What To Do When You Have No Motivation



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We all have big goals and dreams, but sometimes life just gets in the way. In this blog post, we’ll explore what motivation is, the possible reasons for feeling unmotivated, and what to do when you have no motivation to do anything at all.

If you’re in a hurry, but still want to enjoy this blog post, here’s a video that explains every concept in detail:

We’ve all had those moments of sublime motivation: that sweet rush of energy, as if you were the king of the world, and anything seemed possible. It’s a great feeling! But it’s also impossible to feel motivated all the time, especially if you’re having a hard time in your personal or work life.

Lack of motivation can happen for various reasons. Here are some of them:

✔ You’ve neglected your physiological needs;

✔ You’ve experienced some form of rejection;

✔ You’ve overwhelmed yourself with ‘decision fatigue’;

✔ You don’t have a detailed action plan;

✔ You’re feeling depressed.

Let’s explore each of them.

You’ve Neglected Your Physiological Needs

Neglecting your physiological needs can result in chronic fatigue, poor sleep quality, slow metabolism, and poor digestion. Suddenly, you can’t stop yourself from procrastinating, you lack inspiration and have zero motivation to do the things that you’re supposed to if you want to achieve your goals.

There’s a powerful link between your mind and your body. You can’t expect to neglect your physical needs and still have all the mental energy and go-getter attitude in the world.

Let’s take a quick glimpse of your basic physiological needs: food, water, sleep, and shelter. If you don’t make sure you’ve met all of them, you won’t be able to function at your highest capacity. To be motivated, you need to focus your attention on acknowledging your needs and meeting them first.

You’ve Experienced Some Form of Rejection

Rejection, especially in areas of your life that are important to you, can be devastating for your emotional health and self-esteem. One day you’re living the life, the next day you don’t get into your dream college, or your partner suddenly decided to leave you. As a result, you begin to feel unworthy, unappreciated, and unmotivated to do anything.

Now, fear of rejection is another breed of animal. I’ve had clients who do magnificently at their private and work life but still have trouble sleeping at night because they fear getting rejected and losing it all. If that seems like something familiar to you, remember this: fear is just what it is; a fictional story that your mind likes to tell itself. It’s not real and you’re much stronger than you think.

You’ve Overwhelmed Yourself with Decision Fatigue

Imagine that you have a battery with all the decision-making power you have throughout your day.

The more decisions you make, the less power you have. The more you focus on decisions that won’t make a big impact on your life, the less power you have left for the ones that will. Decision fatigue happens when you drain your decision-making batteries by obsessing over too many small decisions. You just have no power left for the big ones.

Let’s face the truth: decision making is hard, whether on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. What I can suggest in this situation is to take a step back, find out what works for you, and stick with it. The more neutral you are to the trivial tasks, the better.

Here’s an interesting fact: Have you wondered why CEOs of big-time tech companies like Steve Jobs (Apple) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) appear wearing T-shirts in every photo?

It’s not because they want to look cool. Zuckerberg once shared in an interview that he doesn’t want to spend time picking what to wear, so he buys only matching t-shirts and jeans.

You Don’t Have a Detailed Action Plan

If you don’t have a step-by-step plan for how you’re going to achieve your goals, you probably won’t feel too motivated or excited about them. Here’s how a detailed action plan can help you out when you have no motivation to take action:

✔ It gives you a closer look at the problem;

✔ It helps you break a big and overwhelming problem down into small and manageable little tasks;

✔ It gives you structure and helps your brain to focus on taking action, instead of looking for problems everywhere.

You’re Feeling Depressed

Depression is not something that can be solved by reading a blog post or watching a couple of videos, I’m afraid. I don’t believe in quick fixes when it comes to treating depression.

So here’s my pledge: please, make sure you talk to a professional. Therapy can help you tremendously and I highly encourage you to seek help. You can and will get better. Please, make the first step to healing yourself.

Now that we’ve explored the reasons why you may not feel motivated, let’s get to the solutions.

1. Get to Know Your Dark Side (Shadow Self)

According to Carl Jung, your shadow self is actually the unconscious aspect of your personality, or the traits that you don’t want to associate yourself with.

So, what’s the best way to get to know your shadow self? Acknowledge it, bring it to light, and make it conscious. Check out this blog post if you want to learn more in-depth tips on how to finally explore and accept your dark side.

Let me give you an example: let’s say you’re an entrepreneur and you have a lot on your plate to think about every single day. One day you wake up and you immerse yourself into binge-watching Netflix all day instead of working, and because you’re your own boss there’s no one there to scold you or keep you on the right track.

In this situation, the part of your brain that wants short-term gratification is prevailing over the one that can get you long-term results. Which means you’ll always choose short-term pleasure over pain.

Let’s say you’re a small business owner who works from home. You have a gigantic to-do list and there are days when you feel absolutely overwhelmed. As a result, you start procrastinating on your work by playing video games or scrolling through Instagram, and then feel guilty because you haven’t done what you were supposed to do for the day. That frustration leads to more lack of motivation, and the cycle repeats itself.

In this example, the shadow self or the behavior you’re not conscious of, is the fact that you’re overwhelmed. Instead of taking regular breaks from work and having a good action plan to execute your tasks or delegate some of them, you procrastinate and find something to distract yourself from the negative feelings you’re experiencing.

By bringing light to your shadow self, it will no longer have power over you. Share on X

Every time you make a conscious decision, you develop self-trust and it will lead to making better decisions in the future.

If you want to dive deeper into the topic of shadow self, check out this video:

2. Take a Day Off or at Least a Couple of Hours to Yourself

I know this may not be possible for all of you, but you need to reconnect with yourself without all the influence of other people, technology, and all the distractions that life has to offer. Simply do something that will help you recharge and relax.

If you don’t feel motivated, then you’ve probably forgotten to take care of yourself, and we need to change that. Here are a couple of ideas but feel free to do your own thing, what’s important is you do something that energizes you:

✔ You can spend a couple of hours in the park without your phone;

✔ You can take a day off and go to the spa;

✔ You can catch up on your sleep or take a long bath;

✔ You can go to a concert or call a friend and grab some coffee.

Tune into yourself and find out what makes you happy. Don’t worry about motivation, it will come naturally once you pay attention to what’s important to you and take care of yourself.

3. Have a Vision of What You Want to Accomplish

If you’re having a hard time getting motivated, zoom out and look at the big picture.

Let’s say you want to become a writer but you don’t have the motivation to write. Okay, let’s make a vision board! Here’s how:

Collect all the things that you want to accomplish as a writer: it may be to help people, to share your story with the world, to be able to afford the things you want for yourself and your family. Whatever it is, find some pictures on the internet and put them in one place.

You can make a quick vision board using Canva or Adobe Spark. Having a vision board is important because when you know what you want to accomplish and look at it every single day, your brain will focus on finding possibilities instead of obstacles.

By having a clear vision of what you want to become and where you want to be in life in the next few years, you make it easier for yourself to find the motivation to go after the life that you want.


Coach Simona

Coach Simona is a certified Life Coach, CBT Practitioner, author of the book "111 Ways to Simplify Your Life", and founder of  confidence program The Queen Within™.

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