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5 Motivation Killers and How To Avoid Them


Motivation is an oft-discussed subject, particularly with regards to whether or not it is something that can be "taught." Some people believe that motivation is something that can be "caught" like a virus, whilst others (myself included) believe that motivation is something that has to have start from within, and for personal reasons.

What is seldom discussed with regards to motivation is those obstacles that get in the way of feeling truly passionate and directed in your life pursuits. The following are five motivation "killers"-they truly douse the fire of goal getting in your life-and ways to avoid their consequences.

Motivation Killer #1: Vagueness

Have you ever gotten into a car without knowing where you were going to drive? Course not. The same principle applies to setting goals and living with passion. When you get into your car, you have a destination in mind, an endpoint. If certain roads are closed due to construction, or if an accident has blocked off a particular road, you decide on alternative routes to the same destination. In life, the clearer you make your goals, the better your chance of attaining them. Having a clear destination is crucial not only to your driving exploits but also your life.

Motivation Killer #2: Extrinsic reasoning

People that are extrinsically motivated are those that are motivated by something outside of themselves. Common examples would be those that are motivated by money, possessions, accolades, what the neighbors think, etc. However, extrinsic motivation leads to a tumultuous lifestyle. What are the consequences of not getting the accolades, not obtaining the prestigious position within the company, not being able to afford the hottest new sports car? What happens if somebody disagrees with your opinion? The answer-lack of true, sustained passion for pursuit of your goals, as well as chronic anxiety and unhappiness.

Motivation Killer #3: Fear of failure

Probably the most common motivation killer, fear of failure is rampant in today's society. For an entire article on the subject, read my other article, "Run Towards Fear", which outlines a specific plan for conquering your biggest fears. However, when the thought that failure is intolerable or horrible overrides all other rational thoughts, the end result os the failure to take any risks, which are necessary for growth and improvement. How can you expect yourself to gain if you cannot risk? Although it is quite normal (meaning that you are not alone in this issue) to fear that you might not succeed, try not to let that fear rule you. Act in spite of it, and make the conscious decision that other things (gain, self-respect, confidence) are more important than your momentary fear.

Motivation Killer #4: Inactivity

Inactivity is one of the most common methods for reducing enthusiasm and passion in life. However, it is the most easily corrected problem. Take action, any action. The results are dependent upon something getting done. Care more for results than for methods. Though many people have lofty dreams and aspirations, many fail to take action to make them come to fruition. I have known far too many brilliant people who simply never took enough action in their lives, and I have even found myself taking too much time to think through issues fully when I should have been taking action towards attainment of the issue at hand instead.

Motivation Killer #5: Lack of knowledge

Lack of motivation is the final most common motivation destroyer. After all, how can you be passionate about a goal if you have no idea how to attain it? The answer lies with finding someone who has succeeded in whatever endeavor you venture to begin. Find out their methods, and model your actions after theirs. No need to reinvent the wheel here! This person serves as a model for what you want to do, and they could take the form of an acquaintance, a friend, or someone who is a public figure. If they have done that which you are seeking to do, all you have to do is replicate their methods as best possible given your unique circumstances.

Copyright (2004) Leif H. Smith. All Rights Reserved.

Performance expert Leif H. Smith, Psy.D, is the president of Personal Best Consulting, a consulting firm located in Hilliard, Ohio. To learn more tips and techniques to immediately improve performance in your life and to sign up for his FREE monthly advice newsletter, visit http://www.personalbestconsulting.com


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