Demotivation: meaning, psychology and techniques to overcome it

Today the use of the term is widespread demotivation, to indicate the cases in which it is precisely the reason for lacking.

It may have happened to you to talk to an acquaintance of yours hearing words such as: "I'm not motivated enough in the work I do" or "I don't really find the motivation to study today", or even "I'm unmotivated: no matter how hard I try in this activity , I do not achieve the results I would like ".

And you too, if you are looking for more information about it, experience or must have experienced similar emotions in the past: demotivation can be accompanied by feelings of apathy on the one hand, and frustration on the other. In this sense, it is good to work on it, to fight it to definitively get out of a whirlwind of negative emotions, which certainly do not help you (and indeed are deleterious) to face everyday life.

Whatever the condition you are in now, do not despair: in this article I will talk to you about both the causes of demotivation and some very effective techniques to deal with it. But before we even go any further, I strongly urge you to take this test to see how motivated you are today.

Demotivation: meaning of the term

Let's start by clarifying once and for all the meaning of demotivation. This word is composed of two parts: de, which has a privative value, and motivation; so it literally means lack of motivation.

The next step is to define what motivation is in practice. Here I do not want to dwell more than necessary on the definitions, so I will provide you with an operational one:

"By motivation we mean the reasons, the reasons precisely, that push you to act."

Consequently, the concept of demotivation implies a lack of purpose, which guarantee you the necessary drive to commit yourself to improve your life, or to carry out various types of activities, whether it is related to work, study or any other aspect of your existence.

Causes and psychology of demotivation

Let's go deeper into the concept of demotivation, in particular by analyzing the causes that cause it. To do this I have to talk to you about what are the factors that fuel motivation in humans.

What the motivational theories say

One of the most relevant motivational theories, namely Maslow's theory of needs, tells us that what motivates man to action is nothing more than a series of needs. In other words, each man has innate needs, which in this theory are well represented through the famous pyramid:

At the first level of the pyramid you will have the most basic needs, and then move on to increasingly more refined needs. The fundamental postulate of this theory is that each man tends by nature to self-actualize, or rather to want to reach his true potential.

On the other hand, paraphrasing what Edwin Locke said in his Goal Setting theory dated 1968:

“Each man intentionally chooses goals to pursue, which he believes are to his benefit, so he has a higher level of awareness than any other living being. In this sense, it is through the achievement of objectives that human nature and the attempt of each man to want the best for himself are made concrete ... "

When something goes wrong: demotivation

Demotivation can intervene for different reasons: in this article I have decided to frame them in two cases that I will deal with separately.

Il the first case leading to demotivation is when others set goals for you.

Think of all the times you've been forced to study subjects or your boss has assigned you things to do. Carrying out these tasks is of no benefit to you other than to please the one who has imposed them on you.

In the jargon of psychology, this is referred to as extrinsic motivation. Those who commission you activities promise you Award, as:

  • If you study, you will have good grades
  • If you work well, you will receive a salary and you will not be fired

Such a situation is not in itself motivating, or at least it is as long as the reward persists. In fact, would you study for the sole pleasure of doing it? Would you work for free? The answer in general is no, unless you have reasons that come from within you to do so ... or what is called intrinsic motivation.

Il second case that leads to demotivation is more subtle, but also more interesting. This is the eventuality in which you, while setting your goals yourself, end up being demotivated.

The reason this happens is not unique either. The human psyche and the emotions it generates mean that there are many cases; it can also happen that they participate together in demotivation. Here I want to tell you about the most relevant ones:

  1. In setting your goals yours vision of things it was distorted from external elements, which have influenced you: they can be the people who are closest to you, such as your parents, your friends or your partner;
  2. In achieving a goal you found yourself in front of one set of obstacles, which have led you to give up and lose your motivation;
  3. Go through periods of trough o apathy, so you lose all interest and motivation to commit yourself to achieving a goal.

Emotions related to demotivation

There are various emotions that accompany demotivation and depend on the various cases I have just told you about.

In case others set a goal for you, what is most frequent is the sense of oppression, which in some cases more lead to real episodes of aggression.

The moment that precedes the one in which you realize that these are not the objectives to want to fight in life, will instead be characterized by a interior conflict. It is your true nature trying to reveal itself at the level of consciousness, trying to cross the barrier between the unconscious and your conscious part.

In the juncture in which in the attempt to achieve a goal you find yourself facing countless problems, they will grow in you anger e sense of frustration. You would like to reach the goal, but punctually you find yourself facing yet another obstacle that slows you down or blocks you completely.

Finally, in cases of apathy and depression, it happens that there is a total absence of interest in others and much less in one's own future. In other words, it is almost as if the individual gave up living.

3 foolproof techniques to combat demotivation

What I am about to illustrate to you are the three techniques that I find most effective in order to combat demotivation. I have used them and continue to use them myself: I'm sure they will work for you too!

1. Decide your future for yourself

The first piece of advice I want to give you to deal with demotivation is to decide for yourself about your future. Take full control of your life, and set your goals according to your vision.

Demotivation: meaning, psychology and techniques to overcome it

Vision is nothing more than your projection of a future scenario (as you see yourself five years from now, for example) in which your values, the ideals and yours aspirations.

Of course, using this technique presupposes that there has been an inner search process: many do not know what is best for their future or what to do with their lives. If you are also within this circle, consider that shedding light on this takes priority over everything.

It doesn't even make sense to talk about how to set goals if you haven't analyzed the best way to go, with whom and with what means to face your near future. For more information on this I recommend reading this article.

2. Create an effective action plan

Many people, despite being able to set valid goals, lack concreteness in the practice. Giving oneself goals is useless if at the same time one does not think about a possible one strategy to achieve them, fearlessly throwing oneself out of one's comfort zone.

Demotivation: meaning, psychology and techniques to overcome it

I'll give you an example about it. If your goal is to get a job promotion, you'll need to figure out the best strategy to make it happen. You might think about these things for example:

  • Always complete what you are commissioned to do on time
  • Always arrive on time if not early
  • Ask your boss for more responsibility
  • Work on your skills

These are some ideas on possible strategies to be adopted. You can also use them in synergy with each other. Depending on your particular case, you will need to consider what you think might work best.

Figure out what your action plan is extremely motivating: when you know, in fact, not only the benefits you will get from achieving the goal, but also what you need to do in practice, you will be prompted to act by applying your strategy.

3. Work on the skills of success

Third technique concerns the development of some skills which are often associated (and not surprisingly) with the concept of success. Here I want to tell you about a couple of these, which I believe are the most important for motivation purposes.

Demotivation: meaning, psychology and techniques to overcome it

First, the self-confidence, it is essential to face ambitious challenges and overcome one's limits. To be successful you will need to stand out from the crowd and carry out businesses that others have failed on.

For this you will need first of all to be aware of your potential and secondly to believe in yourself.

The second skill that I think is very important is the Resilience, understood as the ability to get up from a defeat and start working on achieving a goal stronger than before.

I tell you in depth about these techniques and not just in my Ultramotivation ebook. Inside you will find the secrets that will allow you to release your true potential and maintain your motivation all the way to achieving your goals. Find more information at this link.

Special cases

We conclude this article with some specific cases.

Demotivation in work

In the world of work, it often happens that you lose motivation: it is difficult to go to the office in the morning, you do things reluctantly and in general there is no sense of achievement related to carrying out daily activities.

I also happened to be unmotivated after some time working in the same place.

What is certain, and I never tire of repeating it, is that working for money, in view of a salary that reaches the end of the month, it is not motivating. Once you receive your compensation, you feel a sense of emptiness and in the long run this leads you to hate what you do.

This discourse, on the other hand, can be traced back to that of the prize, of extrinsic motivation. What I suggest, therefore, is to find a personal reason for which to work, other than that of money.

Personally, the professions that I have chosen from time to time have had the purpose of making me develop some skills: seeing the work in this light, I have never lost the motivation to always give my best.

Demotivation to study

Even the case of demotivation in the study is not uncommon, far from it. More and more young people are losing interest in their university education.

According to this ANSA research, the percentage of graduates in Italy amounts to only 26,4%. We are the penultimate country in Europe in terms of number of graduates. On the other hand, the setting up of the university system in Italy only aggravates the phenomenon.

This is a too theoretical point of view, which by now does not guarantee to those who finish their studies the possibility of finding a job.

Consequently, one of the most important reasons why we study fails, motivation also collapses with it.

In this sense, what I suggest is to find a reason for studying that goes beyond that of obtaining that piece of paper that nowadays we can say has lost its value.

You decide which subjects to deepen, even if they have nothing to do with your degree, and you will see that the motivation will not be long in coming.

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