How to motivate yourself: proven methods and advice from psychologists

Sometimes even cheerful people need motivation in life. This happens due to unfavorable external circumstances or internal personal contradictions. A person realizes the inconsistency of his previous life beliefs and finds himself in a dead end. What to do in this situation? How to recognize a crisis before it occurs? How can you regain interest in life if it has been lost? Are there effective techniques to help with this? What should you pay attention to when trying to help someone else or yourself? Let's look at this vital topic.

What is motivation?

Motivation is an internal impulse that forces a person to start, continue and complete important things. The term comes from the Latin word “movere” (movement) and implies a certain force that moves us towards a goal. A person with strong motivation solves any problem, regardless of the degree of importance. And those who don’t know how to motivate themselves can stagnate for a long time, endlessly postponing work on their goals.

If you often lack the desire to do not only unimportant things, but also solve important problems, you urgently need to look for ways to motivate yourself. Of course, you may not need motivation to do what you love if the activity brings you pleasure. However, success, development and movement forward only where there are difficulties, where you have to overcome yourself and overcome laziness and unwillingness to work. It is at such moments that you need the right motivation.

With that out of the way, let's look at a few reasons why a lack of motivation may occur.


Everyone understands perfectly well that following a plan step by step is not enough when there is no complete picture. Therefore, you should periodically present the end result. It is advisable to do this in the brightest colors and incredible manifestations. This way, your motivation will only become stronger.

In addition to visualization, you can enlist the support of like-minded people. When people pursue one goal, it is easier for them to achieve the final result. They exchange experiences, support each other, give valuable advice, and so on.

What prevents us from motivating ourselves?

There are several most common reasons that interfere with the creation of high-quality and correct motivation. These reasons need to be recognized and constantly dealt with. There are 3 main reasons:


A banal reluctance to work occurs in each of us from time to time, especially if the work seems routine and meaningless. If you feel good and are motivated to work, but don’t want to do a specific task, you can motivate yourself by giving the task additional meaning. In the case of routine work, additional meaning may lie in processes such as:

  • awareness and concentration training;
  • bringing benefit to other people and the accompanying satisfaction;
  • development of creative abilities by searching for non-standard solutions.

You can come up with many other additional meanings for routine activities, and this is a truly effective approach in the fight against laziness.

You may be interested in: how to get rid of laziness


People tend to reflect, engage in introspection, completely killing their own motivation. Self-examination takes a huge amount of time and energy. Many people spend their entire lives endlessly rethinking unpleasant situations and trying to figure out what they should have done to avoid mistakes. If such thoughts come to you, get rid of them immediately. Reflection can “immobilize” you for a long time, and it is almost impossible to benefit from it.

Chronic fatigue

Lack of motivation can be a consequence of chronic fatigue. In such a situation, it is advisable to consult a doctor, however, you can solve the problem on your own. First, you need to get enough sleep and start waking up at 6-7 in the morning (switching to the “lark” mode is one of the best remedies for chronic fatigue).

Start your morning with a cold shower, exercise and stop watching TV. Watch your diet, eat more fresh fruits and diversify their range as much as possible. The listed steps in 70% of cases will allow you to get rid of chronic fatigue on your own.

Read also: how to become energetic

Spiritual and physical practices

Another answer to the question of how to find motivation is a variety of spiritual practices. They help you think about life and find new meaning in it. Practices like yoga disperse apathy and laziness. It has been scientifically proven that the more activity a person does per day, the more strength and desire to live he has, so moderate physical activity can have a significant motivating effect. In the absence of movement, a person, on the contrary, often feels tired.

Meditations during which a person turns to himself can be useful. An excellent option would be special trips for several days with a group under the supervision of experienced trainers.

It will be useful to turn to positive thinking techniques. The ability to enjoy life has a positive effect on the nervous system. Optimists are less susceptible to depression.

A professional psychologist can help you find motivators. By choosing the right words, a competent specialist is able to point in the right direction.

Cardio exercises have a good effect: running, swimming, rollerblading, skiing, cycling. The load should be selected individually. If there are no contraindications, you can add strength exercises.

If you lose the desire to live, it will be useful to go on a trip. A change of place often has a beneficial effect on an overloaded nervous system. The new environment encourages activity and exploration of the place.

Types of motivators

There are two main types of motivators: intrinsic and extrinsic.

  • Intrinsic motivation
    is desires that do not depend on external rewards. We simply enjoy the activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, realize our potential, etc.
  • Extrinsic motivation
    is driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise. This type of motivator can be especially helpful when a person needs to complete a task that they find unpleasant.

Different people are motivated by different things, moreover, depending on the situation, goals and other factors, the motivators of a particular person also change

The same task may have more intrinsic motivators at some moments and more extrinsic motivators at others, and these motivators themselves are also variable. Internal ones play a big role in both self-motivation
resilience, in the feeling of happiness
If we like what we do, we work better. It's easier to get out of bed in the morning and we feel happier. Research shows this is especially important when we're stressed
. It is easier for us to cope with stress if the work as a whole is enjoyable.

However, external ones can also be quite effective.

For example, sometimes the role of motivators is taken on by commitment
. Commitment comes from personal ethics and a sense of duty: what is right and what is wrong. You may feel obligated to go to a party because someone you know invited you. There will be no obvious external or internal benefit to going there, but you may worry that you will offend or upset your friend if you don't go. However, you will be more likely to enjoy the party if you have a positive and open attitude and expect it to be fun. This adds to the external motivator “obligation to a friend” the internal one – “fun and pleasure”.

Accordingly, if you need to increase your motivation for a specific task, think about what would motivate you to complete it faster and more efficiently? Are there intrinsic and/or extrinsic motivators?

If at first glance it seems not,
try to find them or invent them
. The information below will help you with this.


This point implies that a person accepts responsibility for his actions. His achievements fully correspond to his stated ambitions. A person who wants development will definitely think about self-realization at some point. Then additional energy appears to achieve what you want. It is this that allows you not to deviate from the chosen direction, not to waste your time on trifles and not to get hung up on failures. Everyone has disappointments, but it’s hardly worth paying attention to them. You just need to draw the appropriate conclusions and move on.

There is no one specific method for self-realization. Personal growth begins when a person does not sit in one place, but is constantly looking for some ways to attract what he wants into his life. The development of individuality means that a person releases a huge amount of energy for his intentions. Such courage is usually dictated by an internal desire to do many useful things. To a wise person, life does not seem too long, so he tries to do everything in time.

Own rules

If you look at most people, a curious circumstance becomes clear. They don’t even start playing by their own rules, fearing in advance that they will lose. While waiting for a catch, a person will sooner or later receive it. Such a person, as a rule, does not strive to realize his dreams; he simply does not believe in his own prospects. By choosing a job they don’t like, many don’t understand that they are ruining their lives, not allowing themselves to develop, and putting invisible but significant obstacles in their way.

Living by your own rules means taking responsibility for what happens. Only a spiritually strong person can be willing to set goals that come from within and move towards their solution. He will not be afraid, he will not shrink from difficulties. If a person needs additional motivation to take action, then he is not confident in himself. Sometimes you need to enlist the support of loved ones in order to believe in your own prospects.

Overcoming difficulties

How to develop motivation to live on if you are disappointed? Is it worth being too upset about temporary setbacks? Not a single task is complete without difficulties. Every now and then life puts up significant obstacles for a person to learn to overcome. By developing perseverance and perseverance, many people don’t even notice how they become stronger and begin to act more confidently.

Coping with adversity is an important skill to acquire. Then no disappointments will be terrible. And when a person tries to avoid any difficulties, he actually does not develop. Hiding behind masks, it is impossible to move towards what you want. You need to motivate yourself not to give up, at least in order not to lose faith in your own prospects.

Motivational literature

How to find motivation on your own? It is worth reading some literature. Sometimes ordinary quotes about life that can be found on the Internet are enough, but books have a greater impact. There are good motivator quotes about life in Osho’s books. The wise words of the master manage to change people’s attitudes towards themselves, the world, relationships and much more.

For many, someone else's positive example becomes the motivation for action. You should read inspiring literature. An excellent choice would be Nick Vujicic's autobiography, Life Without Borders. The story of a man born with a rare diagnosis of tetra-amelia (congenital absence of both arms and legs), but who found the strength and opportunity to live happily and fully, motivates action. The vitality of this man is admirable and inspiring.

The famous psychologist Viktor Frankl also has good motivational books. This man survived imprisonment in a concentration camp, but retained the will to live and the desire to help other people. If you suffer from a lack of desire to live, you should familiarize yourself with his autobiographical works.

Believers are often motivated by religious texts. It makes sense to read the Lives of the Saints. You can learn a lot of useful things from such books describing the life path of saints.

If you have no desire to study serious literature, it will be useful to read a light story with a happy ending. Sometimes reading a light story about how life is good can be motivating. This will be especially effective for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, since such stories calm the nerves and help restore energy. Motivation to live arises after reading books by Jojo Moyes, Cecilia Ahern, and good works about animals.

Develop New Habits

Sometimes the smallest changes in life produce the biggest results. When you start going to the gym, recording videos, or practicing singing, consistency and repetition are key to performing these activities. If you can't seem to finish a project, just start doing small things every day, even if it only takes five minutes. Remember that small actions can lead to significant results.

Internal needs

Motivation for life begins with awareness of your inner needs. Every person strives for something, hopes for something, and willingly devotes his time to something. How to motivate yourself to develop? You need to be ready to accept significant changes. Understanding your own desires allows you to build immediate prospects and outline ways to achieve your dreams.

If a person has a dream, he lives as if fluttering on wings, expanding his inner boundaries and capabilities. Everyone has their own resources, but not everyone actually uses them. The need to develop can bring a person to a completely different level of perception of his own essence.

How to change your behavior strategy

Many articles about personal growth say that you need to suppress negative emotions and overcome all obstacles in your path. This way of thinking is so common because, psychologically speaking, it is much easier to overcome than to admit defeat. If you suppress negative emotions, you will not reconsider your behavior strategies and priorities. If you want to achieve your goals, perhaps you need to stop fussing and think carefully about your strategy.

6. Challenge yourself to new challenges. A reward is not motivating if it is not related to the area in which a person would like to succeed. A scientist will not feel more successful as a scientist if he is recognized as the world's best surf coach. Liesl writes that “sometimes people become depressed because life no longer requires them to do their best. Working half-heartedly saves energy, but sometimes it can cause harm.” Take on a new project at work or find a side project outside of work - challenge yourself.

7. Look for ways to improve your strategy. If you are not satisfied with the results achieved, take time to think about why this is happening and what to do about it. It may turn out that you are working on the right project, took advantage of the right opportunity, but the chosen method is not the best. Let's say your blog is not growing as quickly as you would like. Perhaps you should learn SEO promotion, start advertising your blog on Facebook, or change the format: write less often, but work on articles better.

8. Explore new opportunities. You can't look into the future: that's why we often misjudge opportunities. Sometimes it is not enough to change your attitude towards the situation and your behavior strategy. In such cases, try choosing a different target. Yes, realizing that you failed can damage your self-esteem. However, it is foolish to deny the reality: you have not achieved what you wanted. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, consider your values, and set new goals for yourself.

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