Psychotherapy usually solves more serious problems with motivation. It is useful in situations where the loss of motivation significantly affects the functioning at work, at home or in school. Psychotherapy helps to uncover our inner motives, to understand what really motivates us and whether it is still valid. We will find out whether things that we lose motivation for, are really what we want, or whether we do it “because of” someone or something. We will identify whether we are compensating for low self-esteem or trying to thank our parents. Psychotherapy will also help restore our internal resources in difficult situations, so we can better manage them.
Motivation is a complex mental process that supports or weakens our actions in relation to the goal. Motivation can be internal, based on our own needs (eg development, cognition, self-realization), and external, coming from outside. Motivation can be positive (get rewarded) or negative (avoid something unpleasant).
It is important to realize the goal to remember why you are learning. Imagining what it will be like when you graduate or when you master what you are learning, can give you motivation. It is also necessary to set partial, achievable goals and plan a small reward (coffee, a walk) after reaching them. It will also help for someone to set regular learning times and enter them in the calendar.
Think about your work first. Do you still enjoy it? Does it make sense to you? Are you learning something new? Are you reasonably rewarded for it? Do you feel good about it? Can you handle it in a reasonable time? Do you have enough rest? Try changing or modifying what doesn’t suit you. If that doesn’t work, it’s probably time to change jobs. It is useful to consult your situation with an expert.
When we lose motivation to work or learn, we do not want to continue, tasks seem difficult, we feel tired, we can’t escape procrastination. Then it is appropriate to realize why we do the thing in the first place, what is its goal or meaning. Some work may be boring, but it is necessary to complete a larger project, just as a demanding exam is required to complete a study. You can imagine what it will be like when you have it done, when you get to know something more, to get into the feeling you will have when you are done. It is also advisable to divide the work or study into smaller units and after their completion you can be rewarded, for example with a walk or coffee. It is important to plan rest and breaks. For longer-term problems with work motivation, it is also useful to think about work as such. Do you enjoy it at least a little? Does it make sense to you? Are you learning something new? Are you reasonably rewarded for it? Do you feel good in it? Can you handle it in a reasonable time? Do you have enough rest? Try to change what doesn’t suit you, such as discussing the possibility of changing your job description, working on more demanding tasks, or adjusting working hours. If that doesn’t work, consider changing jobs. And you can ask similar questions while studying, many people start studying a field, for example at the initiative of their parents, and gradually it turns out that they really do not enjoy studying or that they do not have sufficient prerequisites for it. It is useful to use an expert who will help you to ask the right questions.
We often lose motivation because we make a great effort, and yet our goal is still not in sight, especially with long-term projects and tasks. Divide your project, whether it’s work, weight loss or running a marathon into smaller, easier-to-reach units, and work on them regularly. Remind yourself why you are doing this thing, what your goal is. Also ask why the goal is important to you personally right now and if it really is your goal. Psychotherapy can also be useful, in that it helps to reveal what really motivates us.
Loss of life motivation is often caused by other significant loss in your life, such as a loss of a partner, child, job or health, something that changes our daily lives. First, it is necessary to deal with this loss, or “grief it away”. Here psychotherapy can be very useful in helping to accept the loss. It can also treat feelings of guilt that can arise in these situations. Then it is appropriate to look for other sources of motivation and life energy, sometimes a new meaning of life. Here, too, psychotherapy makes sense, the therapist seeks the possibility of further changes with the client, and supports him or her in their gradual implementation. Loss of life motivation may also be related to depression, in more serious cases the use of antidepressants is useful.
“I looked for a psychologist when I was writing my diploma thesis. I had to postpone the deadline twice because I was not able to get along. There was a real threat that I won’t be able to finish my studies. I was under constant stress that they would kick me out, I couldn’t relax by anything else, because I had remorse for not writing. In therapy, I found that I had to learn strategies to keep working under stress. I learned to organize my work time and to not forget to clear my head with my hobbies.”