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What Keeps Us from Feeling Motivated?

Michelle Garcia Winner

What Keeps Us from Feeling Motivated 260

This article is really also a worksheet on developing motivation and exploring ways for our students to take data on their own actions they are to attend to between treatment sessions.  One example of using motivation is when you can make yourself do something you don’t want to do. Motivation can be a Catch-22: if you are not motivated you can’t get the work done, if you don’t get the work done it kills your motivation.


Motivation can come in two forms:

Extrinsic (rewards that encourage us to do something in order to get something tangible and possibly unrelated to the task)


Intrinsic (thought based rewards; our mind recognizes our accomplishments, step by step and provides us with a feeling of satisfaction as we move through a task).


By adulthood it is expected that tasks related to schoolwork are completed due to intrinsic rewards.


Motivation can easily be slapped down when:

  1. You really are not interested in completing the task; even if you want to believe you are interested you really are not.
  2. The extrinsic reward is not rewarding enough.
  3. The mind struggles to feed itself rewards; in fact it may focus on telling you how useless you are when it comes to accomplishing this task.
  4. The task is really difficult and I don’t think I have the skills to do it without an enormous amount of work.
  5. The task required is perceived as so difficult or so tiring there is no amount of rewards (extrinsic or intrinsic) that will allow the person to accomplish the task.
  6. The person may not have taken the time to figure out how to work through the task, so you don’t know how to begin working on it.
  7. The person gets a lot of help and sympathy for not getting through the task, so you are actually emotionally rewarded for your lack of effort.
  8. There are so many distractions available; it is difficult to get the mind to settle into making the task important enough to focus on even if you like the rewards (mind or physical).
  9.  I know I need help on this and I hate to ask for help!

Got any other ideas about what is keeping you from finding your own motivation?

 

Identify your own motivational barriers.

  1. Which of the above items seem relevant to your situation?
  2. Identify goals and action plans to help you work through your motivational challenges.

SAMPLE: Completed by a nuance challenged social communicator, 23 year old student who had tremendous social anxiety and a history of social learning challenges.

 

Data Sheet for   Thomas       Goals and Action plans

 

Short-term goal: Meet new people (lessen anxiety, make myself enjoy life and people more).

 

Action plans described:

1-23-2015

1-31-2015

2-6-2015

2-13-2015

Check email for events that happen in the dorms.

+

+

+

+

Attend at least 3 meetings on campus

+

+

+

+

Sit with someone in the cafeteria at least once every two days

+

+

+

+

Find out 3 things about a person when you are talking to them.

NA

NA

+

+



Roadblocks/self-defeater comments/excuses:

1-23: it would be boring/awkward to talk to people. I wonder if girls think I am hitting on them.

1-30: Same as last. Nothing would be gained from doing this.

2-6: social anxiety gets in the way; people may think I am desperate if I sit with too many people.

 

 

Strategies that helped you succeed (inner coach):

1-23: I said “f’ it” to myself; Tell myself I have nothing to lose. 

1-30: same as last time, and there is a win-win situation...if I like the person it is a win-win and if I talk to them and it doesn’t work out, I probably don’t like the person either so them not liking me is a win-win.

2-6: Realizing how much I enjoy anticipating finding new friends (people to sit with)

2-13: insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over and expecting it to be different.

 

 

What did you learn about yourself?

1-23: That my comfort zone was not really my comfort zone. That being friendly to people is a gigantic plus and I felt much better about myself.

1-30: you can’t be happy every second of the day. I feel far more confident about myself.

2-6: people don’t care what goes on in your mind if you seem weird on the outside you are weird (from discussion: but not if you seem weird on the inside and act ok on the outside )

2-13: I was able to make a friend. There are more friendly people out there, I would not trade places with another human being for I could not understand how that would make me happier.

 

Action plans described:

2-27-2015

3-5-2015

3-12-2015

3-19-2015

Check email for events that happen in the dorms.

+

+

Attend at least 3 meetings on campus

+

+

Sit with someone in the cafeteria at least once every day.

-/+ (every other day)

+/- not in cafeteria every day

Find out 3 things about a person when you are talking to them.

+

+

Check email for events that happen in the dorms.

+

+

Arrange to meet up with someone I have met recently, to hang out with them.

+

+/-

Ask for extended time on LSATS

new

+

Try talking to someone after class and then arranging to meet up right away to extend the conversation

new

 

 

Roadblocks/self-defeater comments/excuses

2/27: I’m not in the mood for small talk but I feel content right now being by myself rather than feeling anxious.  (We discussed this was fine!)

3-5: nothing new

 

 

Strategies that helped you succeed (inner coach)

2/27: haven’t succeeded for all, but life is an adventure and I got to live through the awkward moments.

3-5: nothing new

 

What did you learn about yourself? 2/27: part of having a social life is to enjoy alone time without stress. 3-5: I felt content when conversing with a group, no social anxiety involved what so ever for ONE time.

 


 

Goals and Action Plans – Accountability Sheet  


Data Sheet for (Name) ______________________________


Date ____________                       

                        

Short-term goal: ___________________________________________________

 

+ = Did what I planned to do

-  = Did not do what I planned to do

-/+ = Did a bit of what I planned to do but not all of it

 

Action plans described:

Date

Date

Date

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roadblocks/self-defeater comments/excuses:

 

 

 

Strategies that helped you succeed - inner coach:

 

 

 

What did you learn about yourself?  


 

 

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