Do you find it difficult to get motivated when undertaking the activities you want? Is lack of motivation preventing you from achieving the dreams you wish to accomplish?
Consider what is holding you back and if the first answer is external factors (lack of time, skills), think again. Although these can be present too sometimes, what it really comes down to lack of self-motivation.
What is Self-Motivation?
Most self-motivation definitions concern the ability to keep going even when you are challenged, and to keep doing what needs to be done without being influenced by other people or situations.
What Can Lead to Lack of Motivation?
The most common causes leading to lack of motivation can be: Depression, anxiety, fear of failure, trying to please everyone, you don’t trust yourself, social media, negative self-talk, lack of clarity, lack of autonomy or that maybe you are just not passionate enough about what you do.
Other causes include:
- Stress can have a severe negative impact on your motivation. Anxiety and depression can be caused by stress, and can lead to a lack of motivation when dealing with even small daily tasks.
- Burnout – a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion which can be caused by long periods of stress.
- Boredom – being stuck in a routine can take away the excitement factor, which comes from having a sense of meaning and purpose.
- Not having clear goals – which can lead to confusion and uncertainty.
- Limited beliefs – like “I am not good enough, not old or young enough”, “I am not enough”, I don’t have enough…” – can undermine your self-confidence, can stop you for trying something new and can cause stress and unhealthy habits which can lead to lower personal or professional performance.
Steps to Develop Your Self-Motivation
- You cannot rely solely on friends, people around you, or situations to influence your motivation. You have to do the work. Take responsibility for your life. Make sure you take care of the underlying issues that stop you from making progress.
- Find a goal that Inspires you, that brings you joy. Find your why behind your actions – why do you choose/want that relationship, that job?
- Let yourself be inspired by others. Look around and read about people that you admire, about their struggles and how they overcome their challenges.
- Move your body. I cannot recommend this enough. Energy moves when you move. It doesn’t have to be an intense fitness training – it can be a walk in the woods or dancing to your favourite song.
- Change your thoughts and your limited beliefs. When you notice yourself criticising yourself or others, stop, breathe, and think about three qualities you or the ones you judge have. Remind yourself of the things you have done well so far and the things you are good at.
- Increasing the level of discipline through mental focus. You can wake up every day one hour earlier than normal, make your bed before leaving the bedroom, stay one week without sugar, etc. Introduce something into your life routine that feels a bit uncomfortable and put the effort into it everyday.
- Discover the things that excite you, that make you feel full of energy and focused towards achieving your objectives.
The ability to maintain our motivation enables us to take advantage of opportunities and show our commitment to what we want to achieve. Motivation is what drives us to achieve our goals, feel more fulfilled, and improve our overall quality of life. Understanding and developing self-motivation can help us take control of many aspects of our lives.
You cannot control or choose all the circumstances you need to face, but you can choose how to react when facing these.
What effective self-motivation techniques do you have?