Why do I lose motivation so easily? If you’re asking this question over and over again, then you might want to read this.
When was the last time you felt motivated? It may not seem like it every day, but it’s no secret: we all lose motivation from time to time. Sometimes we just get tired of working toward our goals, and sometimes we feel unmotivated because we’ve hit a plateau.
There are many reasons why we lose motivation, but many of us will probably agree that lack of clarity is the biggest reason. Or is it the absence of ambition? Regardless of the biggest reason for why we lose motivation, it’s essential to understand what causes this problem so you can find solutions — and fast!
In this article, I’ll share with you the 14 common reasons why we lose motivation and how to overcome each one. If this sounds like something you’re struggling with, keep reading for our list of motivation tips.
What is motivation, and how does it work?
According to the Cambridge dictionary, motivation is the “willingness to do something, or something that causes such willingness.”
In other words, real motivation is what drives us to do things. It’s what makes us want to achieve our goals.
On the other hand, the lack of motivation may cause us to be less willing to do things, which means we barely have any desire to accomplish anything at all. So, if you don’t have enough motivation, you might be more likely to procrastinate, avoid tasks, or even give up on your dreams altogether.
There’s a fine line that separates motivation from inspiration. Read this article for more information.
Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation
There are two primary sources of motivation: we have intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
The first one, intrinsic motivation, as the name implies, comes from within ourselves. It’s the desire to do something because we enjoy it or believe it’s important. In other words, it ties in with our intrinsic behavior and personality.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, comes from external factors. It’s the desire to do something because we want to get a reward, avoid punishment, or any other form of consequence from external factors.
External motivation can come in many forms, sometimes even in the form of motivational quotes or positive affirmations. But more often than not, they come from several other sources.
Intrinsic Motivations vs. Extrinsic Motivations: which is better?
Both intrinsic motivations and extrinsic motivations are important. Intrinsic motivation is often more powerful because it’s self-sustaining. Once we’re motivated to do something because we enjoy it or believe it’s essential, we’re more likely to keep doing it even when there are setbacks, obstacles, and challenges.
Extrinsic motivation is also important, though. It can provide the initial push we need to get started on something and help us stay motivated when our intrinsic motivations begin to flag.
Nonetheless, both sources of inspiration and motivation can have massive impacts on your life.
Why do we lose motivation?
Motivation is an incredibly complex topic. In fact, the psychology behind motivation, including the theories of motivation, has been studied by psychologists extensively for decades. But, as far as I know, no one has ever come up with a definitive list of why we lose motivation or how we develop unmotivated behavior.
That said, here are some of the most common reasons why our levels of motivation dwindle from time to time:
1. Lack of self-value
One of the most common reasons people struggle with lost motivation is that they don’t see the value in themselves. They don’t believe that they’re capable of achieving their goals. This lack of self-value can be caused by various things, including low self-esteem, past failures, and negative emotions caused by other people’s opinions.
People pleasers are notoriously known for having low motivation levels because they don’t see the value in themselves. So, if you are one, you might need to change things up a bit so you can start seeing your worth.
Remember, if you don’t believe that you’re capable of achieving your goals, it’s going to be very difficult to stay motivated. And if you don’t think you’re worth anything, it’s unlikely that anyone else will either.
If you’re struggling with overcoming negative thoughts, you might want to check these out:
2. Lack of purpose
Another common reason why people lose the sense of motivation is that they don’t have a clear purpose. In other words, they’re not 100% sure why they’re doing what they’re doing. Clarity is vital for motivation. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, it’s easy to become distracted by side issues, lose focus, and eventually give up.
So how do you know if you have a clear purpose? An excellent way to test this is to ask yourself why you’re doing something. If you can’t answer the question, or if your answer is something like “I don’t know,” then you probably need to work on clarifying your purpose.
3. Lack of commitment
Another common reason why people have an absence of motivation is that they’re not fully committed to their goals. They’re not willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them, and their dedication dwindles, especially during the toughest times.
Part of the reason why commitment is so important is that it helps us overcome setbacks. When we’re committed to our goals, we’re more likely to keep going even when things get tough.
If you want to be successful in life, you must commit to your goals and stick with them no matter what happens. If you don’t have a strong sense of commitment, you’ll probably find it hard to stay motivated, much less take action towards your goals.
4. Lack of direction
Just like a lack of purpose, a lack of direction can lead to an absence of motivation. Because let’s face it: if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s easy to get lost and give up.
A lack of direction is often caused by a lack of planning. If you don’t take the time to plan your route to your goal, it’s easy to get sidetracked, discouraged, or even lost.
Planning and knowing your actionable directions helps you stay on track, prevents you from getting distracted, and gives you something to look forward to. It also makes sure that you have everything you need along the way.
5. You lack support from the people around you
One of the most critical factors in motivation is social support. And because we, humans, are naturally social beings, there’s no doubt that the people around us have a considerable influence on our sense of motivation.
If the people around us are negative and doubtful, it will be tough to stay motivated. On the other hand, if they are positive and supportive, their support can become a form of extrinsic motivation that keeps us focused and determined. That’s why it’s essential to surround yourself with positive, supportive people who align with your values and vision.
6. Your lifestyle affects your motivation.
Believe it or not, unhealthy lifestyle choices can lead to a loss of motivation. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much stress can all contribute to a loss of motivation. Worse, these things often lead to a vicious cycle and could seep into your daily routine.
For example, if you’re not eating healthy, you’re going to have less energy, which is going to make it harder to stay motivated. And if you cannot stay motivated, you’re more likely to make bad choices, like skipping workouts or eating junk food.
If you find that your lack of motivation stems from an unhealthy lifestyle or a bad habit, it’s essential to make some changes as soon as possible. Start by eating healthy and exercising regularly. These changes will help you feel better and give you the energy you need to stay motivated.
I’ve also written extensively about this topic. If you’d like to learn how you can increase your energy and motivation to their optimal levels, check this out.
7. Your goals intimidate you.
Goals are supposed to be challenging, but if they’re too difficult, they can actually lead to a loss of motivation. When our goals seem impossible, it’s easy to give up and lose hope.
The key is to find the right balance between challenging and achievable. If your goals are too easy, you’ll get bored. But if they’re almost impossible to achieve, you might get discouraged. It’s crucial to find a balance that works for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating exciting goals and effective goal-setting, read this article.
8. You are doing too many things at once.
When we try to do too many things at once, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose motivation. Why? Because when you’re doing too many things at once, you may lose focus and do a lot of things half-heartedly.
If you’re losing motivation because you’re trying to do too many things, it’s essential to focus on simplifying your life. Pick a few things that are important to you and focus on those. Let go of the rest or leave them for later.
Prioritizing and effectively managing your energy levels throughout the day can also do magic for your productivity and motivation.
9. Mental health issues
Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can lead to a loss of motivation and even inaction. When we’re dealing with these issues, it’s hard to find the energy to do anything, much less the desire to achieve our goals. Or it could be the other way around. Loss of motivation could be one of the most common symptoms of an underlying mental health issue.
If you think your lack of motivation may be due to a mental health issue (or the other way around), it’s essential to seek help from a mental health professional. A mental health professional can help you identify the root of your problem and give you the tools you need to deal with it.
10. You’re impatient.
Results don’t happen overnight; if you expect them to, you will be disappointed. When we’re impatient, it’s easy to give up when we don’t see results immediately.
To stay motivated, it’s important to be patient and understand that success takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are most goals. It takes time, effort, and dedication to achieve anything worthwhile. If you’re not willing to work toward your goal, then why should anyone else trust you with theirs?
11. Procrastination is your #1 enemy.
Procrastination is the number one enemy of motivation. When we procrastinate, we’re putting off doing what we need to do to achieve our goals. And the longer we put something off, the harder it is to start.
If you want to stay motivated, it’s important to learn how to overcome procrastination. You can use several techniques, but the most important thing is just getting started. Once you start taking action, it will be easier to keep going.
It might be helpful to know that procrastination isn’t the only productivity killer, though. There are several other hidden productivity killers; if you’d like to learn more about them, check this out.
12. Fear affects your motivation.
Fear is powerful — so powerful that it can actually lead to a loss of motivation. When we’re afraid of something, we’re less likely to take risks and try new things. We might even avoid doing things altogether.
Fear can be paralyzing, but it’s important to remember that it’s just a feeling. It doesn’t have to control you.
If you find that fear is holding you back, it’s essential to face it head-on. Or better yet, talk with a mental health professional to help you address your worries and concerns.
13. Analysis paralysis
When we overthink things, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. We might become so focused on making the perfect decision that we never actually make a decision at all. This is what’s known as analysis paralysis.
If you’re struggling with motivation due to analysis paralysis, you can take a different approach to making decisions. Instead of agonizing over every detail, try to look at things from different perspectives. See if there are various ways to approach the situation and devise an actionable plan.
And yes, sometimes, it only takes a shift in perspective to change everything.
Again, if your thoughts prevent you from taking action, it’s always best to consult with a mental health professional.
14. Old routines and habits get in the way of achieving what you want.
Routines and habits are comfortable because they’re familiar. But it’s time for a change if your routines and habits keep you from achieving your goals.
Because get this: a single bad habit can derail your entire life. That’s why breaking old patterns and developing new ones is vital.
How exactly? Break out of your comfort zone and try new things. That doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your life completely, but it does mean shaking things up a bit and being uncomfortable for a while. Just incorporate refreshing routines into your daily routine and watch how much progress you’ll make.
Remember, when trying to break free of old habits, don’t expect perfection immediately. Just focus on small steps towards your goal. As long as you’re moving forward, you’ll eventually reach your destination.
10 Things You Can Do Right Away to Keep Yourself Motivated
When you’re not motivated, it can be hard to get started on anything – let alone work on the things you need to do. But there are some simple things you can do to get yourself moving again. Here are ten things you can do right away to keep yourself motivated:
1. Understand your purpose.
Why are you doing what you’re doing? What is your goal?
When you know your purpose and understand your deepest why, staying motivated is easier. When you feel like giving up, remind yourself of your purpose and what you’re working towards. A good purpose can do wonders for your life. So if you haven’t figured yours out yet, now’s the time!
Note: Purpose is a complex topic on its own. That’s why I love how it’s thoroughly explained in this book. Give it a read, and you’ll soon understand why YOUR WHY can help you reach even your wildest dreams.
2. Set realistic but exciting goals.
It’s important to have something to strive for, but if your goals are too lofty or unrealistic, you’re likely to get discouraged quickly. (Yes, in a way, there are toxic goals as well).
Break down your biggest goals into smaller, more achievable goals so you can feel a sense of accomplishment along the way.
Or, if you don’t have a set of goals yet, it would be a great idea if you could start working on having that goal-oriented behavior. It will help you become more productive and successful.
If you’re still a little lost on how you can set realistic (but exciting) short-term and long-term goals, here’s an article to get you started.
Remember, the lack of ambition and goals can be just as detrimental to your success as the opposite. Sadly, if you don’t have any plans, chances are you won’t achieve them either.
3. Start with a plan.
One of the best ways to get motivated is to have a plan. When you know what you need to do and how you’re going to do it, it’s much easier to get started. So take some time to figure out your actionable steps before you start working.
If you’re having difficulty strategizing, work with someone with experience in planning. They can help you develop an action plan that works for you.
4. Make sure you have a Plan B, C, D…and so on.
Let’s face it: plans don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes you’ll hit obstacles and setbacks along the way. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay.
What you can do, though, is to be at least ready when those inevitable moments occur. Have a backup plan just in case things don’t go as planned. If you know you’re going to run late, leave early. Or maybe you want to avoid certain situations altogether. Whatever it is, make sure you’ve got a plan B, C, D, etc., in place.
Remember, it’s better to have backups that you won’t need when things go smoothly than be unprepared when they don’t. So, if you often feel unmotivated, don’t just devise a plan… make several! Because you’ll never know when you might need one.
5. Find a role model or mentor.
You’ve probably heard from successful people that the fastest way to learn something new is by watching someone else do it. And while that may be true, sometimes we also benefit from learning from others’ experiences.
Find someone, a motivated person, who inspires you and ask them about their motivation. Maybe they had a rough day yesterday and didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Ask them how they got through it. How did they motivate themselves? What was their secret?
Or, perhaps you’d rather talk to someone who’s already accomplished what you want to achieve. Maybe you admire their success and would like to emulate their habits. Either way, talking to people who inspire you will give you ideas on how to keep motivated.
Who knows? They might be able to teach you a thing or two about staying motivated. They can also be a great source of external motivation, so don’t hesitate to seek advice from them.
6. Be accountable.
Accountability is often thrown around these days, but it seems that many people forget why it’s such a powerful tool.
Accountability is simply being responsible for your actions. For example, if you promise to exercise every morning, then you should actually exercise every morning. If you say you’re going to read this book, then you should actually read this book. Accountability means taking responsibility for your actions and following through with them.
When you’re accountable, you’re less likely to procrastinate because you know there’s an immediate consequence for not doing what you said you would. That’s why accountability is so important. It gives us a reason to beat procrastination or any other challenge and do what needs to be done.
7. Get rid of distractions.
Distractions get in the way of productivity and motivation. So take some time to identify your distractions and find ways to eliminate them. Whether it’s turning off your notifications, working in a different environment, or setting strict limits for yourself, getting rid of distractions will help you stay focused and motivated.
Eliminating these distractions from your daily life can be difficult, but it’s worth it.
Interested in getting rid of distractions and becoming more motivated and productive than ever? Check this out.
8. Divide and conquer.
Sometimes, the best way to overcome obstacles is to break them down into smaller tasks. This helps you focus on each task separately instead of trying to tackle everything all at once.
Let’s say you’re supposed to finish writing a novel in 3 months. Instead of trying to write the entire book in just a few days, you may want to divide the work up into smaller chunks. Perhaps you’ll write one chapter per week. Or maybe you’ll want to incorporate novel writing into your daily tasks. Whatever works for you. The point is, breaking down large projects into smaller ones makes them look less intimidating and easier to complete.
That’s the power of dividing and conquering.
So, whenever you feel overwhelmed, try to break down your project into smaller pieces. Then, tackle one piece at a time. And when you’ve completed that piece, move on to the next. Eventually, you’ll soon find yourself completing your whole project.
9. Take breaks.
It might sound counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually do more for you, your productivity, and, most importantly, your motivation.
And by breaks, we don’t just mean a few minutes in between tasks. We’re talking about taking a scheduled, full-on vacation. A vacation where you disengage entirely from whatever you’re working on.
Taking a break doesn’t have to be as extreme as a long weekend away. But it does need to be something that allows you to step back from your current situation and think about things differently.
Take a break from your current project and see how much better you feel after having a little bit of space. But also, remember to be strategic about it so you won’t encounter problems along the way.
Here’s a good read about taking breaks and having fun so you can do more and be on your way to success.
10. Keep going and have fun!
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but it’s important to remember that you can do it! And while you’re working hard, do your best to enjoy every moment of it.
Because the truth is, nothing beats the feeling of doing something you simply enjoy doing. It gives you enough motivation and drive to get through anything.
So, if you’re feeling unmotivated, try to look at your job from a different angle. Are you sure you’re not enjoying what you do? Chances are, there’s something about it that makes you feel fulfilled.
Maybe you love interacting with people. Maybe you like solving puzzles. Or maybe you just really enjoy the challenge of learning new skills.
Whatever it is, keep looking for it. Because chances are, you’ll find it somewhere along the line.
But if you don’t, perhaps it’s about time to reassess things. Maybe you should consider changing jobs or industries entirely. But for now, try to appreciate what you already have. Who knows? You might discover that you truly love what you do.
Final Thoughts on Why Do I Lose Motivation So Easily?
Losing motivation is something we all go through from time to time. But it’s important to understand why it happens and what you can do about it. There are many reasons people lose motivation, but some of the most common include not having a clear purpose, setting unrealistic goals, or being bogged down by distractions.
Now that you know what real motivation is, how it works, and what causes it to fade, you can take steps to prevent it from happening. The next time you lose motivation, remind yourself of your goals and why you’re doing what you’re doing. And if things start to feel overwhelming, take a break or break down your tasks into smaller pieces. In other words, follow the motivation tips above to get your motivation back on track!
Remember, real motivation is key to achieving your goals. So don’t give up, keep going, and have fun!
Got motivation tips or an effective method that gives you tons of motivation? Share them in the comments below!
Or, if you’re interested in living your ideal life or learning about things like personal development, self-improvement opportunities, productivity, motivation, and more, sign up with our newsletter below.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Creativity Mesh.