Feeling stuck and out of it?
Have low energy?
Don’t feel like doing the things you need to (should) be doing?
In this article you are going to discover:
- The 12 causes and cures of lack of motivation
- How depression and motivation are interrelated
- How to overcome lack of motivation
- How fatigue and low energy effect motivation
- How lack of confidence effect motivation
- What to do if you lack motivation at work
- What do do if you lack motivation to study or go to school
- Lack of motivation definition
- Lack of motivation disorder
Before you dive into the main material, it is important that no matter where you are at right now in your life situation, to not judge yourself.
Don’t feel shame, bad, or guilty as it only makes things worse.
As long as you use your negative past in a positive manner, then you will gain a positive result.
Whatever your situation is, you can breakthrough and transform it if you want.
Will it be easy?
Will it take work and effort?
But rest assured the cause and solution to your situation is on this page and, if you make the effort, will be able to change your life if you want to.
Your Three Selfs
Your psychological makeup consists of three personalities:
- Your positive self
- Your negative self
- The observer
Your positive self is always the one who knows you should be eating healthy, going to the gym, brushing your teeth, and developing good habits.
Your negative self is the the one who would rather be lazy and watch TV and not be responsible.
The observer is the one who watches the battle and struggle between the two.
If you have ever seen those old cartoons or movies where the devil is on one shoulder and the angel is on the other, that’s a great analogy.
Here’s the key…
Every choice you (the observer) makes gives one of them more energy and that is more of what you become.
So if 67% of your choices and actions went toward the negative lazy “devil” self, then that is who you are and it is that much harder to change.
Here’s something else to keep in mind…
Good people who have great habits also can still choose to be lazy and negative. It’s just that their choices and actions have been 95% and above positive so its that much easier for them to stay positive.
Right now as you read these words, you are in what is called the “neutral point” of your life.
You are looking at your past and saying, “I don’t want that anymore”.
And, you are looking into potential futures and saying, “I want that”.
You are literally switching realities and becoming a different person.
Because you are seeking help, that in and of itself is a “positive” act.
Meaning, you are taking action and no longer “lack motivation”.
The version of you that lacked motivation was not seeking help.
Did you get that?
- Old you = not seeking help (staying the same)
- Neutral point you = seeking help (taking action)
- New you = motivated you (consistently taking action)
So right now, you are no longer “old you”. You are “neutral point you”.
This is the defining moment in your life.
You can go back to “old you” if you want.
Or, you can take action on the information you are about to read.
By taking action, that automatically changes you and shifts you into the new reality where you are “motivated you”.
No, you won’t be perfect.
You won’t be where you want to be.
But because you are taking action, you are the “beginning version” of the “motivated you”.
Which means you are now technically the new you.
Pain vs Pleasure
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins
The most important thing you need to understand about how motivation works is this:
You will always move towards what you define as being more “pleasurable” and…
You will always move away towards what you define as being more “painful”.
The keyword here is define.
Here is how the mechanics of life works…
- Your definitions create beliefs.
- Your beliefs create thoughts and attract situations into your life.
- Your thoughts and situations cause you to act (or react).
- Your actions create your reality
The way human psychology works is that once we create a set of beliefs about what we like and don’t like (or agree with or don’t agree with), they run on autopilot.
When you entered into this world, you have been making decisions each day about what you define as being pleasurable and define as being painful.
Once you make those decisions, you file them away and move along your life and everything you come upon in life gets filtered through those beliefs and they become habits.
You never need to “find” motivation to eat your favorite foods, get your coffee, or watch your favorite shows.
At some point you made the decision that you loved those things and now you are always (automatically) going to do those things habitually without hesitation or even thinking about it.
They run on autopilot and you don’t have to “find motivation” to do them.
So if you are not motivated to take action when you know you should, it’s because you have defined that as being more “painful” than “pleasurable”.
The ultimate goal here to establish long-term motivation to find a way to make what you want to do to become pleasurable so that you file it away in your subconscious as a habit and no longer have to try and “find” motivation.
It will automatically be there.
Stop Avoiding Yourself
“What you resist persists” – Carl Jung
What this quote basically means is that anything you avoid or put off will just get bigger and louder.
Depression is actually negative energy that has compounded over time via choices that don’t serve you or, avoiding issues you needed to face.
If you are having a hard time finding motivation, that in and of itself is trying to teach you something.
You cannot avoid life.
You cannot avoid your self.
You cannot avoid personal responsibility.
If something is there, it is there for a reason.
It is there to send you a signal and say, “Hey, you need to look at this and do something about it.”
You either need to change your belief about this or, you need to move in a new direction in your life.
You must face it otherwise the issue will just continue to cause you pain because it will build up pressure in your psyche because you keep avoiding it.
What many people fail to realize is that any challenge that presents itself in your life is there to serve you as an opportunity to learn and grow.
However, if you avoid the issue by procrastinating, it becomes your burden.
So stop avoiding your responsibilities, step up and face them, and become the better version of yourself now.
Face Your Fears
Chances are, you have some sort of fear or belief of something negative happening that is keeping you from taking action which is why you lack motivation.
Here are the most common fears:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of not being good enough
- Fear of change
Which one (or two) do you think is holding you back right now?
Write down all of your fears.
Look at them.
Then ask yourself these questions:
- Is this true?
- What is the worst that can happen?
Then say to yourself, “So what?!”
After you acknowledge your fears, you must now take action.
Jump into them.
Run towards them.
If you do not take action, they will continue to haunt you until you do causing more anxiety and stress.
Think of it like this…
You are waiting in line to get on a scary rollercoaster ride with a lot of big drops.
You know its coming and your stomach begins to churn.
Right as you get to the front of the line, you decide to move to the back postponing (procrastinating) the inevitable.
All you have done is added more time of anxiety and stress where your mind causes you more fear.
But if you go on the ride and deal with the first big drop, everything becomes much easier.
And, most importantly, when you get off the ride you feel stronger because you have faced your fears.
Fear Of The Unknown
The most common reason people do not take action towards what they say they want is because of fear of the unknown.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why don’t I follow through on what I say I want?
- Why do I need motivation techniques and strategies?
- Why don’t I just take action naturally?
One of the main reasons is because you are shifting realities.
I want you to stop for a moment and ponder this sentence:
“I am shifting realities.”
The reason this is so important is because all of us are “comfortable with familiarity”.
Wherever you are at right now on your life journey, you are comfortable right there.
For you to become naturally motivated to do the things you want to do, you have to become the next bigger version of yourself.
And this “unknown” is scary.
You must embrace uncertainty and make it your friend.
The unknown is an adventure where you get to discover the “bigger you”.
Causes Of Lack Of Motivation
Now that we have set the table, here are the 12 causes of lack of motivation along with the “solutions” to transform them:
1. Cause = Laziness
This is one of the most common reasons.
Most people are just lazy and while that may sound too easy of an answer, you need to understand that humans are creatures of habits.
Once something has been filed away on automatic, we forget that we can choose to change it as “hypnotic rhythm” takes over and you become a “drifter”.
If you have not heard those terms before, get familiar with them fast.
If you are familiar with the book “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, this was the author who created one of the top self-help books around the idea of positive thinking.
The Secret took a lot from this book which was written in 1937.
This same author also wrote a book called “Outwitting The Devil” where he claims to literally access the domain of “Negative Energy” (The Devil does not claim to be a red being with horns but takes up a portion of the atom with negative energy).
The book is him literally having a conversation with “The Devil” who says that the way he gets humans to become negative is by becoming lazy and creating bad habits.
Just think about your bad habits right now.
Don’t you notice that you seem to keep doing them on autopilot without even thinking?
Your mind is “adrift” in “hypnotic rhythm” and you need to snap out of it!
One bad habit leads to another.
Please note….this is not a religious conversation right now.
You just need to understand that a habit is something you do that you don’t know you are doing.
But once you wake up and realize you are doing it, it is now a choice and the power lays in your hands.
The Solution: The science says it can take anywhere from 21 days to two months before a new habit is formed.
Remember, you need to associate “pleasure” with the new habit you want to create. Otherwise you will find it harder to stick to.
2. Cause = No Purpose In Life
Without purpose, life is meaningless.
Being excited about life and the challenges you are facing is crucial to wanting to jump out of bed and do all the “mundane” tasks.
The truth is, no matter who you are…Beyonce, Leonardo Dicaprio, Lebron James, etc…
They all have to do the same mundane tasks that you do.
But here is the difference…
They also get to do the things they love to do so those small mundane tasks are connected to a bigger picture.
Did you get that?
Without purpose, all the lame stuff we have to do is really >>> pointless because its not connected to anything.
But if you have a bigger vision and purpose, cleaning, brushing your teeth, laundry, homework, the gym, etc. are all part of the big game plan.
Do you think singers such as Beyonce likes to go on stage for hours on end under hot lights singing the same song over and over again?
Do you think athletes such as Lebron James likes to practice thousands of free throws over and over again?
Do you think actors like Leonardo Dicaprio like to sit in trailers for hours on end rehearsing the same lines over and over again?
But they do it because its a “small task” that is connected to their “big dream” so they have a reason/purpose “why” to do it.
If you don’t have a purpose that is making you excited about life, you might as well be dead because life is literally meaningless.
That’s the truth.
Life is meaningless.
You were blessed with the gift to give it the meaning that you want.
Solution: Find your purpose and passion in life. Get excited.
Excitement is literally your bodies translation that says, “This is who we are”.
Excitement will fill your body with so much energy you will have a hard time sleeping.
In fact, once you find your passion and purpose in life, your next problem will be managing your time and staying balanced so you are not exhausted from overexerting yourself.
3. Cause = Lack Of Results
If you have been trying to lose weight, get in shape, or have taken on some form of goal and are not getting the results you want, then your lack of motivation is due to lack of results.
Anytime we attempt something new, it is important that we get some results from our efforts within seven to ten days so that we can say to ourselves…
“See, it works!”
Our negative ego is always trying to prove that new things don’t work.
Remember, the negative self wants everything to stay the same. Fear of change and the unknown is a strong characteristic of the negative self so you need to show the observer you that what you are doing is getting you results.
Solution: Educate yourself
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
Whatever goal you are attempting, learn how to do it right so that you gain results fast.
Don’t be lazy and try to skip over things you need to learn.
4. Cause = Not Facing Your Emotions
Life is a rollercoaster ride with lots of ups and downs.
You are an emotional being and if you do not learn how to transform your negative emotions (sadness, anger, frustration, etc.), they will build up and fester.
Once negative emotions take root in you, they drain your energy like leech sucking blood from you.
Solution = Release your negative emotions
If you feel like crying, do so. It’s good for you.
Crying is literally your body releasing those stored negative energies.
In today’s society, crying has become seen as a sign of weakness which is unfortunate.
If you are angry or frustrated then yell, kick, scream, talk to someone. Do something to get it out.
Don’t let it just sit in you.
You will not be able to move forward in life and “find motivation” when you have that negative weight on your shoulders or in your stomach.
5. Cause = Nervous & Anxious
While this may seem a bit similar to number 4 (not facing your emotions), it is not exactly the same as it happens slower and more subtle.
Sadness and anger are heavier emotions.
But being nervous and anxious are not as obvious.
Maybe you are worried about something at work or school.
Whatever the situation is, your worry is causing you to be fearful about something and that is slowly eating away at you because you are avoiding it.
Avoidance is what causes the anxiety and nervousness to eat away at your life energy which makes you lack motivation to do things.
Solution = Face your challenge head on
As previously stated, “What you resists persists”.
You can’t avoid life forever.
You need to face your challenges head on and deal with them as they come.
6. Cause = Adrenal Fatigue
Many people who lack motivation also suffer from adrenal fatigue.
Basically, your adrenal glands are a hormone that stimulate and give you energy.
When you drink coffee, the caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands.
Unfortunately, there is only so much stimulation your adrenals can take until they are burnt out.
People who live in the city and are rushing around, stressed in traffic, drinking coffee and Redbull, partying, staying out late and not sleeping, working late hours, etc…have burnt out their adrenal glands.
Solution = You could get an adrenal fatigue test although some feel they don’t work.
The only way to truly discover if you have this issue is to take an honest look at your life and ask yourself:
- Am I drinking a lot of coffee?
- Am I taking stimulants?
- Am I not getting enough sleep?
- Am I out late too much?
- Am I working too much?
Basically, if you are out of balance and stressing yourself too much, then chances are you have adrenal fatigue.
If that’s the case, you will need to slow down, remove the stimulants, and take some supplements for your adrenals.
7. Cause = Thyroid Disorders
While the thyroid and adrenal glands are connected, you don’t necessarily have to have a thyroid disorder to also have adrenal fatigue.
Your thyroid is the master gland of your hormones.
If it is out of balance, it can cause all kinds of problems with your mood, energy levels, and metabolism.
If you feel “out of it” and lack motivation for no apparent reason, it is most likely your thyroid.
Solution: This article can’t be a master lesson on the thyroid so you will need to do you own homework on hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism and get your thyroid checked out.
Fortunately, the remedy is pretty simple: iodine and some herbs.
8. Cause = Not Exercising
If you are not exercising on a regular basis, then you are not pumping oxygen into the brain and through the body.
Most of us live a sedentary lifestyle where we are glued to our screens and barely move around.
Solution: Your body needs to move rigorously to keep the blood flowing.
People who suffer from low energy and lack of motivation just need to introduce cardio back into their lifestyle.
But it cannot be steady state cardio.
You need to push the body and be out of breath and break a sweat at least four times a week.
Do your research and find your thing: running, swimming, biking, yoga, pilates, etc.
9. Cause =Overwhelmed
Being overwhelmed is another way the body is drained of energy. When you have too much going on and too many decisions to make, you can get “paralysis by analysis”.
People who are overwhelmed tend to get stuck and freeze because they are overthinking and are not sure which way to turn.
Solution: Simplify your life and chunk it down.
You will need to prioritize your life and accept the fact you can’t do it all.
You can really only have two priorities at a time. Sure, you can squeeze some other projects in there but they wont be a priority.
Try to focus on one big project with maybe two smaller projects and thats it.
Either way, you need to simplify.
And remember, just because you say “no” to something now does not mean you have to say no to it later.
Life is a series of phases. Focus on what’s important now.
10. Cause = Taking Drugs
If you are taking any form of drugs, whether prescription or hard substances, this drains the body of vital life force.
Solution = Get to the root cause of your issue and stop taking drugs.
Learn to live in harmony and balance with nature.
You are a natural being of this planet.
Find your inner peace.
Now I hear some of you saying, “But I have to take these drugs my doctor told me”.
No you don’t.
They just want you on those drugs because they make money off you taking them.
11. Cause = Smoking
Smoking cigarettes is another way your body is drained of vital life energy.
It slows and dulls the mind which causes lack of motivation.
In the book, Outwitting the Devil, The Devil says it uses cigarettes to get people to procrastinate and get distracted from their purpose in life.
If you look at most people who smoke, they do so because they are nervous and trying to suppress some stress or anxiety.
Solution: Stop smoking
Face your inner demons and find harmony and balance in your life.
Address your emotions and face your fears.
Learn to use your natural breathing as a way to calm your nerves.
Stop running from yourself.
And if you find your passion in life, you will be too busy to smoke.
12. Cause = Poor Diet
Food is fuel for the body.
What you put in is what you get back.
Do you eat junk food?
Does your diet consist of lots of sugar (bread, pasta, grains, starches)?
Bad carbs and sugar causes a lot of damage to your insulin levels which can throw off your energy levels.
Or if you are eating foods hard on the digestion, it can slow your body down because it has to focus so much energy on digesting.
If you are eating unhealthy foods, this will force your body to work extra hard to process it which causes you to have low energy and lack motivation.
Solution: Eat a balanced diet with healthy protein, healthy fats, and veggies.
Stay away from (or drastically reduce) breads, starches, sugars, grains, and processed foods.
Research diets such as Paleo and Ketogenic.
While you may not have to be as extreme as those diets, you may want to use 70% of their philosophy to create your own.
But basically, eat simple, healthy, fresh foods.
And no…this does not mean you can’t enjoy yourself every so often. It just means that maybe six days a week you are disciplined and one day a week you splurge.
Can depression cause a lack of motivation?
The two are intertwined and connected.
If you are depressed, then you will have a lack of motivation.
If you are not motivated to do things, eventually you will become depressed because life is meaningless.
They support each other in creating a never ending cycle of a life that is depressed and void of enthusiasm.
Lack of Motivation at Work
Hate your job?
Bored at work?
A. You need to redefine your perspective of work.
If so, read how to get motivated at work.
B. It’s time to move on and find a new job or career.
If so, read What should I do with my life?
Lack Of Motivation At School
Read: How to get motivated to study & go to school
Lack of Motivation Definition
Manifested as desire and interest, both motivation and enthusiasm have a tendency to go hand-in-hand. When somebody is more motivated to accomplish a certain task, for example, they will often be described as having more enthusiasm. When enthusiasm wanes, it can also drag down on motivation.
Lack of Motivation Disorder
Brain chemistry has also been studied in recent years and how it impacts depression and motivation. Individuals who have dopamine impairments, for example, may have an issue with brain chemistry that makes it difficult for them to follow certain protocols, stay focused, avoid depression, and even remain motivated.
In these types of situations, medical intervention may be necessary, such as in the form of prescription medications to balance out the brain chemistry. If a person has been struggling to stay motivated, despite behavioral changes, it may be prudent for them to check with their primary care physician to determine whether this is more physiological than behavioral.
Why Do You Feel a Lack of Motivation?
Generally speaking, if you feel a lack of motivation it is because you have not associated the task as being pleasurable.
Or, you have defined it as being more painful.
Until you change the definition and belief around it, you will not be motivated to do the task.
There are 12 reasons why you may feel a lack of motivation:
- No Purpose In Life
- Lack Of Results
- Not Facing Your Emotions
- Nervous & Anxious
- Adrenal Fatigue
- Thyroid Disorders
- Not Exercising
- Taking Drugs
- Poor Diet
Click here to explore these 12 reasons more in depth.
How Do You Get Motivated When Depressed?
The first step is that you must face your depression and transform it.
You must get to the root cause and change your life otherwise you will feel like you are pulling a boulder with you every time you need to do something.
Read: How to get motivated when depressed
Why Do I Have a Lack of Confidence?
It could be one (or a combination) of the following reasons:
- Because you have not shown or proven to yourself that you have value.
- Because you lack the courage to take action to get what you want from life.
- Because someone in your life told you you are worthless and you bought into that idea.
- Because you have not produced any tangible results or success in life that shows you that you are capable of creating something worthwhile.
Confidence comes from taking action and getting results.
- Walking up to someone and talking to them
- Starting a project and succeeding at it
- Doing well on a test
- Going to the gym and getting the body you want
- Getting a job you love and making good money
- Climbing to the top of a mountain
- Writing and publishing a book
All of these things create confidence and have two key things in common:
- Taking action
- Getting results
Here is how it works:
Step 1 – Say you are going to do something
Step 2 – Take action and do it
Step 3 – Get good results
The more you do that, the more confidence you will have.
And, if you try and it does not work out, you don’t let that kill your confidence or motivation. You keep going.
Read: Quotes For Confidence
How Do I Get Motivated to Go to the Gym?
Read: How to get motivated to workout