No Motivation At Work : Overcoming the Wall
Written by: Jacqueline Osgood Renouard – BA (Psychology)
- 1. The Psychology Behind Motivation
- 1. The Psychology Behind Motivation
- 2. Stuck in a Rut
- 3. Write it – Do it – Keep Going
- 4. The Power of Motivation & Visualization
- 5. Real Motivation Examples
- 6. Finding Purpose and Finding Wellbeing
- 7. Increasing your Motivation
- 8. Motivating yourself to Find Motivation at Work
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If you’re struggling in motivating yourself and you’re starting to see that you have no motivation at work, good. The fact that you’re here trying to understand it is the first step to seeing that there is something better for you out there—another path.
Where our motivation comes from is an age-old question, which thinkers, leaders, and philosophers have all tried to answer.
“You were not born on earth to please anyone; you have to live life to express yourself, not to impress someone. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, and never lose yourself in search of other people’s acceptance and approval.” ― Roy T. Bennett.
Although we can guide you with what we know, ultimately, motivation is a personal and individual experience. But, let’s try to understand it a bit better together.
The Psychology Behind Motivation
There is also the material incentives we’ve grown up with, this sense of achievement when we get money or the thing we want. Our emotions can also factor into what we want and how we set about achieving it.
Our mind, how we perceive the world around us, is a huge factor in feeling no motivation at work. As Abraham Maslow explains in his theory of hierarchical order, first, we must be dissatisfied with the way we live in order to go towards fulfilment.
Other’s talk of positive reinforcing behaviours that help us stay motivated. Setting goals that are attainable and planning for them, breaking them into chunks when we get stuck. There are many psychological on motivation, and we would recommend you skim through them to get a well-rounded idea of the psychology of motivation.
Stuck in a Rut
What is your purpose?
If you’re struggling to find the answers to this, that’s perfectly normal. It takes time to uncover how we truly feel and what we want from this world.
Sometimes it’s even good to look at our motivations and question whether they’re honestly good for our wellbeing and how creating more balance in all the aspects of our lives might be a better route.
Write it – Do it – Keep Going
Train for the marathon, practice your craft, publish your artwork, do the thing. Fear is a huge reason we hold back from doing the things we want, but what if setting a little bit of time each day towards it could change your life for the better?
Whatever your goal is, you need to practice, and you need to start doing it and make a whole bunch of mistakes. Ah yes, the fear of failure. What if I fail and these mistakes reaffirm that I am unworthy? What if they reaffirm that I’m not good enough to have the life I want?
These thoughts are normal, be aware that they are trying to preserve a life that isn’t bringing you joy. Why? Perhaps because it’s more comfortable to live in that way, more practical as our society might put it.
But you are worthy of attaining your goals. You are good enough to reshape your life. So, make those mistakes, push through and analyse them, learn how to get better. Just keep on doing a little bit each day. Even when you’re not motivated because the truth is everybody is lazy.
Even the best will tell you there are more days that they don’t want to train than days they do. But what do they do? They train anyway.
The Power of Motivation & Visualization
The wonderful thing about that is that you may not get that house in a year or whatever your timeframe is, but you will have gotten closer than you were before. Motivation is realising you can do something right now, at this moment, to go towards your goal. You have the choice to spend the hours in your day – doing.
Real Motivation Examples
But if you did eventually incorporate all of these elements into your life. It would mean a total of 50 minutes spent on yourself.
- I will consciously choose to eat food that is good for my body, swapping one unhealthy meal at a time.
- I’ll move my body in ways that will make it happier, stronger, and more flexible, trying ten minutes a day to start for a month and seeing if it’s beneficial to me.
- I will practice for twenty minutes, the thing I love to do.
- I’ll swap out scrolling aimlessly through my phone before bed with reading five pages of a book.
- I will plan for five minutes a day how I will get to my goals.
- I’ll meditate for five minutes a day for a month and assess the benefits.
- I will strive for purpose in life, following a path that leads me to joy, and creating a balanced lifestyle.
Finding Purpose and Finding Wellbeing
Motivating yourself begins with looking after ourselves and showing ourselves the love and respect we need. First, ask yourself what motivates you internally without any reward. Also, look at what aspects of yourself you may have been neglecting and how to take steps to look after yourself – so you can go on to achieving the best version of yourself.
Increasing your Motivation
Accept Feeling UnmotivatedWe all have an inner critic who likes to get us down about being lazy or procrastinating. Understand that this inner critic is trying to protect you, but might be a little overly anxious due to past experiences. So, just listen to the negative self-talk and put systems in place to ease it.
For example, your inner critic may say there aren’t enough hours in the day! Then carve out a plan, start small with a few minutes a day, and slowly build up from there.
Chunks Are EasierWhen no motivation at work strikes, Break it down into chunks is one of my favourite phrases when I personally feel stuck. It’s easy to shoot forward in our minds when working on a project and see the million and one things that need to get done before we reach our goal. In those moments, remind yourself to break it down, take it a step at a time, and begin.
You can also incorporate the positive reinforcement touched upon before. This is what you would do with training an animal, give them a treat when they complete a task. Although, we’re not dogs, we do have a similar reward system, so treat yourself when you’ve done a step towards your goals.
Diets, Exercise, And Becoming ThinA sense of no motivation at work can be linked to other goals like exercise. If your goal is to fit into those slightly tight pants again because you want to be “thin,” consider this, why is being thin better? Why are you unhappy with your weight?
Diet, or our preferred word, nutrition and exercise, are about so much more than being thin. They help us balance our body’s chemistry, they re-align our minds, balance our mood, and create health that starts from within.
Start by understanding that what you put into your body is literally what becomes your body. Learn about what foods improve your mood, how to have a balanced plate of food, and how that can fuel your body to have more energy for movement.
Calorie counting isn’t necessary when you understand the fundamentals of food unless you’re an athlete, of course. Cook from scratch, get the right portions of complex carbohydrates, whole grains, vegetables, lean protein, fruits, and water.
Try not to worry about cutting any type of food out. You can still eat a doughnut or piece of cake and enjoy it – just try to create a balance.
Money & FinancesLearning to put money away for a rainy day takes practice, but helps in motivating yourself. Now, there’s no need to go into a cafe and take home the toilet role to save a few pennies. But, committing to putting whatever percentage of your paycheck into a savings account is a fantastic step. Take a chunk of your earnings and create yourself an emergency fund for the day your car breaks down or you need a new TV.
The beauty of learning to save money is that you can then spend it on the things that motivate you, take out a gym membership, invest in your projects, or just spend it on those treats, once you have enough.
The Fickleness of New Years ResolutionsThe New Year resolutions come just after the Christmas period when everyone has slightly overindulged in the yummy foods and alcohol. So people throw everything into sticking to very overwhelming goals, and after a few weeks, they falter and give up. The initial motivating yourself rush dwindles.
It’s this all-or-nothing or, in psychology, the black and white thinking – “I must run a whole marathon by the end of the month,” or “I can’t eat bread!” That sets an unrealistic expectation. Then once we realise it’s unrealistic, we take it to heart, as if we are incapable of achieving it.
This is where I will say my favourite phrase, break it down into chunks. Do you want to run a marathon? Start small, I’m going to run up and down my road for the next few months – I will spend five minutes running every third day, even if I don’t achieve the full five minutes, I will keep trying.
Also, I aim to eat a more balanced and nutritious meal, I aim to learn how to fuel my body. The word learn implies practice, implies I might fail sometimes, and that’s okay because I’m learning. So, go out there and use the New Year as a learning tool.
Hitting Your Nose on The Brick WallPerhaps before you’ve managed to build up healthy habits that helped grow your motivation at work, you were exercising every day and living your best life. Then bam! The brick wall hit and your motivation swooped out of your life faster than a seagull that poops on your jacket.
Now you may fear coming up against the wall, but there’s no need. Walls can eventually be taken down. Much like hitting the wall in running, I believe that we come up against this wall in day-to-day life.
We may start a project and charge towards it and then hit an invisible wall. A good rule of thumb in running is to start small and increase your distance by 10% every three weeks. Anything you will do in life requires a blend of patience, consistency, and small incremental steps.
Motivating yourself to Find Motivation at Work
Use this article as a guide to help you discover the unique person that you already are. We hope you take the best care of yourself and give yourself time to get to where you need to go in life. You didn’t even need this article to tell you that you got this, you know you do.