Loss of motivation. Why We Give Up on Our Goals

You don't know what you want

This is the most common reason. If you ask a question in a large audience: “What do you want?”, only a few will be able to give a convincing answer. In other words, you simply don't see the results that could have been had things gone as planned.

Ask a fan of a famous artist to talk about the personal and professional life of the “star.” You will hear the smallest details that can only be learned from some sources. But if you ask this same person about the details of his own life, he will have difficulty remembering what he had for dinner yesterday. And it's not about intelligence. Most people are only as smart as they decide to be.

It's not about intelligence, it's about focus. If you lack motivation in any area of ​​your life, it's most likely because you haven't clearly defined what you want. We can't focus on something without knowing what we're aiming for.

What to do?

You can't hit a target you can't see. So identify some goals that excite you in each of the major areas of your life—physical, financial, emotional, spiritual, etc.—and write them down.

To make this easier, here are seven questions to help you:

  1. What am I most passionate about?
  2. What are my greatest achievements in life?
  3. If there were absolutely no restrictions in my life, what would I do?
  4. What are my goals in life?
  5. Who do I admire most in the world?
  6. What don't I like to do?
  7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

If you want to better understand yourself and those around you, to hear your deepest desires, body-oriented psychotherapist Ivan Lyamzin can become a competent and sensitive mentor for you in this in his online course “It’s Never Too Late.” This course will be useful for everyone, because it teaches the basics that will be useful in any life situation, will help in communication and unlocking personal potential.

Lost motivation and goals

Colored! Considering the whole situation with your question, I am copying the answer from the previous version of the question) “It cannot be done by force” - this is the main thought that you need to think about!!! No amount of motivation or goals can give you an inner sense of comfort and life if it is not there inside. Perhaps this now goes against your training and coaching, but believe me, this is exactly how people often end up in depression, trying to forcefully or artificially define their goals and find motivation. What you are describing is a classic situation today, when after setting a goal and motivation, and then following this for many years, people come to emptiness inside, since no goals can define and set a vector, since it will be “forcibly "for the psyche. All your goals are inside you, often they are unconscious and not expressed in words and numbers, expressing unconscious motives completely into a goal and action plan is almost impossible, and most likely harmful, there will always be a part of the psyche that will not be expressed. This is why people sometimes enjoy various little things, works of art, hobbies and stupid hobbies, because it brings them to emotions, the meaning of which is not expressed in the goal and motivation, accordingly they receive joy and life not only from the goal, but also from the process that partly unconscious. Here is your mental conflict in your face - on the one hand, goals and motivation are forcibly stretched, and on the other hand, unconscious true feelings and emotions are closed by this artificial goal, which cannot find a way out, as a result, all your energy is spent on servicing this mental conflict , which leads to apathy and depression.

“after all, everyone graduates” - this is about school; “after all, everyone enters, because that’s how it’s supposed to be - get a diploma” - this is about university “I went to work. Like everyone else” - it’s about work. In all these cases, you talk about school, university and work in the same neutral way and it’s unclear about anyone, but not about yourself. You set your goals - to finish school, enter and graduate from university, start working - not as your desire, but as a way to simply meet everyone else - “And I didn’t want to be the worst of everyone. And I obviously didn’t want to lag behind.” If you put different goals on yourself, mostly trying to conform to your environment, you thereby block your desires and, accordingly, your feelings and energy. It would be correct to ask questions - how did you feel at school, what were your desires after graduation? Did you personally want to go to university and what specialty, not taking into account those around you? In what job would you be able to realize your inner potential without setting goals yet?

“And without a goal, I live like a boat” is an excellent metaphor, only in your case, it would be better to say that you do not know how to enjoy the sea and sailing in general, and now your eternal search to forcefully come up with a goal has become an anchor for you. The point is that no matter what goal you artificially come up with for yourself, you will still swim in the wrong direction. Accordingly, your question is not how to find a goal and motivation, but how to understand yourself and your desires so that any goals bring pleasure and energy.

“After work (the training presenter) is emotionally squeezed like a lemon” - that’s why you feel like this, that your trainings conflict with your reality. That is, in trainings you teach people to be happy, positive, set SMART goals for themselves, plan according to Eisenhower, or seek motivation according to Maslow, but in real life this does not give you pleasure, or rather leads to apathy. And this is the main sore point of all kinds of trainings, that you cannot artificially force all this onto the psyche, or rather, it will be violence for it and lead to mental conflicts. Yes, trainings can be effective, but this is the case if a person turns to his desires and can live freely without these trainings, then goal setting can bring some order to the already existing internal desire and understanding of oneself. But if this understanding of oneself and one’s desire and energy is not there, then various “masks of happiness” and “goal cells” will lead to the final locking of energy and internal resources, since they will be artificially and forcibly stretched.

“What is all this for until the end of time?” - yes, it will always be like this, and this is happiness, you just need to learn to enjoy the process and your desires, and only then introduce structural order into them with the help of goals and planning, since now you cannot understand your desires and feelings at all .

“Helping my family lights me up. But they don't always need my help or advice. And you have to spend the weekend with yourself...” - read these lines carefully, it turns out that without your family you are not here! It can be assumed that from an early age you simply follow expectations rather than your desires. More precisely, you do not understand yourself and your inner feelings, but rely on others to show and express them to you. Of course, this mental mechanism still worked in school and college, only in adult life you need to rely on your feelings and desires, and here you failed. Accordingly, you need to change the mental mechanism, the work of your psyche, the format of which was formed from an early age, and then completely clogged with training. And you write about this very accurately - “It’s as if I’m deliberately leaving myself as a Blank Slate for something. There are no bad habits, good ones too.”

“3 years ago I sounded the alarm and went to see a psychologist” - the point here is not about the psychologist, but about the fact that you need to turn to a psychoanalyst or psychotherapist, since the work of a psychologist is more like a trainer or coach, and you do not need advice, but just the opposite, appealing to your inner feelings and desires.

“I feel like a bag of holes when I force myself to do something” is another good metaphor. You have closed yourself off from your feelings and desires into a bag of violent goals and motivations, and are trying in every possible way to stay in your bag. Of course, your bag will be full of holes in any case, since it takes strength and energy to hold this bag. Conventionally, you need to get out of the bag and turn to your real self, without all these artificial correspondences to someone else’s expectations and violent goals.

“I thought marriage would solve these problems of mine...” is a very common mistake, and given your behavior pattern, this is already a habit when you try to solve your problems with the help of others. You either relied on family and friends, then on goals with school and university, or on marriage. Only someone else cannot solve your internal problems, it is only possible to make amends for a while, but then most likely it will manifest itself even more, since the problem remains inside. You need to enter into marriage as a full-fledged person, as far as possible, and then continue your development and help each other in this.

“Under 17 years old. Then suddenly my grandmother died in my arms” - the death of your grandmother revealed your problem very strongly. It was at that moment that most of all you needed to think that without her you would feel very bad, almost impossible, and this is already a question. Perhaps you are still grieving for her, that is, you did not allow your psyche to survive this situation, or perhaps you are still depressed from her death. In any case, this event is very important and indicative for you; you need to understand these feelings and the work of grief more deeply. That’s what you say: “But for 9 years I’ve been living simply by inertia,” which means your feelings are really directed to the past and you need to return them from there.

“How can I help myself find myself?” - this is the difficulty, that now in order to understand yourself, your feelings and desires, you need another person, or rather a specialist who can listen to you, analyze you and guide you to yourself. It is almost impossible to do this on your own or quickly. Therefore, it will be the best and most effective option for you to contact a psychoanalyst or psychotherapist for individual consultations and begin the process of therapy and self-discovery.

The right questions for you! Welcome to psychoanalysis.

You have no control over your physiology

Take a moment to imagine what a person with a lack of motivation physically looks like. How is he worth? How does he sit? What is his posture like? Are your shoulders pulled back or forward? Is your back straight or hunched? Introduced?! Now imagine what a fully motivated person looks like, how he speaks, how he looks, how he moves... And what do you look like?

What to do?

Movement leads to motivation. If you want to get motivated, learn to control your physiological state. Identify what movements you do naturally when you feel motivated. Do them and your mind will begin to follow your body.

About consciousness

First of all, I will explain, or reveal a little secret about human consciousness. Our mind is very inert - sometimes it cannot change and adapt here and now physically and psychologically and morally (proved not by me, but by very smart people in dressing gowns, but why this information is not generally known... I don’t know). That is, use all the different psychics. the tricks are how to treat the symptoms, not the disease itself. But it is possible to systematically do preventive measures so that the desire for a previously loved job does not disappear.

You don't want to achieve your goal enough

Whatever we strive to achieve - writing a book, losing weight, forming an ideal relationship - it is the degree of our desire that becomes the decisive element in achieving the goal. But too many people try to limit their desire. And when we limit our desire, we also limit what we are willing to do to achieve it. As a result, we limit our motivation.

If you limit your potential success, you will limit what you are willing to do to create it.

What to do?

Use the 10X Rule: Set goals that are 10 times bigger than you think you are, and then describe 10 times more of what you will need to do to achieve success.

Some will say that setting unattainable goals kills motivation, but this is not true. 10x goals, commonly referred to as “stretch” goals, will only push you to do more than ever before. Plus, even if you don't reach your 10X goal, you'll probably achieve what you originally thought you would.

But setting a high goal is only the first step. The second step is to 10x the number of actions you think you need to take to achieve that goal. You will find that the more actions you take, the more motivated you are to keep doing more.

I won't be able to handle this

Many people also feel like they have taken on a load on their shoulders that is actually much more than they can lift. That is why they prefer to always put off a difficult task until tomorrow, and when the time comes to develop, they do not give it their all. However, every person must understand that success will only be possible if you learn to step over yourself all the time. Of course, some people do take on overwhelming burdens. However, is this worth refusing to at least try? It is quite possible that a few efforts will help achieve a result that could not be imagined.

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You're too overwhelmed

Have you ever experienced such stress and intense pressure that you wanted to say: “Burn them all... I don’t care anymore...”. Whatever the reason for these words, it means that you are completely exhausted and overloaded. It's hard to stay motivated when you're like this.

What to do?

In the previous paragraph we talked about the 10X goal. But perhaps, in your conditions and given your capabilities, there is too much of an ordinary goal for you?! Then lower the bar and move in small steps until you reach the conditions under which you can move more actively.

I have to work only for myself

And such a statement is not completely wrong. In the modern world, a person should first of all think about his destiny, but does this mean that he needs to become an egoist? Definitely not. In fact, truly strong motivation comes only when a person sees that the fruits of his labors bring happiness to many people. If this does not happen, then sooner or later the person will simply lose motivation, since her work will turn into a routine. Therefore, this phrase should be replaced with the following: “I will try to provide myself with everything I need, but I will not miss the opportunity to help others.” Even psychologists say that with such an attitude a person is able to show much greater productivity.

You are prone to procrastination

When you don't have complete clarity about what to do next, you begin to delay the start of any action. Procrastination leads to a lack of motivation.

What to do?

Take a task that you lack motivation to complete and highlight the part that you can do immediately. The next day, repeat the same action, but with the next part of the task. Instead of thinking about the whole task globally, you just need to do one part of it every day.

Stop waiting for inspiration

We are used to thinking that motivation is the spark that ignites us and starts our spiritual engine. In fact, it's exactly the opposite. We achieve something when we start doing something.

— Motivation is “a fire that burns slowly after you've painstakingly started it by hand, fueled by the satisfaction of progress,” says writer Jeff Hayden, author of The Myth of Motivation.

So don't waste time. Identify what emotions are stopping you from getting down to business and try to push them aside. Work for two minutes and see what happens next. And track your progress regularly. Your pride and motivation will grow when you see what you can achieve with consistent daily actions.

You're not specific enough

Motivation is like a fickle, fleeting, emotional creature with ADHD. It's difficult to get him to focus on one thing for a long period of time unless you give him very specific instructions.

One of the reasons you may lack motivation is a lack of specificity. For example, you say “I need to wake up earlier” or “I need to exercise more” or “I should probably start eating healthier.” At first, you may have a lot of motivation to achieve this goal, but it will disappear very quickly.

What to do?

Give your brain specific and actionable directions. A great way to get detailed and specific is to ask yourself questions. For example, “How will I know when I have succeeded?” The answer must be specific and measurable.

The more specific your actions and goals you want to achieve, the easier it is to do it. The fewer complex actions you have planned, the easier it is to motivate yourself to complete them. But every small concrete step that you take every day will fill you with motivation and ultimately lead you to your cherished goal.

I don't need anyone's help

Quite often, motivation is lost at the moment when a person is faced with a task that cannot be completed alone. He may even try to do something on his own, but every attempt will only lead to disappointment. Such people ruin their own lives only because pride takes over their minds. Over time, they completely lose motivation to move on or even begin to blame the world around them for their problems. Although in reality such a person is to blame himself. After all, sometimes it’s enough just to rationally weigh your strengths and ask for help if necessary. Is this approach too “shameful” than giving up after hundreds of unsuccessful attempts to break a wall with your head?

What if…

One of the most common phrases that sooner or later leads to loss of motivation. We are all afraid that our endeavors will end in failure and our time will be wasted. However, is it worth focusing on the negative aspects because of this? Or would it be better to use the power of your thoughts in a positive direction? Many people simply do not understand that when they start thinking about problems, they are not deliberately attracting them into their lives. Well, if one of the fears comes true, then the person will begin to doubt the prospects of the business he is engaged in.

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There's nothing wrong with me not completing the task.

Unfortunately, this excuse has already become a habit for many people. And it’s true: the world won’t end because you don’t get up this morning and go for a run. In addition, you can always put off difficult tasks until tomorrow. However, will a person be motivated if he fulfills his obligations only from time to time? This is why we do not recommend developing the thought within your mind that nothing bad will happen. What else will happen is that you will simply continue to stagnate in one place.

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