Combatting demotivation

Young man in a green jumper on a leather couch using a remote controller

How do you shake that horridly sluggish feeling of not wanting to do what you set out to do?

No-one is immune to the grip of demotivation. It grabs our ankles and keeps us from moving forward. It can stir a whole pot of emotions as a result of it, too. We can start to question if we truly love what we've dedicated to ourselves to, or if we're just wasting our time. We can doubt our abilities to follow through what we promised ourselves we'd do.

Demotivation can arise for a variety of reasons-- self-doubt, lost aspiration, muddled goals, or hitting an unexpected obstacle. Whatever the cause, it feels as though the passion we once had for something has been sucked straight from our core. It could be our degrees, our hobbies, or even our social lives that we find we have a lack of motivation for.

If you find yourself lacking a little bit of zing and pep for the new semester, maybe these tips can yank your legs free and get you on your feet again:

Ask yourself why: Pretend you're an annoying five year-old for a second and keep asking yourself why over and over again. Are you demotivated? Why? Because of a lack of purpose? Why? Because you don't know what your goals are? Keep digging until you have a firm grasp on the root of the cause. This'll surely let you start realigning yourself with your pursuits.

Reconnect with what got you excited: What made you decide to study your degree? What was that lightbulb moment you had that pointing you in the direction of what you're pursuing now? For me, it was the realisation that I had a whole playlists of multilingual songs that got me into linguistics! If you remember exactly what it was that became a source of aspiration for you, perhaps you'll be reminded of what that feeling was that makes you want to push on!

Set smaller, intermittent goals: We can get demotivated if we look at what's ahead of us and think, "How about no?" Seeing the end goal for what it is can be daunting, and there's no way we can see ourselves reaching that place when we're still at the beginning of our journey. Setting smaller goals that lead to that one final goal will seem far more achieveable and not as daunting to strive towards. One little step at a time.

Find like-minded people: Having someone share similar goals can re-spark that excitement you're missing for your aspirations. Joining a study group, an online community or even getting your friends on-board with your interests is a great way to keep yourself accountable to achieveing your goals. The journey is always more enjoyable when there is someone to share it with.

Demotivation that cannot be shaken might be a sign of some other kind of reasoning. Maybe perhaps you're truly not interested in what you thought you were, and that's okay! It's natural for aspirations to change as we do. Just be sure to not jump to conclusions to early, and give yourself the chance to bounce back if that's what your heart wants.

Tagged in What messes with your head, motivation