While people often talk about motivation and demotivation, they often call it an external factor. Motivation is the hero in every story about the lack of success. It plays a significant role in the disengagement of people, as most of them state it.
Recently, in a conversation with a senior leader, playing her role for the company for more than 15 years I’ve heard a story how demotivated the lady was, because of some of the other leaders in the senior leadership team. She explained to me, how she felt, how much disappointment she “saw” during a period of several months. She also explained that she is demotivated because she saw that other senior leaders don’t follow company principles and values, that all these other leaders are not as integrated as they have to be in the company environment, that she feels they are not committed and don’t want to help company growth plans. The lady also said: “I’m sick of seeing people around me, who are here just for the sake of the convenient worktime. That is a big factor for my demotivation”.
We discussed the topic on her demotivation several times in a period of two weeks, by having one on one meetings after everyone else has left the office
Three weeks after our first conversation this same lady has found a reason to believe that things change and moved forward with all her tasks and challenges ready to face them and what is more important, to solve them for good.
I talked to her again asking: “What has changed? I see that others are still the same, but you have changed”. She replied to me: “There is no time to think about how others demotivate me. I now believe that the only person who has an impact on my motivation is me, and me only. No one else can affect my motivation because now I see it more like an internal than an external element of what I do.”
Now she was ready to move forward with all the challenges she can face.
Every one of us has come a similar way. We were, at some point in our lives at a place where we couldn’t see a reason to stay positive or move forward, thinking only how to give up. In online research from 2017, a Swedish professor of Psychology has found that 42% of people leaving their jobs during the first year with a new company do it because they can’t find a reason to stay. I don’t say that you must struggle 5+ years within a company that makes you feel miserable, but you must at least give the company and you a chance to try work relationship out. Because relationships and motivation don’t happen in a day. If you think on how others around you demotivate you, then go back, sit somewhere and think again where are actually the roots of your motivation. If you are on the crossroad you are not alone. There are many people just like you out there. To help you with your path to motivation I’m offering you several principles that have helped me and people I have worked with to stay motivated even in the hardest times:
Motivation is an internal driver
You can’t blame others for your motivation because it doesn’t come from them but from you. Motivation is not something that others create for you. Motivation is the state of mind and body you create as an answer to others reactions and behaviors in a certain situation.
Motivation has no direction
You probably heard that there are two types of motivation positive and negative(demotivation). And most people believe that the second type is externally created for them from others. What we call demotivation is actually a negative response and a defense mechanism of our body and brain to circumstances that make us feel uncomfortable. No matter what the situation is, it is our internal choice to make it look positive or negative.
It is up to you to change your motivation
People often wait for someone else to solve their problems and lower the level of challenge and pressure they feel. The only person who can help you in such situation looks at you in the mirror every morning. People only create situations you are involved in. But these situations don’t set expectations for how to react in them. It is up to you to decide how can you react in a decent situation. If your reaction is negative then you move in a defensive mode and become “demotivated”, but if you chose to react positively than you build an image of self-confident person able to pull out positives and wins from the situation. That is what others see as positive motivation in you.
Motivation is not a constant element
I have often heard from different people that there motivated and demotivated people who have always been like that. During the last almost 10 years I have had several opportunities to convince people from different leadership layers how wrong that statement is. As faster as you understand that motivation is not constant, but flexible and the moving element of your personality you will be able to change it for good. Being “diagnosed” as motivated or demotivated is a temporary condition that doesn’t last forever, except if you don’t want it. If you accept that everything is changing it will be easier for you to analyze where you are now and start walking the path for change. If you are stuck in a particular moment, no matter how well you feel, your behavior, achievements levels and results will stay constant.
Demotivation is only possible if you accept it as a state
People often talk about how stuck in a moment and demotivated they feel. But after the words, they don’t do anything to change the situation. Time flies’ and one day you decide that there is no more room here for you and you quit. Demotivation is a state of mind and body that is connected with comfort. It is often expressed with a similar phrase like: “It is not what I wanted, but I can live with it.” Demotivation is a low energy state of mind and body that changes your behavior from identifying challenges and working toward them to accepting things the way they are. And that creates comfort for the body and mind that things just come and go and you are not able to change them.
Motivation is not balance, but imbalance
Look at someone, described from others as motivated. This person is full of energy, moving toward challenges and investing time, efforts, energy and emotions to change the current situation. To be motivated means to feel a constant challenge to be active and invest energy and time to change the status quo. If you want to become one of these people you need to rethink the current environment and situations you are entering and invest time and efforts to change them. If you achieve balance for a long period of time, without any challenges, that makes you lazy, slow, and counterproductive and repositions you from a change creator to a comfort and change opponent.
The topic of motivation is in people mouths for more than 100 years. There are scientist, consultants, business leaders and many others who discuss this topic. The truth is somewhere between all these positions, discussions, etc. But one thing comes above all: Motivation is deeply connected with energy, positive thinking, and persistent change and demotivation is not only lack of energy, but a comfort, created around people who decide to feel weak. It is up to you where you want to stay and there is no one else who can make you change except you.