What Motivation Is Not: Common Motivation Myths and the Truth Revealed

motivation myths

I don’t feel motivated to read.

I don’t feel motivated to go to work today.

I don’t feel motivated to eat.

Does this sound familiar? Except the last one, of course, but you get my point.

These are some of the ways we express motivation that is wrong. Read further to find out the common motivation myths and the truth about them.

1. Motivation is fixed

When we say things like, “I don’t feel like going to the gym today”, we are implying that motivation is fixed and you must feel a certain way about something every time before you do it. Well, here’s the truth. Motivation is NOT fixed. No one has a set level of motivation. As a matter of fact, when you don’t feel motivated to go to the gym, it’s probably because you feel motivated to sleep in bed instead. Ironic right? Yes, but it is true.

Elizabeth doesn’t feel like doing her routine exercise today, since she is worn out from yesterday’s activities. She thinks about how excited she was about it when she first started and wonders why she has no motivation today. Despite this, she drags herself off the bed and does the exercise. Now, that IS motivation.

2. If I’m motivated to do something, then I must enjoy doing it

This is a common motivation myth. We might not say it out but it’s right there in our heads.

Mercy reads all day. It is impossible to catch Mercy without a book. This made her mates conclude that she loves reading and would probably not be herself if she didn’t read but Mercy knows better. She knows how much she struggles to read, especially at times she wishes she could just take a rest instead. She also knows that if she weren’t in school, she would not be reading so much but rather invest in her hobby which is singing. This IS motivation.

We’ve been made to believe that if you’re motivated to do something, then you must enjoy doing it. This is far from the truth. Motivation does not mean you must enjoy something that you need to do.

It is rather your purpose for doing something. True motivation is having a strong ‘why’ for doing something, which drives you despite all odds.

3. Motivation is something you have

“I don’t have any motivation today.” This is another common motivation myth.

You probably said that yesterday and was just about to agree with me that you don’t have any motivation until I bursted your bubble. Well, allow me to burst it further.

Motivation is NOT something you have.

It is NOT something you wake up with or not.

It is NOT a feeling.

Motivation IS something you do.

John loves programming but there are days he has no motivation to get on his system because of how strenuous the previous day must have been and the number of codes he was unable to debug. On days like this, he remembers his ‘why’ and opens his system to try again despite feeling completely unmotivated. He knows that this is something he must do. Now, this IS motivation.

Conclusively, these are the common motivation myths we’ve been made to believe that affects our productivity.

Motivation is not derived from a seminar that temporarily pumps you up and it is definitely not gotten by reading motivational quotes.

It is a process.

It is a strategy, which means you have control over it and can create it consistently.

What is common to Elizabeth, Mercy and John is that they have a strong reason for doing what it is that they do. This reason drives them even at times when they feel unmotivated.

I love writing but there are times I don’t feel motivated to write. What keeps me going in such times is remembering my why; the reason I write.

What is your why?

What is your purpose for doing what you do?

It is important to note that studies have revealed that it is possible to procrastinate despite having a strong why. It is however possible as well to overcome and end procrastination.

Therefore, discover your why, overcome procrastination and get started on your goals.

3 thoughts on “What Motivation Is Not: Common Motivation Myths and the Truth Revealed”

  1. Oluwaremilekun

    Wow! This post is illuminating most times I see myself going times without number on YouTube for podcast that will motivate me to do the needful but I always end up giving up on it and give in to sleep instead but now I understand better that it’s the ability to carry on even when one is not willing to that’s motivation. Thank you so much ma’am for sharing.

  2. Thank you for this!
    Now I know better that motivation is not a FEELING rather it is our “why” or reason for doing something.

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