Things that kill your motivation can be a damper on many areas of your life. Avoid them! Don't let anything destroy your motivation. Pursue your passion. Pick yourself up after a failure. Keep learning. These are the phrases we hear time and again convincing us to keep going. And rightly so, because it’s difficult to keep doing something that we are failing at, or to do something very well unless we are motivated enough to do it. We are often our own worst enemies when it comes to destroying our motivation. Sometimes it’s because we don’t believe in ourselves, other times we let people’s criticism of us influence us too much. Trying to do things perfectly often means we do not do anything at all.
Here are six negative things that kill your motivation:
“I’ll do it tomorrow”, or “I just can’t seem to get around to it.” Sound familiar? We procrastinate usually when we have to do something we don’t want to do. Unfortunately, those are often the most important things, like filing our tax return. Successful business people give this tip about procrastination: set aside the first hour of each day to do the things you hate doing. You’ll have a great sense of accomplishment after doing them, and can then devote the rest of your day to doing things you like.
Similar to procrastination, allowing ourselves to get distracted means that we stray off course and don’t get done what we’re supposed. To stay motivated, you need to keep distractions away. Turn off the music. Put your cellphone in a drawer and switch it off. Close down your email for an hour. Being able to be in touch 24/7 with other people through technology ultimately amounts to a huge distraction. To really do something well, you need to be focused.
Even the most seemingly accomplished people may suffer from a feeling of failure. If you are trying something new (like starting a business) or something you haven’t done for a long time (like studying online years after you graduate), it is natural to fear that you might fail. And the truth is: you might. But that should not stop you from picking yourself up and keeping going. Failing at something usually means we learn a valuable lesson along the way.
You know the type. You mention your latest plan to them and are met by a disapproving silence. Or they tell you you’re not qualified enough. Or regale you with stories of other people who’ve tried and have failed. Purely negative people bring us down. If it’s not constructive advice you’re getting, stay away from them, at least until you get yourself onto more secure ground. Rather find people who are supportive and give you words of wisdom.
Nothing is more demotivating that holding yourself to impossibly high standards that you cannot meet. The desire to do things perfectly is a curse. We should relish our imperfections and rather try to do things “well enough”. If you take that attitude from the beginning, you have a better chance of improving as you go along, rather than starting off with such a high standard that it leaves you paralyzed.
This is probably the biggest demotivator of all: our lack of belief in ourselves. If you don’t believe in yourself, you can hardly expect others to. You may have to get some counselling to examine your beliefs about yourself and change your attitudes if you are to accomplish what you set out to do.
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