otivation, the topic of so many studies, self-help books, seminars and the like, is still very abstract for us to grasp and sometimes even talking about it with other people seems like an awkward exercise.
However, it’s as important to understand where our motivation comes from as to have a plan of action for when tough times arise that may result in us losing it. If you are feeling unmotivated lately, just keep reading, this article is for you!
Why do we lose our motivation?
The world is moving faster and faster and with that a sense of everything becoming “instant” just feels very normal – instant messaging, instant payments, instant rewards. We are becoming increasingly impatient when we get into this whirlpool of instant gratification.
It is not a surprise then that most people feel they cannot meet any long term goals they set for themselves because they get depressed and unmotivated when they are not seeing instant results. Cultivating patience is therefore becoming ever so important.
Pressure to perform
Have you ever felt so motivated and inspired to take on a challenge but midway between starting it and completing it there is a very sudden drop in your motivation levels and you just drop the challenge? Pressure to perform well either from yourself or others is what may be causing it!
Remember that you are only responsible for taking the action or doing the task, so let go of the responsibility for the outcome. Trust that you have given your best and the result will be good enough.
Procrastination and motivation are intrinsically linked and inversely proportional. When the levels of motivation are high in the sky, the energy that makes us take action flows naturally and we are least likely to procrastinate.
Procrastination is a habit and like any other habit we can learn to overcome it. Simply stop routinely procrastinating and you will feel an instant motivational boost.
How to take your motivation to the next level?
Whilst understanding what causes motivation levels to drop to the floor is valuable learning in itself, knowing how to boost your own motivation is the golden key to long term performance. A practical tip is to have a list of tried and tested motivation-boosters that you know will definitely work for you. Here are some good examples that we have tested:
We all know the old mantra “Mind over matter” but when we are feeling down that same mind is filled with doubt and negativity. Before we start boosting it, we must clear it. Writing in a diary, meditation, yoga or simply going for a walk without your phone are all very easy practical ways to create head space for motivational thoughts.
Motivation requires a challenge to manifest itself and therefore if you want your motivation to be high all the time, you need to be constantly challenging yourself. Setting up and following a training schedule to boost your fitness or learning to play a musical instrument – challenge yourself with a long term goal that requires you to dedicate time to train for every day.
Mingle with motivated people
It is not a secret that we tend to naturally pick up emotions from the people around us. Why not use this purposefully? Think about who are your most motivated friends or colleagues and arrange to see them more often. It’s incredibly hard to be negative in a group of positive, motivated people so your brain will quickly make the switch.
Divide and Conquer
Old as time, the divide and conquer strategy is what made the Roman Empire expand into Europe and Africa and may well be what will help you conquer your motivation. If you feel a particular project is unclear, hard or complicated, don’t try to swallow the elephant. Instead, break it into smaller tasks and you will get a nice motivation boost every time you complete even the smallest bit.
It has been proven time and time again that the method of the carrot is far more efficient than the method of the stick when it comes to motivation. Instead of beating yourself up for failing, incentivise yourself by setting small rewards for every task you successfully completed. The feeling of achievement mixed with the pleasure of the reward is what is guaranteed to boost your motivation even further!
Long before our modern days, scientists and philosophers have tried to find out what drives us, what makes us do the things we do and persist in the pursuit of our passions.
Modern experts suggest that motivation is indeed just like any other muscle, albeit an invisible one. The more you train it, the stronger it becomes. If you find that you have fallen off the motivation train, don’t worry – it’s not hard or impossible to get back on it!