We all have those days when we just can’t get excited about our jobs.
But what if I told you that relying on motivation is garbage?
You’re never going to wake up and feel motivated to start doing things that are hard, scary, new, or uncertain unless you understand the three components of motivation.
So let’s take a deeper look at what’s happening in your brain when you feel motivated or unmotivated.
What is Motivation, Anyway?
Our brains are designed to stop us from doing anything that might be hard work or that might hurt us.
When you feel a lack of motivation, what you’re really feeling is the subtle habit of hesitation.
This hesitation is what you’re experiencing when you think about calling in and staying home. When you just aren’t “feeling it.”
Why do we hesitate? The brain enters a Motivational Triad. It wants to…
- Seek pleasure
- Avoid pain
- Be efficient
These are three things that are the opposite of going to a challenging job, or a challenging day at work.
No wonder we hesitate and get that unmotivated feeling!
What to Do When You Don’t Feel Motivated
The first step is not to wait for motivation to just show up. That hesitation isn’t going anywhere on its own.
Life comes down to decisions. You have to decide if you’re going to show up as the best version of yourself or go the easy route, seeking the same old situations and comfortable — but limited — options.
The way I ensure I show up as the best version of myself is to have a compelling reason.
What is a compelling reason? Having something you’re focused on at work that is creating real value. For instance, maybe you have the goal of figuring out how to save steps or time by using a new software tool. If you can integrate this tool into the process, you won’t have to spend as much time on it, and you’ll have more time to work on the parts of your job that you enjoy and that challenge you. That’s a pretty compelling reason, right?
When you have a very compelling reason, two things happen:
- You create passion within yourself.
- You stay committed.
Guess what? That passion is going to feel an awful lot like motivation. You’ll have an inner reason to tackle the day ahead.
Commitment is consistent. It drives massive action even when the desire wanes, and it removes all the options for your brain to choose that safe, comfortable, sameness.
Between the two of these — passion and commitment — you’ll start creating a habit of action. That’s a whole lot more satisfying than giving in to the habit of hesitation.
If you struggle with feeling motivated, or you’re not sure how to connect to your passion and commitment, I can help.
I’m a career coach committed to helping young professionals achieve career satisfaction with the tools to understand their brains and manage their minds. Click here for a free mini session to learn how to get committed and stay motivated. [click here to free mini session]
Image by Justyn Warner, Unsplash