When Motivation Runs Out (Reasons and How to Overcome)

Motivation is an essential keyword in many people’s lives because that word represents going after what you want; it represents hope that you are on to something significant in your life. A lot of us will feel motivated many times in our lives as we come across things that inspire us, so what’s the problem? Relying on motivation to keep you going.

Unfortunately, there will be many situations in your life where you will run out of motivation, the hard part then, is to learn how to get yourself out of that situation. Understanding what motivation is and how to keep going will help you be successful in achieving your goals.

Read on to learn what motivation really is and the mindset to have to be successful.

Why Do I Keep Running Out of Motivation?

I want to state the obvious here, purely relying on motivation will not get you anywhere. Motivation is overrated and we need a better term or get rid of the word entirely from our vocabulary. Motivation is often thought of as a feeling or energy moving us to do something, but according to the dictionary, it’s “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way”. Therefore, your motivation is simply your Why, not an energetic feeling to move you.

When you wake up every day, you’re not going to have the “motivated” feeling, but the reasoning behind why you need to do it, that’s the motivation. It’s not the feeling, it’s the reasoning. Think of exercise as an example, you will not feel like running or heading to the gym every day, but you do it because you know it’s good for your health, and staying healthy means fewer trips to the doctor, a longer life, etc. Another example is writing a book, you won’t wake up every morning feeling inspired and motivated to write the 10 pages you set out to do, but you do it because you’re a writer with a story to share, you want to be a top publisher, etc. You don’t wait to be motivated to go to work every day because work pays the bills, it pays for somewhere to live and things to eat.

Identifying your why and the big reason behind what you want to do is the thing that will keep you going. You have to write it down, look at it every day, and find a system to constantly remind you. The motivation feeling is simply just a feeling, and as we all know, feelings are not consistent in our lives. It’s very natural and part of life to be sad one day upset another, and happy another day. Many people are trying to reach happiness, but it will be a lot easier when you understand that it’s just a feeling and not a destination. Motivation is not reliable then, because we can’t rely on inconsistent feelings.

Unfortunately, having emotions is part of being human, and the challenging part is that we have to keep going after what we want despite all the emotions and feelings we have. We have to learn to recognize these emotions and set them aside to work on more significant things that will have a greater impact on our lives. Once you start learning to navigate these feelings and to push past them, then working on achieving your goals will be a lot easier.

How Can I Get My Motivation Back?

This article is going to hopefully remove the word motivation from your vocabulary and create a little more insight and awareness so you’ll know what to do next time you are feeling unmotivated.


Forgiveness and self-compassion to yourself will go a long way. If you’re constantly talking yourself down, you will feel down, you are what you tell yourself. Imagine having a very unsupportive friend that is always putting you down, never supporting you, and even disrespects you, wouldn’t you know that’s a toxic person and that you should not be their friend anymore? The sad reality is that many of us have that person living in our heads, and the only way to remove it is to practice. Awareness here is key, the more aware you are when you do it, the better you can stop yourself.

I know that the worst thing about being unmotivated is how long you get stuck in the cycle and knowing you are wasting time, at least that’s how I felt. Some lucky people are only stuck for a few hours or a day or two, but unlucky people, we get stuck for years. We have no desire to move or do anything for days and days and then one day we have the horrible realization of how much time has gone by. If this is you, you wouldn’t believe how many people suffer from this, you are not alone.

Time is the most precious thing we have and the worst to waste, and because we can never go back and change time, the only thing you can do is forgive yourself and move on. There’s no reason to dwell on the past, because it won’t get you anywhere or do anything for you, and it can lead to a worse state of mind. All you have now is to use it as a learning moment and move forward.

Building Habits and Being Consistent

If you understand those two words and can apply them, you are winning. Building habits and being consistent is the answer.

People often confuse motivation as the start, they think you need to have motivation to get started, but that is false. The truth is that you develop more motivation the more you do. Let’s say you want to start a YouTube channel, in the beginning with no followers or no views, it’s not motivating. However, by being consistent with an uploading schedule, you start seeing more views and more followers and that’s when you will be more motivated to keep going. The same applies when you start exercising, in the beginning you don’t want to go, but after pushing yourself and being consistent for many weeks, you start seeing results on the scale and your body changing, this will motivate you to keep it up!


Motivation is overrated and cannot be relied on to be successful. What makes you successful is your system of creating habits and being consistent no matter how you feel that day. Be kinder to yourself and learn to forgive so you can move on. Motivation does not begin your journey, it comes after.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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