Motivation, you might be wrong about it

Motivation is often seen as a mystical force that propels us to achieve great things. However, misconceptions about motivation can hinder your progress. These are some myths you might be telling yourself. Stop believing them:

Myth 1: You Need to Feel Inspired and Motivated to Get Going

Truth: Motivation follows action as much as the other way around. You don’t always need to feel good to get started, but getting started always gives you a chance at feeling good.

Action Step: Show up, start, and see what happens. Often, the mere act of beginning a task can spark the motivation you need to continue.

Myth 2: Motivation Helps You Get Ahead While Others Are Sleeping

Truth: Research shows that getting good sleep is the best way to restore emotional control, willpower, and activation energy (i.e., motivation). Waking up early is excellent—so long as you go to bed early.

Action Step: Prioritize sleep. Ensure you’re getting enough rest to maintain high motivation and performance levels.

Myth 3: Motivation Must Come from Within

Truth: It’s complicated. While having an internal spark to make a change or do something great is essential, being part of a community often provides the remainder of the fuel.

Action Step: Engage with a supportive community. External support can boost your motivation, whether joining a group with similar interests or finding a mentor.

Myth 4: Fear is a Great Motivator

Truth: Fear can be a powerful motivator for short-term goals and actions (e.g., see a snake, get scared, jump!). However, for long-term motivation, fear results in burnout (avoiding snakes daily is exhausting).

Action Step: Use positive reinforcements and joy rather than fear to sustain long-term motivation. Focus on the rewards and satisfaction of your efforts.

Myth 5: If You Aren’t Feeling Motivated, Something is Wrong

Truth: Like all other moods, motivation comes and goes. It is entirely normal to have periods of low motivation.

Action Step: Don’t panic during low motivation periods. Reflect on why it might be happening and make adjustments if needed. Sometimes, a break or a change in routine can reignite your drive.

Most often, you don’t lack motivation. You lack a better reason.