We all have dry days where we feel completely drained out of energy. Even the simplest thing, like waking up and making your bed in the morning, can seem like a monumental task. During such days, nothing might help you feel better other than curling up on the bed with your hot coffee or binge-watching Netflix shows, ignoring the feeling of being unmotivated with life. However, as cozy as it may sound, that may not be a constructive way to deal with a lack of motivation. If you find yourself struggling to cope with the highs and lows of daily life and have no desire to do anything, you have come to the right place.
According to a National Research Council report, 40% of school students chronically disengage from school due to a lack of motivation and focus.
To stop the same from happening to you, we will bust some serious myths around motivation and give some easy tips to help you deal with lack of motivation.
Is It Possible To Remain Motivated All The Time?
Staying motivated and inspired to become successful in life is a hot topic. Contrary to popular belief, nobody is 100% motivated all the time, not even your influencers who seem so happy and sorted. That’s not the reality.
In fact, we are humans, and we are bound to have days with zero motivation. Perhaps you spend hours surfing through online blogs, Youtube videos, and podcasts on how to gain back the lost motivation. But, unfortunately, even if you try everything suggested on the internet to get back your motivation, at times you miserable fail to overcome it.
It can be frustrating when you lack the desire to carry out your daily tasks. The truth is that the mindset we have to stay motivated for our goals all the time can be unrealistic, unhealthy, and ultimately do more harm than good.
Naturally, we get caught up with our life sometimes, and things get in our way like:
- Family & Relationship problems
- Wellbeing & Mental Illness
- Hormonal & Mood Disorders
- Work & Deadlines
- Simple Human Nature
The thing is, feeling unmotivated is completely normal. So don’t let social media or your influencers fool you.
How Influencers And Celebrities Tackle Lack Of Motivation?
Jennifer Hudson is someone many women look up to. She has a beautiful voice and is highly talented. However, years ago, while in the prime of her fame, she lost three close family members in less than a week. Afterward, she took time away from all of her big goals and dreams to take care of herself.
She got her mind right, and when she was ready, she returned and redirected her passions. While starting a foundation in honor of her fallen nephew, she spoke on forgiveness and love, talked about how unmotivated she was to make music for a long time, but she didn’t force it.
Some celebrities feel their influence or position means they have to stay motivated even when life hits them hard. Eventually, you will stop overworking yourself; instead, that is by choice or your body shutting down on you. We’re all just people.
You’re allowed to not be on it and loving every second of every day. You’ll have days and weeks without actually wanting to do anything. Having periods of feeling unmotivated is normal. Don’t let social media fool you. All of those people you see posting every day, all year, are not happy all day, every day.
The biggest mistake influencers and other content creators make is the illusion they’re always motivated and positive. That’s not reality, and it’s not genuine.
People are looking at influencers even as role models, meaning a certain level of transparency and authenticity is least expected. As an influencer, if you’re not feeling motivated, share it with your followers. Be honest. Don’t set some unrealistic standards that you’re not reaching yourself. Take this belief out of your mind that motivation is constant.
The Psychology Behind Self Motivation
Now, let’s understand what the definition of motivation entails. Motivation means the act of getting the right thing done in different situations. There are four types of motivation.
1. Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic motivation is the motivation that surfaces due to internal rewards. This type of motivation is a behavior that is associated with inner satisfaction, happiness, and contentment.
For instance, an individual who loves playing guitar would engage in such activity because it genuinely gives them joy from within.
2. Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic motivation is the motivation driven by an external reward system and emerges from acquiring money, fame, better grades, or recognition.
For example, a person who is motivated to perform better at the workplace for better pay raises and promotion works from extrinsic motivation.
3. Interjected Motivation
Interjected motivation is the same as intrinsic motivation, but the only difference is it occurs from the space of guilt or shame attached to not completing a task. A prevalent example of Interjected Motivation would be a person who doesn’t enjoy studying doing it for fear of not passing the exams.
4. Identified Motivation
In identified motivation, the individual is aware of the tasks that need to be completed but doesn’t take the necessary steps to carry out the tasks successfully.
Preferably, everyone should work from the space of intrinsic motivation and self-motivation as it allows individuals to work on stuffy with determination and willpower.
In his TEDx speech, Scott Geller exclaims that one can only be self-motivated if they feel empowered. He further declares that self-motivation works only when individuals feel confident, competent, and have a sense of choice in what they are doing.
What To Do When You Have No Desire To Do Anything?
Follow these tips if you ever feel like having no desire to do anything or starting the day seems overwhelming to you. These will enable you to at least show up and get done with your everyday tasks.
1. Listen To Your Brain When Not Motivated
Most of the time that things stop us from going after our goals is the little voice at the back of the mind that always says, “I can’t.” If you give your brain the power to control you, needless to say, you’ll never feel motivated.
This is how many people self-sabotage themselves because they believe motivation is an external factor, whereas it’s the total opposite. The more you feed your brain with positive self-talk and affirmations, the more it will be easy for you to face challenges.
An exciting study also believes in the power of self-talk and its ability to make one feel better. Furthermore, the inner monologues that we constantly tell ourselves shape our outside reality.
Hence, positive self-talk contributes to the growth and fulfilling lifestyle, whereas negative self-talk results in pessimistic behavior.
2. Make A Change
The same routine can make one feel monotonous in life. So perhaps you need to switch something up in your life. For instance, if you’re working from home, maybe you can change your work location from your home to a cute cafe.
Re-evaluating your focus on your goals will provide you with a clear perspective on the changes you need to bring in your life.
3. Take A Break
Sometimes we wear ourselves out trying to be the best at everything. Overworking ourselves and making excuses from self-care is really problematic in today’s hustle culture. And before you know it, the feeling of burnout bombards you.
A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health in 2019 states that people who belong to the toxic Japanese work culture are more prone to Cerebrovascular, cardiovascular diseases (CCVDs), and mental disorders, including suicide.
This is shocking considering the adverse effects of overwork on the overall well-being of the employee.
As a consequence, your body shuts down on you and puts you in a position where there’s no other option than to take a break. So, before that happens, ensure you’re getting enough rest.
Maybe go on a mini gateway during the weekend. Stress at work can significantly diminish your emotional health, resulting in depression.
However, many professionals suggest traveling to their clients since research concludes traveling helps escape from the hopelessness of the depressed state.
4. Practice Discipline
It’s in those states where you lack the motivation that you do your most growing. You learn discipline because you’re forced to do things despite how you may feel. It puts you in fight or flight mode and teaches you how to fight when your body wants to retreat.
You also learn about what makes you tick. Some of us aren’t aware of our limits, so we push until our bodies let us know. That gives you the perimeters to work within the future. It’ll keep you from overworking yourself because you’ll know when you need to take a minute to make sure you’re right.
For example, Selena Gomez, after her big tour around the world in 2016, took a break to make sure she was checking in with herself.
She knew her limits after years of being in the industry and going through specific struggles. Now, she makes sure that her cup isn’t empty to continue giving it to her fans.
5. Slow Down
As much as you love listening to inspirational and motivating podcasts, motivation can’t be forced down your throat when your body and brain are begging you to take a pause.
Once in a while, feelings of sloth are normal. We’re all human, and we weren’t meant to work ourselves to death. However, if you find yourself unmotivated and the regular boost isn’t working, stop for a second. Take some time to look into yourself and do some checking to make sure you’re good.
6. Set SMART Goals
It’s natural to feel no desire to do anything when there’s a massive pile-up of pending tasks in front of you. That is why setting small goals is essential as it boosts your actions towards achieving something.
For instance, a study by Columbia University found that people are motivated to work harder when they are closer to their goals.
Hence, knowing how to set goals and achieve them can propel an individual from getting out of the slump and work optimally.
7. Have A Proper Sleep Routine
Sleep plays a crucial role in keeping our physical as well as mental health strong. A good sleep routine, for instance, aids in the mending and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Conversely, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke are all connected to chronic sleep deprivation.
In one of his podcasts, renowned life coach and author Jay Shetty mentioned that humans should sleep before midnight. He believes that sleep also works. Make it a habit to sleep 7 to 8 hours. Research by NCBI states people who sleep 7 hours a night live longer than those who sleep less.
Another New York Times bestseller author Robin Sharma in his book The 5 AM Club, mentions the importance of sleep before midnight. He says that sleep allows neurons or nerve cells to reconstruct themselves. He mentions how the glymphatic (waste clearing) system in your brain clears waste from the central nervous system as you sleep. It clears your brain of harmful byproducts that accumulate throughout the day. This enables your brain to function accurately when you wake up.
8. Include Exercise
Exercising enables one to release all the pent-up frustration and aggression. It allows us to clear our minds from unnecessary thoughts and focus on ourselves.
Exercising before or after work, school, college takes our minds off things and boosts our energy. So try to include exercising as a part of your everyday routine.
9. Avoid Negativity
Avoid negativity in all forms. Be it through an app or because of a person. Avoid it entirely and shut these negative triggers out of your life. Negativity causes hindrance and leads to a lack of motivation.
10. Connect With Friends
Connect with friends you have faith and trust in. Reside in them about your lack of motivation. So often, humans need a boost from their loved ones to connect with their purpose and move on in life.
Make sure you reach out to only those friends who positively impact your life and motivates you to do your best. Friends help change us for the better or worse.
Can Self-discipline Help Combat Lack Of Motivation?
One can establish self-discipline whenever one lacks motivation. Motivation is a feeling, and feelings are always fleeting. On the other hand, self-discipline enables you to push your boundaries irrespective of how motivated you feel to do so.
One can work even without motivation with the presence of self-discipline in life.
We can work and get going in our lives without the presence of motivation if only one has self-discipline.
It isn’t easy to start anything without motivation. However, when inspiration isn’t working, you’ll need to rely on self-discipline. Self-control and consistency are crucial, yet they’re tough to attain. Perhaps it’s because we identify them with hardship, rigidity, and a lack of enjoyment.
Therefore, it becomes essential to develop self-discipline in life. It is what enables us to keep going in life even with the absence of motivation.
People complain about not having enough motivation to start or even finish pending tasks, but those with self-discipline do not sit back and instead do the task that requires their attention.
To develop self-discipline, one may take help of the following points:
Choose Your Goals
To start the journey of self-discipline, one may choose a goal they wish to fulfill. Then, focus on that goal, as it will motivate you to move forward even on bad days.
Remember, it is the bad days that count. Go out and hustle. Never let these bad days stop you and your progress.
Find Your Motivation
Finding motivation can help us in shaping self-discipline. But, first, find out what motivates you. You can do so by looking at your goals and aspirations.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, set the desired weight you wish to achieve. Write it down somewhere for you to see every day and so that it becomes a reminder. People also put up pictures of their idols and celebrities they like and wish to have physic like them. This acts as an inspiration and motivates one to keep on going on. They use the process of imitation either consciously or subconsciously. Imitation allows us to learn things more things quickly and efficiently.
Identify the obstacles that restrict you from achieving self-discipline. It can be a social media app, a person a TV show. Identify these first and then eliminate them from your life.
Replace Old Habits
Replace unhealthy habits with new healthy ones. For instance, change unhealthy habits of eating fast with eating healthy protein-rich food.
Stubborn addictive habits are one of the hindrances that stop us from becoming self-discipline.
Monitor Your Progress
Observe your progress and keep a tab on it. There are a lot of apps to monitor progress, or you can do it manually as well.
Monitoring progress shows us how much we have achieved and how much more is required to reach the desired goal. Looking back at the progress made always motivates people to go forward.
Life is about balance.
Christina Aguilera talked about this when she spoke about how much she needed breaks away from filming her favorite show, The Voice. Life is more than work or goal chasing. There’s family, friends, and just enjoying life in general. So if you’re losing motivation for one thing, maybe that means you need to reconnect with something else.
At the end of the day, we have to take care of ourselves. Being an entrepreneur is not an excuse to neglect physical and mental health. So don’t expect to feel motivated 24/7. You won’t, and that’s okay.
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Key Takeaways On Dealing With No Motivation
- Lacking motivation is a common phenomenon that every individual struggles with once in a while.
- In fact, 40% of high-school students are chronically disengaged from school due to having no desire to focus on their academics.
- However, lack of motivation results from having a negative mindset.
- It’s a myth that people can be 100% motivated all the time and not feel defeated with life.
- Even famous influencers and celebrities like Jenifer Anniston also take a break to recharge and refuel them for upcoming challenges.
- Furthermore, motivation is the act of getting things done in different situations.
- There are four types of motivation: Intrinsic, Extrinsic, Introjected, and Identified Motivation.
- Ideally, people can be self-motivated if they feel empowered, competent, confident, and have a sense of choice in what they do.
- People can have motivation if they embrace the power of positive self-talk and affirmations.
- Additionally, making a change in your mundane routine and taking a break can freshen up your mind in the long run.
- Practice discipline, and don’t forget to take a pause when your body demands. Not doing it will lead to adverse health and psychological consequences.
- Lastly, set SMART and small goals that don’t overwhelm you while doing day-to-day activities.
- Try and avoid negativity in your life.
- Inculcate a healthy sleep routine in place.
- Connect with your friend who motivates you to do better in life.
- Remember, it is the self-discipline that keeps one going even in the absence of motivation.
What Causes A Lack Of Motivation?
Some common causes of lacking motivation are:
- Physical health issues.
How To Deal With Having No Desire To Do Anything?
- Embrace positive self-talk in your life.
- Make a change in your daily routine.
- Take a break by going on a mini-vacation.
- Slow down and give your mind and body enough rest.
- Set small and achievable goals.
- Incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
- Stay away from negativity.
- Have a proper sleep routine.
- Connect with your friends.