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5 Crucial Causes of Lack of Motivation in Life

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Motivation to humans is like gas to cars. In this article, you’ll get to know the five crucial causes of lack of motivation and what to do.

<!-- set a 626:352 i.e a 16:9 aspect ratio --><img src="lack-of-motivation-in-life.jpg" width="626" height="352" alt="a man jogging on a lonely road. Illustration of lack of motivation in life">
Photo Credit: Freepik / ArthurHidden

As it has always been, motivation is the willingness to do something, especially in behavior. Still, when someone lacks motivation, its causes lie within certain behaviors that kill motivation.

The inability to get stuff done is a result of the negative effect of lack of motivation. This is because of the negative motivators that control the thoughts negatively.

However, one way to keep the motivation alive is by getting rid of the negative motivators. When we talk about negative motivators, they’re nothing but those negative voices in our heads we pay attention to.

Differences between positive and negative motivation in life

There is positive and negative motivation. Negative motivation is an example of why people lack motivation. These negative motivators are those voices in our heads that wrongly decide what our next moves or actions should be.


The positive motivators, on the other hand, are those strong oppositional thoughts in our head that suppress the negative motivators and rightfully decide our next moves and actions.

Regardless of what the situation may be, until we conquer the battle on the inside, we can’t deal with the battle on the outside. This means that both negative motivation and positive motivation fights for dominance in our heads.

The one that conquers the other will have control over our moves, thoughts, and actions. In that case, you will need to come up with “way to go” actions to support the positive motivators in conquering the negative motivators.

Examples of this negative motivation include:

  • Replacing “I can” with “I can’t
  • Controlled by pains
  • Unwillingness to continue
  • Poorly selected routines
  • Unbothered by failure and incomplete tasks

Examples of positive motivators include:

  • Willingness for continuity
  • Striving to achieve and clearing up tasks
  • Utilizing “I can” optimally
  • Controlling pain
  • Using routines to work on goals/supporting goals

To recap, negative motivation directs wrongly, while positive motivation directs rightly. And the negative motivation must be battled out by replacing it with positive motivation.

How can you build motivation in life?

One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to avoid negative motivators. If you aren’t able to do that, you will give room for the negative motivators, and not minding its negative effects on you.

Unfortunately, you keep acting on those negative voices in your head. But the bottom line is that if you lack motivation in life, it all boils down to the mindset at the end of the day.

However, the sure-fire way to keep your mindset motivated is to identify and get rid of the negative voices in your head. So, to boost your motivation, the best place to start is identifying the negative voices in your head and getting rid of them.

This supports the fact on similar findings to this that explains why people with mental illness, such as schizophrenia listens to negative voices in their heads.

Having known that lack of motivation in life is caused by negative motivators, let’s see what those negative motivators are and how to go about them.

Crucial Causes of lack of motivation in life

Here are five crucial causes of lack of motivation and how to go about them.

1. The dictator

One of the major reasons people lack motivation in life is because of the dictator. That means to boost motivation, it’s important to transform the mindset and avoid the negativity that comes with the dictator.

When one lets the dictator have control over him or her, then the person will begin to lack responsibility for his or her actions, which makes the person listen to those negative voices in his or her head.

For example, a negative motivation word like ‘can’t’ is one of those dictators in our head that we often listen to, instead of the positive motivation word like ‘can’

The inability for one to maintain the positive motivation words makes the person prone to lack of motivation. You can see that both ‘can’t’ and ‘can’ can determine what our next moves, thoughts, or actions would be.

The negative dictator forces one to withdraw when the person wants to make an important decision. It’s a false voice in our head to reject.

So, the goal is to use the dictator to our advantage. We have to recognize the negative dictators in our heads and filter them out from the positive dictators.

Way to go?

It’s left for one to recognize those voices in his or her head that give him or her the wrong suggestions, then the person can get rid of them.

The person will have to be in total control of himself or herself. It’s a matter of the person being able to control the thoughts and actions to make sure he or she reaches the goal.

The best way to do that, however, is to see those negative voices in the head as negative motivators. That way, one will be able to have control of himself or herself.

From our examples earlier on, we saw that ‘can’t‘ is one of those negative motivators, while ‘can‘ is one of the positive motivators. In that case, one should figure out what his or her negative motivators are, and replace them with their opposites.

Instead of the person listening to the negative voices that will withdraw him or her, the person should replace them with positive voices that will make him or her take action.

2. Over-analyzing the pain

To achieve something comes with the price of taking action, and in the action lies pain. While action requires a little discomfort, over-examining the pain results in a lack of motivation.

Also, certain things that cause us pain are due to happen in life. Sometimes we just don’t have control over them, but we have control over how we feel about them.

Over-analyzing the pain of doing something and things we can’t control makes us prone to listening to negative voices in our head and acting on negative motivators – which brings us the first point.

So, to stay positive, motivated, and focused at work, one shouldn’t over-analyze the pain of doing something. The person should also avoid over-analyzing the pain he or she is going through so that he or she doesn’t give room for negative dictators.

Another thing about over-analyzing the pain is that it impedes focus in everything you do, and gives you unnecessary reasons to withdraw from valid decisions the person made.

How one analyzes the pain determines the outcome of negative and positive motivation. It also triggers those feelings that make one think pain isn’t worth it, and it begins to act as a negative motivator.

Way to go?

We must accept the fact that achieving something great comes with the price of taking action and in the action lies pain. Whether we are about to begin a task or already in it, we have to embrace the pain and look forward to getting a reward from it.

For those things that cause pain, there’s nothing wrong with analyzing pain. That’s what every human being would do. However, we should try to put everything behind as soon as possible.

This way, we begin to have control over pains. Also, we begin to understand more that there are things in life we really can’t control, and that’s when we begin to control our thoughts.

If we can control our thoughts, we will be able to identify the negative motivators. We also should not let our emotions get over us, such that we begin to act out of our emotions, not minding the consequences.

3. Inconsistent actions

Ever wondered why high achievers get to where they want? That’s because they know how to take real action, and they’re consistent with what they do. They set up plans, set goals, and figure out what to do to be consistent.

Not only are they consistent in whatever they set their minds at, but it also motivates them, because when they see progress in what they do, they can’t help but put more effort.

Nothing kills the will to keep on doing something more than inconsistent actions. The motivation to carry on with that task dies off when one is not consistent. Because consistent action builds the mindset of finishing a task.

We should get rid of those negative voices telling us to abandon a task every now then. Getting over the thought of renouncing a task builds our willingness to complete the task.

Consistent action is another sure-fire way to make sure one stays positive and motivated at work. Besides, any attempt to be inconsistent automatically kills the will to continue.

Way to go?

While we have other fun things to do, procrastinating relevant actions will not support the goal we are trying to achieve from a task. Likewise, being inconsistent won’t boost confidence, especially when working on something.

And if it continues that way, sooner than you think, without even realizing it, the desire to keep on doing that thing will begin to fade, especially when there’s no passion for it.

So, in order not to give room for lack of motivation, it’s important to stay consistent. For example, a footballer who has been on the bench for a long time will lack motivation. Because he’s not consistent in the pitch, his morale will be poor.

In that case, you can’t say he has the motivation to play the game unless he becomes consistent with playing on the pitch.

4. Unnecessary routines

One’s routines should synchronize with whatever task the person is working on. The person should get rid of those voices telling him or her to deviate from the right routines.

Logically, when one is working on a task or has a goal he or she is working towards, the person should rather engage in things that will help him or her to achieve success from the task.

Because the routines selected are going to be habits, and the habits will positively or negatively shape the behavior in willingness to do something. So, if the routines are in line with the task, they bring you back to work.

And because routines are things we love to do often as planned, they also help us in growing ourselves. Moreover, constant growth calls for better decisions and actions.

When one engages in routines contrary to the goal he or she wants to achieve, the person is screaming, “I’m not interested in my goal!”

Way to go?

Many people lack motivation in life as a result of engaging in routines that don’t charge them up to keep doing what they do.

For one to motivate himself or herself not to be lazy, the person should engage in necessary routines, ranging from the tedious ones to non-tedious ones.

This way, the person will begin to get more hardworking as a result of being used to doing tedious things. This is one of those positive motivation techniques anyone can apply at any time.

One will later thank himself or herself for doing those necessary routines the person loves that made him or her used to such things.

The greater news is that the person will become motivated when he or she begins to see benefits as the person get closer to his or her goal. And even better when the person finally achieves the goal.

5. Resisting things that matter

How an incomplete or undone task affects one is also important when it comes to being motivated. In other words, if the incomplete or undone task doesn’t affect the person, the person will eventually lose motivation to do it.

One can stay motivated to keep on doing something when the person allows it to affect him or her if it’s not 100% complete.

Remember that feeling unaffected by something important that is incomplete or undone is not positive. So if one doesn’t feel affected, the person will give room for negative motivation.

Therefore, one shouldn’t mistake worrying about the things that don’t matter for the things that matter. This will propel the person up for a better approach when he or she deals with things so that the person can stay motivated when doing things.

Way to go?

One should be attentive to those things that matter in life, then begin to feel affected when the person notices that he or she still hasn’t got the desired results.

Then when the person has sorted this out, the person should use point 3 and point 4 to back it up. Also, while one make effort to avoid resisting things that matter, the person must avoid the limitations of the comfort zone.

When the person masters this art, then he or she will notice that the rest of the “way to go” actions for staying motivated will begin to fall in place. Sometimes, finding a powerful motto can be effective in cases like this.

Key takeaways

Lack of motivation in life has to do with the type of motivation that conquers the other in our head. While the negative motivators and positive motivators are the two determinants, one is harmful, and that one is the negative motivator.

We should identify and get rid of the negative motivators in our heads to build motivation. We should also utilize the “way to go” strategies so that we can scale through the toughness that comes with overcoming the negative motivators.

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