Lack of motivation is one of the most common factors that prevent most people from achieving what they want in life. No matter what you want to achieve or what goals you pursue, you need the motivation to take action and to stick to your plan. Without motivation, nothing moves.
What then, allows successful people to be able to stay motivated throughout the course and stick to their goals?
Why do extraordinary people seem to have an unlimited motivation that allows them to see their goals and projects to the finish?
Here’s what you need to understand…
Lack of motivation is a symptom
Yes, lack of motivation is a symptom, not a problem. It is simply an effect of a problem.
In other words, when you don’t feel motivated, it is because of other problems that cause you to lack motivation.
I believe that people can be motivated if they wanted to and no one is lazy.
Think about it, if you say that you lazy to study or to write the article, think about a time when you are feeling totally motivated to do the work.
Why there are times when you are so motivated to do the work, and why there are also times when you feel totally no motivation to do the same work, what are differences?
When you say you lack motivation, you are actually saying that something is preventing your motivation to flow. And that is why you don’t feel motivated.
Successful people have times when they feel no motivation at all too, but they understand that motivation is merely a symptom, not a problem. Hence, they work on solving the problem and they get rid of the things that prevent them from feeling motivated.
In other words, successful people understand how to manage their motivation so that they have more of it.
So, what makes you lack motivation? What are the problems or obstacles that prevent you from feeling driven?
Here are the 10 most common reasons that steal most people’s motivation away. Learn to overcome these problems and you will have no problem getting the motivation you want at any time.
1. You have no clarity with what you want
Yes, lack of clarity can kill your drive. When you have no idea what to do or when you don’t give a set of specific instructions to your mind, you will feel no motivation, boring, and even sleepy.
I bet you have had the experience when you have nothing to do and it makes you feel bored and sleepy, right?
This is a classic example of having no clarity.
Think about these 2 sentences below, which one motivates you the more?
- To be financially successful.
- To make $100,000 from my internet business by the end of this year and celebrate my success by taking my family to Bali for a holiday for a week.
I bet you know the answer.
The more specific you are with what you want, the more motivated you will become.
This is because when you have clarity, you are sending clear instructions to your mind of what you want to do and accomplish.
You give yourself a clear picture of the outcomes that drive you forward.
What you can do:
Be specific with what you want and be clear of what you need to do. Start with your goals, plans, and then make specific actionable steps that you can take each day.
Stop being vague like telling yourself that your goal is to get rich or be happy, instead, be specific with what you want. The clearer you are, the better and the more motivated you will be.
If you have no idea how to set specific goals and create actionable plans, just follow my Goal Setting Formula method.
2. Your fear stops you
Another common reason people lack motivation is because of fear – all types of fears – fear of success, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of being ridiculed, etc.
Whenever there are fears, your motivation will shrink, and you will prevent yourself from progressing forward.
Most people prefer to operate within their comfort zone because they are afraid that things may go wrong if they venture out of it and do something differently.
Your fear will prevent you from reaching new heights and it will slow you down and makes you doubtful about what you are about to do.
How many times have you told yourself that you should do this, or you should do that, but you ended doing nothing?
A lot of people want to start their own business, start a blog, become a writer, become a YouTuber or an influencer on social media, but most don’t dare to take action.
Why? You know the reason – they are afraid of the uncertainties. What if things go wrong? What if they fail? What if others laugh at them?
These are the fears that create doubts in yourself. And this is why you lack the motivation to act because you are afraid of it.
What you can do:
Get rid of your fear. You are afraid because you have no reference for the results you want. Read books and make friends with successful people who have achieved what you want.
When you know that there are others out there who have tried it, done it, and succeeded, it creates a new belief in you telling that you too, can do it.
Study other successful people and learn how they make it. If you want to be a full-time blogger but you worry if you may fail, study and learn from those who have done and are living that dream right now.
Adopt their beliefs and mindset so that you will feel confident and driven to achieve it too.
3. You pursue goals that don’t align with your values
Not all goals you set can motivate you. If your goals are not what you really want, then they will not drive you into execution.
For example, if you hate accounting but your parents want you to be an accountant, and you make it a goal to study account in school, you will feel miserable.
Unless you develop a passion for accounting, studying something you dislike will make you feel horrible. The subject will become extremely difficult for you and you wonder why your friends can score A’s easily but not you.
This is why you must set goals that align with your values.
Someone who is adventurous will find that visiting a museum to be something boring and unmotivated.
On the other hand, someone who is adventurous will find that hiking is fun and exciting, and they can’t wait to go for it.
Thus, align your goals with your values.
What you can do:
First, identify your core values. You need to understand what type of person you are in order to create goals that are in harmony with your values.
Next, set goals in the area of your core values. What if your goals are not in alignment of your values? Well then, try to adjust and make your goals as close to your values as possible.
If you want to learn more about aligning your goals with your life’s values, read this article from Psychology Today.
4. Lack of autonomy
Imagine working in Google, see yourself walking around the hip and well-designed office space, how do you feel?
One of the main reasons people love to work at Google is because of autonomy. In his best-selling book, Drive, Daniel Pink stated that to be fully motivated, you must be able to control what you do, when you do it, and with whom you do it.
Without autonomy, you will never experience the highest level of motivation.
And according to Pink, autonomy allows us to work creatively without needing to stick to strict workplace rules.
Usually, software and tech companies give their workers more autonomy to develop their own projects. This gives the workers the freedom to try out new things and test new ideas.
Do you know that companies like Google and HP are giving their employees time off to explore their own projects? And that was how 3M researchers invented the Post-It Notes.
According to this article, 3M launched the 15% program in 1948, where the employees were given 15% time off to work on things that drive them. Eventually, they invented the Post-It Notes.
Therefore, give yourself more autonomy so that you will be driven to work creatively.
What you can do:
Allow yourself more autonomy to try out new things. Consider how much autonomy you have in pursuing your goals.
Do you feel confined and constricted by the rules that you set for yourself? Is there any way you can do things differently so that you will have more freedom and feel more driven to take action?
You can always learn from reading the book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
5. You don’t feel excited and challenged
Do you feel excited when you think about your goals? If you don’t, then probably your goals are not challenging enough.
You want to set a goal that is not overly high and not overly easy to achieve.
When you set a goal that is too easy to achieve, you don’t feel the excitement and the challenge.
And when you set a goal that is too difficult to achieve, you only set yourself up to fail because you are not at that level yet.
So, follow the Goldilocks’ Principle.
Make your goals not too difficult nor too easy to achieve. Make the level of difficulty just nice.
You want to feel excited and challenged when you think about your goals.
Most people set goals that either too difficult to achieve that they don’t take any action at all, or they set something too easy to achieve and think to themselves, “Is this all there is?”
What you can do:
Read my previous about the Goldilocks’ Principle and apply this principle to your goals.
6. You are demotivated by loneliness
This happens to a lot of people who work with flexible hours like solopreneurs, bloggers, freelancers, and internet markers.
When you are a lone ranger, you have no one to share your problems and no one to turn to when you are feeling down.
The thing is that we can’t achieve great success all by ourselves. We need help and support from others, including motivation.
Whenever you face obstacles and challenges, there will be others to encourage you. And whenever you are winning, you have people to celebrate your success together.
This is why companies and businesses that started with a group of people are more likely to succeed than those who started by a single founder.
Go get some help, my friend.
What you can do:
Network with others who are sharing a similar vision as you. Make friends with others in the same industry so that you can help each other when needed.
With social media, you can get to know others faster and easier. Join groups and follow the experts in your industry. Learn from them and join meet-ups to know more people whenever possible.
7. You suffer burnout and exhaustion
There is no way you can feel motivated when you are exhausted and suffering burnout.
If you are feeling tired all the time, you will lose your energy to work more productively. You will never have as much motivation to do the work you needed to complete.
This is why taking a break is important. You want to have breaks so that you can relax and recharge yourself to progress further.
Your energy level works like your phone’s battery. When you are fully rested (charged), the bar is full. And as you go through the day, taking action, working, and making decisions, you use your battery and it gets lower as you go.
Eventually, you will run out of battery and your phone will die. Hence, you need to recharge and replenish your energy.
If you want to maintain your motivation throughout the day, make sure you take consistent breaks from time to time.
What you can do:
Take short breaks throughout your day. You want to make sure you stop and recharge yourself when needed. Don’t you think that the weekend is there for a reason?
Therefore, schedule breaks each day, week, month, and even year.
You can use the Pomodoro Technique to recharge yourself each day. Take at least a day off each week. And every year, go for a vacation.
8. You don’t believe it is possible
Some people lack motivation with their goals because they don’t believe in themselves and their goals. They don’t believe that they can actually achieve their goals.
When you don’t believe in something, you will never do it with your full heart. You will “try” instead of making it a commitment.
Two persons can have the same dream, one did nothing because he doesn’t believe it, but another person work on the dream and succeeded because he believes in it.
So, do you believe in yourself and what you want?
When you truly believe in something, you will put in 100% commitment and do it, but if you don’t you will never do it because your mind tells you that it is impossible.
What you can do:
Take small action steps, grow your confidence, and celebrate your progress. More importantly, read more to widen your perspective about what’s possible. If you want to learn more about believing in yourself, read:
9. You lack a strong and emotional purpose
This is a common reason people are not feeling motivated – lack of a strong purpose.
Your reasons behind what you do are the driving forces that motivate you. If you lack the motivation to do something, think about your “why”.
What is the purpose you want to do it? Why do you want to do it in the first place?
The clearer, stronger, and the more emotional your reasons, the more motivated you will be.
Think about it, people who succeed are committed because they have a strong “why”. They don’t just want to succeed, they are absolutely committed about it.
If you are interested, you will do what is convenient. But if you are committed, you will do whatever it takes to get it. This is what separates the successful and the unsuccessful.
What you can do:
Find your why. Find out the purpose of why you want to do what you do. When your reason is strong and powerful, you will be driven by it.
Early, I mentioned Daniel Pink and his book when we talked about autonomy. In fact, Pink shared 3 factors that drive people into action: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
And yes, the purpose is one of the driving forces that motivate you into doing what you do.
10. You are being too contented
Are you being too contented? When you are being too contented, you will lose your motivation to do something because you simply refuse to change.
Please understand that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be contented or be grateful for what you have, but you need to maintain your drive to progress forward in life.
People who are contented with their lives right now usually refuse to make any change because they are being too comfortable with what they have.
Yes, you must appreciate what you have and be grateful with who you are, but at the same time, I believe we all must also strive to live better and to improve.
“Iron rust from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”– Leonardo da Vinci
Water, if you let it stagnant for years, can even become poisonous.
If you are not improving, you are dying. It is hard to accept, but this is the truth. You have to constantly work on improving yourself if you want to live better.
Hence, don’t be overly contented with what you have right now. Always look for ways to improve and learn more.
When you are being too contented, it kills your motivation.
What you can do:
Always look for ways to improve and learn more. Never let yourself be at where you are for too long. Do something different, challenge yourself, and venture out of your comfort zone from time to time.
People become lazy and unmotivated because they become overly contented with their current lives.
Remember, lack of motivation is not a problem, it is merely a symptom. When you don’t feel motivated, maybe one of the 10 common reasons above is the culprit.
Therefore, what you need to do then is to learn how to get rid of the problem so that you will feel motivated again.
Do you like what you read? Let me know in the comment section below.