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Overcoming a loss in motivation

How often have you started a new routine or project with an initial burst of enthusiasm, only to lose motivation and ultimately give up? As a result, you feel let down, deflated and depressed. However, there are ways to turn the negative thoughts and feelings around.

The natural pattern for human emotion is peaks and valleys. The key to getting control of your emotions is to understand them. At the start of a new project we are full of optimism. We wax lyrical about the benefits we are going to enjoy but can be blindly unaware of the difficulties which may lie ahead. The natural high we experience creates a surge of physical and mental activity. Sadly, this high rarely lasts long as exerting large amounts of energy can really wear you down and when enthusiasm deserts you, it can leave you extremely tired.

Loss of confidence, below expectation results and negativity creep in and the impending adversity makes us give up the project altogether. By their very nature, emotions lose their power when we understand them. Next time you feel angry, try to understand what is behind the emotion. Once you spot that it is due to jealousy, insecurity or feeling of selfishness, then the actual feeling of anger will subside.

This technique can be used when you experience loss of motivation. Don’t give in and become negative. Stop and look at the causes. Are you just tired? Are you just disappointed with the results or how things are going? Are your feelings justified?

Don’t resign yourself to failure but do prepare yourself for let downs. Lack of success is perfectly normal in most situations – it is in these moments we learn about what hasn’t worked and move forward and set more realistic expectations. For example, while dieting, saying you wish to lose 20lbs a month is unrealistic. If you accept this fact then you will cope far better when you lose 5lbs!

Understand your emotional peaks and valleys. Recognise that overbearing optimism can give way to depression. Observe that any project can give way to a motivational battle and prepare for it!

Emotional valleys bring us back to reality. Imagine the world if they didn’t exist – a world full of people with unlimited self confidence!

One way to view loss of motivation is to view it as an opportunity to reconsider what motivation is. Motivation is the theory used to explain behaviour. It gives the reason for people's actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one's direction to behaviour, or what causes a person to want to repeat a behaviour and vice versa. A motive is what prompts the person to act in a certain way, or at least develop an inclination for specific behaviour.

Lastly, sometimes giving up is the right thing to do. If you start something for all the wrong reasons you shouldn’t be surprised when you lose motivation. This is a good thing as it allows us to see what really motivates us and can assist you in making good choices and move onto a new and different project. In conclusion, listen to self-doubt and use it to benefit and enhance the likelihood of future successes.

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