What it means to be unmotivated
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word unmotivated as an adjective, meaning "not having interest in or enthusiasm for something, especially work or study." So if you say that you are feeling unmotivated, you are describing yourself as someone who has lost their enthusiasm, be it for your life, work, study or play.
Feeling unmotivated can be quite upsetting. It can be a confusing time, especially if you don't often struggle to find motivation. So you often do various things to overcome it, such as:
- Read as many motivational quotes you can find
- You read books
- You listen to audiobooks...
Unfortunately, nothing seems to stick. You feel better for a day or two, and then you're back to the beginning. You are struggling to find the spark of motivation that will stay.
- Sometimes in life it is hard to get started.
- Sometimes it is hard to continue.
- Sometimes it is hard to finish.
The importance of motivation
Whatever stage you are in, you need one thing to complete it successfully: motivation. Motivation is the cornerstone for success, no matter what you are doing.
But what do you do when motivation seems so hard to pin down? And you keep asking yourself why? Why is it so difficult to stay motivated? Asking yourself questions is a good start, but don't be harsh on yourself.
Instead, focus on doing some soul-searching. Have a look at your thought process and see if you can discover what you have been thinking about yourself. What have you been thinking about the task that you struggle to find motivation for?
You don't need to tap into anything external to find your motivation. You have the ability to motivate yourself and its all within you.
Three soul-searching methods
Below are 3 main questions to help you with your soul-searching. These concepts are major game changers when it comes to feeling unmotivated:
- How grateful are you for your incredible life?
When was the last time you thought about your life and how grateful you are for what you already have? Ingratitude and motivation are sworn enemies! Once you get caught in the trap of thinking that what you already have is not enough, it becomes difficult to keep going.
If you are so busy peering over the neighbours fence, you forget to appreciate what you already have. This trap is a dangerous one and must be attended to first if you want to rediscover your motivation within.
Being ungrateful robs you of your satisfcation of your own life. You'll begin to see it as not worth having. This redirects your attention and focus. Now you forget to do what is important. So make a list of what you are grateful for. Do it everyday! I know, you already know this, but I challenge you to do it anyway! So make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Go on, jot them down.
Alright, lets not just focus on stuff. How about the people you are grateful for? List them too. The beauty in the world? Write it down. How about access to clean water and a warm bed? Two strong legs to take you from A to B and anywhere else in between? After a couple of minutes of listing, you'll begin to see that there is so much to be grateful for.
Now go one step further. Think about this: who is grateful for YOU? Is your family grateful for the role you play in providing for them? What about your garden? I'll bet it "feels" grateful that you water it regularly and remove the weeds. Gratitude and motivation work in harmony. As soon as you begin to express gratitude for the things and people around you, it becomes easier to motivate your actions. Take note of how your motivation levels change once you become more grateful. I think it will really surprise you.
- How much is on your to-do list?
Do you ever feel that most days your to-do list is seemingly endless and EVERYTHING is urgent and important? All you know that is everything needs to be done. And you feel absolutely no motivation to do anything, when there is so much to do!
Ever sit at work and just blank out because there is so many things that have to be done and scrolling through your Facebook feed is all you can manange. So you spend most of the day on Facebook, then before you know it the day is over! Now you are frantic and sleepless because you haven't done everything you were supposed to do today.
Life can feel overwhelming at times. This is when you actually have to do less. Yes, you read correctly, I said LESS. Remove, delegate and simplify! What responsibilities can you get rid of? What trips can you get out of? What websites can you stop visiting? What books can you stop reading? Who can help you?
Most problems can be fixed by taking something away instead of adding something else. Once you have less on your plate, you can now organise these tasks. Make sure to schedule time to complete every one of these tasks. You’ll instantly see the improvement in your motivation levels since you now know what you have to do and how you are going to do it.
This may take some adjustment, especially if you are accustomed to doing everything yourself. Give yourself the space and freedom to be human. Feeling less overwhelmed can help your motivation levels because you will now feel capable of covering everything you need to do, with some time to spare to just breathe.
- When was the last time you took your time?
Do you believe that patience is a virtue? Or is it "impatience is a virtue"? Not sure? These days, we are always in a hurry. But if you’re driven by impatience, burnout is just around the corner. If you’re impatient, you won’t take the time required to make anything worthwhile.
How can you expect to be motivated to do something and do it well, if you don't believe it's worthwhile?! Being patient does not mean that you can’t get things done quickly. It simply means taking the time to do whatever you are doing properly. Practising patience with yourself, with others and with the task at hand is vital to keeping yourself motivated.
Impatience is the treacherous thing that creeps up when we hurry. Impatience is what makes us drop the ball because we’ve already moved on to the next task before properly completing the one before us. Impatience scatters our brain and disorganizes our thoughts, because it’s afraid of the present. It’s afraid that at every moment you should be further along than you already are.
Taking time to accept the present and to accept that what you are doing now is enough, is very powerful. If you believe that you are doing your best now, your motivation for what you are doing will soar. The reason for this is due to your higher self-confidence levels.
Don't compare yourself to others as this will fuel your impatience. Rather focus on what you are doing and where you are going. Writing down your goals and taking time to celebrate at each milestone achieved will be very motivating. You will also feel rewarded for taking the time and patience to master your craft. Don't let impatience rob you of the motivation available to you now.
Feeling unmotivated can be difficult to overcome. By looking internally and asking yourself these 3 questions can help you uncover why you have been feeling unmotivated. Think about what you are grateful for. Ask yourself what can be removed from your to-do list. And don't forget that patience really is a virtue! The key is to know that what you are doing, whether its your job, your degree or even your homework, is worthwhile!
If you still feel stuck after asking yourself these 3 things, don't worry! Motivation Coaching can offer even more advanced tools to help you learn how to motivate yourself! Click on my profile and sign in for a free coaching session to get you started.