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Feeling Unmotivated - What To Do To Get Your Motivation Back

Are you feeling unmotivated? Are you finding it hard to remain motivated? Most people, at some point, experience a lack of motivation. Whether it’s motivation to do house chores or at work, we have all been victims of this feeling.

Hi, my name is Katie Lister. I am a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. This article will tell you all you need to know about lack of motivation, what it is, the signs, and how to differentiate it from laziness and apathy.

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Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

What is Lack of Motivation?

Lack of motivation can manifests as disinterest in everything. You have no passion for anything, even what makes you happy. Lack of motivation may indicate an underlying psychological issue, potentially including depression or apathy.

You may experience a lack of motivation when you are stressed, overwhelmed, or when experiencing burnout. However, a lack of motivation should be temporary, and you should seek help if the feeling lingers for too long.

Lack of motivation can be triggered by situations such as being put down or picked on, causing you to lose interest in activities you once enjoyed.

Depression is also a common cause for lack of motivation. This is a mental condition caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain.

The major difference between normal lack of motivation and depression is that depression doesn’t go away without medical intervention. A depressed person loses all hope and desire, and life loses meaning, leading to more severe symptoms like thoughts of suicide.

Is there something wrong with me? Find out why you may be feeling this way. 

Feeling Unmotivated - Signs of Lack of Motivation

Lack of motivation has signs that allow you to self-diagnose and take charge of the situation.

·       You Have No Idea What You Want

One of the most common symptoms of a lack of motivation is a clear idea of what one wants. Many individuals either need to learn what they want or are uncertain of their desires. When you need a clear sense of your life goals and are unsure, and when there is no clear target, staying motivated can be difficult. Low motivation can make decision-making even more challenging.

·       Loss of Control over Your Physiology

Weight is a primary concern for people with a lack of motivation. Weight loss or gain is common in depression and anxiety. As you lose control over your physical health, you lose motivation, which creates a cycle of despair. However, when you get to this level of low motivation, you need to seek help from a professional, as it may have crossed the thin line between low motivation and depression.

·       Procrastination

Excellent mental health and general well-being are crucial to our motivation levels. When you are unmotivated, you start procrastinating on everything. Procrastination is the enemy of progress, and when you start pushing even basic tasks forward to a later date with no desire of getting unstuck, you need to check yourself.

·       Lack of Ambition

Do you constantly feel like you no longer have ambitions or goals in life? Lack of ambition is one of the most common signs of low motivation. When you have no desire to set long-term or short-term goals, it’s a sign you are severely unmotivated.

·       Lack of Self-Care

When you start neglecting yourself and stop all forms of self-care like exercise and eating healthy, it’s a sign of low motivation.


Feeling Unmotivated - Causes of Low Motivation

Numerous reasons, both in your personal life and workspace, can leave you feeling unmotivated. Some of the most common causes include:

·       Burnout and Feeling Unmotivated

We live in a fast-paced world that forces us to work hard for a living. However, if you do not take time off work to rest, the result is burnout, a significant cause of low motivation and depression. With increased stress, the levels of the stress hormone cortisol increase. The constant increase of cortisol forces the body to overproduce or underproduce the hormone, leading to chronic exhaustion. This situation affects our mental health, leading to feelings of under-motivation.

·       Toxic Stress and Feeling Unmotivated

Low motivation is familiar to people who have stressors that they cannot get rid of or change, also known as toxic stress. This lack of motivation becomes a vicious cycle in situations where you cannot avoid this stress, so you continually experience low motivation.

The toxic stress is a struggle, especially when you don’t know how to change the situation. Toxic stress can manifest in different ways in your personal life and can contribute to lack of motivation.

·       Unrealistic Goals and Feeling Unmotivated

Setting unrealistic goals, especially long-term, might lead to you feeling demotivated. When you think of the goal and the amount of work involved, you might start having negative feelings like anxiety or frustration. Every time you contemplate starting the task, you feel a lot of self-doubt, and procrastination may creep in.

·       Social Media Influence

We live in the social media age, where we are influenced by trends we see online. While most times we may be motivated by online posts, our self-esteem sometimes takes a beating. Most of the images you see online are curated and unrealistic and might play a role in making you feel demotivated.

How to Get Over Feeling Unmotivated

Feeling unmotivated or stuck in a rut is not permanent, and you can overcome it with some work. When you feel stuck in a rut, here are some things that may motivate you.

Seek Knowledge When Feeling Unmotivated

Knowledge is power. Do yourself a favor and seek knowledge from various sources. Read a self-help book or listen to a podcast. There is much information in books by experts on lack of motivation and people who have gone through similar experiences.

Opt for audiobooks if you are not a reader or have no energy to read. Podcasts share encouraging and positive stories of real-life people who have gone through being stuck in a rut and how they overcame it. Take courses and attend events that teach you more about mental health and how to boost your self-esteem and inspire yourself.

Practice Self-Compassion

Be gentle with yourself and practice self-compassion. It’s perfectly okay not to feel okay, and you can overcome the lack of motivation by cutting yourself some slack. Accept your feelings, acknowledge them, and ask for support if needed.

Practicing self-care is one of the best ways to deal with low self-esteem and motivation. Go for walks, solo dates to a movie, make yourself an English breakfast, journal, or do whatever you feel energizes you. Have a mantra like “This is my life, and I have control over it. Nothing will get me down.” Keep reminding yourself that you are exceptional and you can do this.

Give Yourself Credit

Give yourself credit for things you accomplish. Have a plan and take actionable steps towards fulfilling it. Write a to-do list of your long-term goals and make them SMART:

  • Specific– Make the goal specific, e.g. I need to wake up at 7 am daily
  • Measurable: Ensure the goal is measurable and answers questions like how long, how much, and how many. For instance, I will wake up at 7 am for one week
  • Attainable: Ensure the goal is achievable. Don’t set a goal of waking up at 3 am for one month; you know it’s unrealistic if you are an insomniac who sleeps at 2 am.
  • Relevant: Is the goal relevant to your dreams and aspirations? Why are you waking up at 7 am? Is it worthwhile?
  • Time-bound: Give yourself a timeline. If you are waking up at 7 am to exercise and lose a certain amount of weight, give yourself a time frame where you will review whether you have accomplished your goal.

Get Enough Sleep If You Are Feeling Unmotivated

Fatigue can often leave you feeling unmotivated. Research says half of all full-time working Canadians are stressed and tired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a report that about 3.3 million Americans had chronic fatigue syndrome in 2021 and 2022 combined.

Ensure you get at least eight hours of sleep to wake up energized and with a clear head. When you feel overwhelmed, taking a break and recharging is okay, primarily in a fast-paced work environment. Take a break from social media. Set all mobile phone notifications on mute before bed for an uninterrupted rest.


Growth Gals Can Help You Find Your Motivation!

Shout out to all the incredible women out there who are looking to improve themselves! Are you searching for a way to discover your true divine self, values, and aspirations? Look no further than Growth Gals, a supportive community of women who can help you get your groove back.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our goal-setting journals, coaching, and support groups. Be sure to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards self-improvement.

Feeling Unmotivated - Conclusion

Feeling out of sorts and unmotivated is nothing new. All human beings feel it at some point; the difference is how you deal with it. When you feel like even waking up is a chore, and even the most minor task is tasking, you must take note. Some of the most important things are the minor details.

There is a thin line between a lack of motivation, depression, and the onset of a disease like Alzheimer’s. Numerous things may cause a lack of motivation, from fatigue to toxic stress and trying to keep up with social media trends.

Try to set goals you can achieve. Overcome the demotivation through self-compassion, reading books, listening to podcasts, setting SMART goals, getting enough rest, and self-care. All the best in your self-love journey, and Happy New Year!

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