How You Can Find Motivation
Questions I am asked every day: How can I find motivation to do well in school? How can I find motivation to go outside? I have no motivation to do anything anymore. How I find motivation to amount to anything before my life ends? How can I find motivation again?
I know all of you are either in pain, depressed, afraid, tired or just plain lost. Guess what? You’re not alone. I speak to people in this situation every single day. And you ARE going to find your motivation!
Let’s start by establishing that there are 2 main types of motivation:
Intrinsic motivation comes from within you, from your own desires, dreams, and wishes. You are motivated to do something because it is enjoyable, interesting, fulfilling and you don’t expect any reward or recognition for doing the activity. For example, you work out at the gym every morning because you feel good and you like the way you look in the mirror.
Extrinsic motivation comes from external sources like money, rewards, the desires of others. In our example, you might be working out every day because your girlfriend wants you to get in shape or your doctor told you if you don’t lose the weight, you’re in danger of becoming diabetic.
Intrinsic motivation is more powerful, long-term and sustainable. However, the goal you’re motivated to achieve can’t be easy, or else you’ll soon tire of doing it. It has to be something POSSIBLE but CHALLENGING. Our guy in the example is working out to get those six-pack abs. If it were easy, his motivation to work out every day would soon wane. Since it’s NOT easy, he keeps going back every day, it’s a challenge, but every week he sees his abs getting more definition and that not only improves his self-esteem but keeps him going back to the gym to see even better results.
Competition can be another factor of intrinsic motivation, where you derive satisfaction and pride from comparing your performance to that of others. For athletes, this is a huge element of motivation.
Sometimes the reason for your lack of motivation isn't obvious and could, in fact, be masking a depression. So ask yourself: Are there things that I still enjoy? Are there things that make me happy? If the answer is yes, then you're probably not depressed.
So what do I do to get it back? To find it?
How do YOU get motivated? By taking that first, hard, seemingly impossible first step.
Take a sheet of paper and make a list of all the things you "have to" do (finish school, work or whatever other responsibility you may have) and a list of things you want to do but haven't had the motivation to start or continue.
For each item, for example, "go to the gym", write down the reason you're not doing it. Be brutally honest with yourself. Don't write "I don't have time" because I'm pretty sure people with more activities in their lives manage to work out, even if it's a 20-minute run around their neighborhood.
Now write down the potential negative and positive consequences of staying in your current situation versus taking action to change it. For example, you hate your job and don't feel the motivation to anything about it. The consequences - good and bad- of continuing in your present position can be continuing to be unhappy, getting depressed, wasting years of your life doing something you hate, receiving a paycheck, feeling unmotivated but financially secure.
The consequences of looking for a different job could be fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, finding something you like a lot, realizing your fears were unfounded, realizing your fears were correct but you went ahead anyway and found something great on the other side of fear.
This isn't an easy process. If it were, nobody would be unmotivated. Find a mentor, someone whose judgment and opinion you trust and value or book a life coach. These people will consider your situation from a completely different viewpoint and may give you not only clarity but insight into how best to bring back that motivation into your life.
But you WILL get that motivation back!
If you‘d like to work on your motivation further, contact me and we’ll discuss.