10 Things That Steal Our Motivation—and How to Get It Back



Aug 01, 20235 min read


10 Things That Steal Our Motivation—and How to Get It Back

Motivation is a powerful force that drives us to take action and create positive change in our lives. It is essential for creativity, productivity, and overall happiness. However, there are many factors that can steal our motivation and leave us feeling stuck and unmotivated. In this article, we will explore ten common reasons for demotivation and provide actionable advice on how to regain motivation.

1. You're Demotivated by Fear

Fear is a common demotivator that can hold us back from pursuing our goals and dreams. When fear is present, even if we are excited about moving forward, our self-preservation instincts can prevent us from taking action. To regain motivation, it is important to confront and name our fears. By acknowledging and understanding our fears, we can develop strategies to overcome them and move forward with confidence.

2. You're Demotivated by Setting the Wrong Goals

Setting goals based solely on societal expectations or the desires of our "Social Self" can lead to demotivation. Our "Essential Self," which is spontaneous and creative, often has different aspirations than our Social Self. To regain motivation, it is important to review our goals and ensure that they align with our Essential Self. We can access our Essential Self through our body's signals, such as tightness or constriction. If our goals are causing tension in our bodies, it may be a sign that they are not aligned with our true desires.

3. You're Demotivated by Lack of Clarity

Demotivation can also stem from a lack of clarity. When we are unsure about the next steps or the path forward, it can be challenging to stay motivated. To overcome this, it is important to break down our goals into smaller, actionable steps. By creating clear project plans and scheduling them into our calendars, we can maintain motivation and keep moving forward.

4. You're Demotivated by a Values Conflict

Conflicting values can create demotivation and internal conflict. When different parts of ourselves want different things, it can be challenging to find motivation. To regain motivation, we need to unpack our values conflict and mediate between the different parts of ourselves. By clarifying what we truly want and evaluating different strategies, we can find new ways to achieve our goals and maintain motivation.

5. You're Demotivated by Lack of Autonomy

Having autonomy in decision-making is crucial for motivation, creativity, and productivity. When we feel restricted or lack control over our work, it can lead to demotivation. To regain motivation, it is important to evaluate the level of autonomy we have in relation to our goals. If we feel limited, we can seek opportunities to have more control over what we do, when we do it, how we do it, and whom we do it with.

6. You're Demotivated by Lack of Challenge

Humans are designed to thrive on challenges and opportunities for growth. Without constant challenges, our Essential Self may demotivate us as a way of signaling that we are not on the right path. To regain motivation, it is important to review our goals and projects and ensure that they are challenging us. By seeking out new challenges and opportunities to master new skills, we can reignite our motivation and drive.

7. You're Demotivated by Grief

Experiencing grief can significantly impact our motivation. During times of trauma, loss, or major life changes, it is important to give ourselves space for nurturing and reflection. Taking care of our physical and emotional well-being through good food, rest, exercise, and seeking support from loved ones is crucial during these times. It is important to remember that motivation will return when we have allowed ourselves to heal and process our emotions.

8. You're Demotivated by Burnout

Burnout can lead to a loss of motivation and a lack of energy to pursue our goals. It is important to prioritize self-care and rest when experiencing burnout. By giving ourselves time to recharge and restore our thinking, we can reconnect with our Essential Self and rediscover what is truly important to us. Building sustainable ways to do more of what brings us joy and fulfillment is key to maintaining motivation.

9. You're Demotivated by Loneliness

As social creatures, connection with others is vital for motivation. When we feel lonely or isolated, it can impact our motivation to take action. Taking breaks and spending time with people we enjoy can have a motivating impact and bring clarity and productivity when we return to our work. Nurturing relationships and seeking social connections can help reignite our motivation.

10. You're Demotivated By Fuzzy Next Steps

Having a clear understanding of the next steps is crucial for maintaining motivation. If our goals are not broken down into smaller, actionable tasks, it can lead to confusion and demotivation. To keep motivation flowing steadily, it is important to create clear project plans and schedule them into our calendars. By having a clear roadmap, we can stay motivated and focused on achieving our goals.

In conclusion, motivation is a complex and multifaceted concept. There are various factors that can steal our motivation, ranging from fear and conflicting values to lack of clarity and autonomy. By understanding and addressing these factors, we can regain motivation and continue to pursue our goals and dreams.

Actionable Advice:

1. Confront your fears and develop strategies to overcome them. Name your fears and identify what they are telling you about the research, gaps, and risk management strategies needed to move forward.

2. Review your goals and ensure they align with your Essential Self. Pay attention to your body's signals of tightness or constriction, which may indicate goals that are not in alignment. Focus on goals that are challenging and ignite your passion.

3. Break down your goals into smaller, actionable steps. Create clear project plans and schedule them into your calendar. This will provide clarity and keep motivation flowing throughout all stages of your projects.

Remember, motivation is a journey, and it requires continuous effort and self-reflection. By addressing the factors that steal our motivation and taking proactive steps to regain it, we can create a life filled with purpose, fulfillment, and success.


  1. "10 Things That Steal Our Motivation—and How to Get It Back", https://advice.theshineapp.com/articles/10-things-that-steal-our-motivation-and-how-to-get-it-back/ (Glasp)
  2. "「それってただの機能じゃない?会社になりえるの?」 (機能とプロダクトと会社の違い)|原健一郎 | Kenichiro Hara", https://comemo.nikkei.com/n/nb42d532e4e44 (Glasp)

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