for longevity.

Finding your motivation in a place of love will fuel you to reach your goals, whether your goals are about feeling good in a bikini, getting a promotion at work, or speaking up for what you believe in.

More Tips on Boosting Motivation

Featured photo credit: Jeremy Perkins via unsplash.com

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