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Blog: Blog2

Why Can't I Just Get it Done? Lacking Motivation Part 1

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

In my experience as a psychologist, one of the most debilitating and most painful experiences I hear about is having no motivation to do activities that will help you feel better, that need to be done, or even things you used to find enjoyable. In my opinion, because of these reasons, depression and other mental illnesses that mess with or completely destroy motivation are so difficult to deal with and recover from. Whether you yourself are finding you suspect a friend of loved one is experiencing this, this series of blogs will look at many factors that contribute to poor motivation, and some techniques I have had success with for this issue. Today, I will share about where poor motivation comes from.

Understand that having no motivation does not make you a bad person. Poor motivation typically begins with feeling unhappy with yourself for some reason, whether you feel like you stuffed up or are selfish and worthless. Unfortunately, there is a bias to thinking that someone who does not complete activities is lazy, selfish, or stubborn. In fact, I have only met one person in my life that I believe actually fits this description, and they were not a client of mine! Every person I work with who has this issue has something in common: An element of anxiety leading to them avoiding doing things. When you have to do a task and you are anxious about it (eg. What if I get it wrong? What if people think I am stupid? What if I can’t do it and think even less about myself?), that actually encourages you to avoid it. You know what is easier than having to deal with those feelings? Doing anything else!

Similarly to this, not completing activities is actually part of a cycle that makes itself stronger as time goes on, which makes breaking the cycle harder to do also as time goes on. The motivation cycle typically looks like this:

This cycle of increasingly negative thoughts is typically what is feeding poor motivation and typically ends up in self-hatred or poor self-esteem, especially when it happens over a long period of time.

Watch this space for the next blog in the series!

- Estelle Perry, Psychologist

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