How to get your drive back (3 KEY Strategies)

In this guide we are going to discuss various effective strategies you can apply to your life to get your motivation and drive back. 

We will also discuss what are some reasons why you might be feeling demotivated.

What can you do to get your drive back?

In brief, some of the things you can do and steps you can take to get your drive back include:

  • Dealing with your fears
  • Assessing and Reviewing your goals
  • Prioritizing what you value
  • Seeking new challenges
  • Gaining clarity of what comes next
  • Taking a break
  • Seeking professional help

Drive and Motivation.

Often the words ‘drive’ and ‘motivation’ are used interchangeably to describe one’s process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal directed behaviour. However, biology and psychology understands them differently.

An individual’s internal drive is what motivates a person to take action to satisfy one’s needs or achieve one’s goals. Drive is what pushes us to take action and that push is called motivation. 

If you are struggling to remain motivated and you are probably struggling with various problems- from getting started, to maintaining focus, to feeling satisfied at the end of the day. 

While you could say that you are struggling with “demotivation”, your lack of drive is actually your internal inability to get excited about the plans to achieve your goals.

What causes demotivation?

So let us look at some of the reasons why you might be demotivated and why you lack the drive to act on your plans and achieve your goals. 

  • Fear: One of the main reasons why people become unmotivated is the assumption that they will fail or their efforts will not be enough.

These assumptions bring out fear and anxiety that can be maladaptive and crippling. 

  • Unrealistic goals: Another reason why you lose your drive halfway into your plans is because you set unrealistic goals. 

The expectations that you have of yourself are often higher and much harsher and most times your skills sets are not able to meet your goals. 

  • Straying away from your values: Many people often hold back because they are uncomfortable with what they are currently engaged in. The plans or the means to achieve their goals may be in conflict with what they value. 
  • Boredom: Lack of new challenges and new exciting opportunities can also cause a loss of drive and motivation.

Doing the same mundane tasks everyday often causes boredom which can impact the desire to perform. 

  • You lack vision: You could also lose your drive and motivation when you lose focus and clarity on why you started in the first place. 

Another cause related to this would be that you find yourself lost in the middle of it all, and are unclear of the direction you are taking. 

  • You are burned out: Too much work, too much stress, and not enough downtime or self-care time can cause immense pressure and dissatisfaction which eventually burns you out. 

Tips to get your motivation and drive back

We have been taught to overcome challenges by ploughing on. Many self-help books and inspirational coaches encourage people who are demotivated and lack the drive to push, push, push!

However, dealing with motivation means dealing with many underlying issues. Brushing aside these issues and ploughing often proves to be ineffective in overcoming this particular problem. 

Let us look at alternative ways to deal with your lack of drive and motivation. These strategies begin with taking time to pause. 

Taking a break 

You might say “but I have been doing nothing all this while!”. This break is different from the ones you might have taken before. Instead of spending time distracting yourself from the work at hand, invite yourself to take a break mindfully.

This involves acknowledging that you are going to be present with your moment of rest- be it by telling it to yourself out loud or by engaging in the act of meditation. 

What your intention here is to be focused on yourself and how you are feeling instead of using distraction as a way to rest. 

Take this intentional and mindful moment of peace to reflect on where you stand in terms of you being demotivated. Do not judge yourself for it but rather take a moment to acknowledge that you are sad, dissatisfied, angry, frustrated, or just plain tired. 

This moment of rest can also include catching up on some sleep, changing scenery by going out, meeting friends, going back to your home town, or a short vacation. 

Dealing with your fears

Your fears and anxiety exist to protect you however, they can become maladaptive if they arise out of your irrational thoughts. 

Perhaps your fears which trumps your motivation can arise out of your subconscious need to protect yourself from disappointment and rejection but you have to look at it objectively, how sure of failure are you?

These fears often lead to self-fulfilling prophecy when you, afraid that you will fail, begin to behave in ways that eventually lead to your failure- example, you don’t study because you believe it’s too late to start now.

Take time to reflect on your fears- list it out even- and objective look at how much of these fears are real or whether they arise out of your own unproven biases. 

If they arise out of your assumptions, challenge them by reflecting on your past victories or you could even take small steps to challenge them by doing the opposite of what your fears tell you to do.

Assessing and Reviewing your goals

Taking time to review your goals to make them more realistic can be another step. Often times we become demotivated because the goals we set for ourselves overwhelm us. 

Spend time reviewing your goals and making them more simple, realistic, achievable, and measurable by looking at the resources available to you- perhaps your own skill sets- and setting new goals if need be.

You can also review your goals to understand how much of these goals are truly ours or whether they have been set by external pressures- tweak them in a way that these goals are authentic to you.

Prioritizing what you value

When we are made to do things that do not sit well with our beliefs and our values, we lose motivation. This is usually the reason why we tend to have so many projects that are WIP while none of them have been completed. 

If the work you are required to do is causing you distress and conflict with your internal value system, you lose the drive to do it. Take a look at what you truly want- what is it that stops you for doing this and what makes you choose a new project.

These are some questions for you to reflect on and understand what it is that you truly value and prioritize when it comes to any projects.

Once you have identified what you value, attempt to look at the current project in a new light that satisfies this value. 

Seeking new challenges

If you find yourself extremely bored with your job, work, assignments or projects- it could be because you find them lacking of challenge. The mundaneness of your present projects can take away your drive and motivation to work on them. 

What you can do is set your sights higher if needed, look into ways how you can make this current project better and prove to give you that challenge you need. 

You can take the current task and tweak it into something that is new and that which will require you to grow and build new skills.

Gaining clarity of what comes next

Another reason why we often feel demotivated is because we do not know where we are headed, we might even lack vision.

What you can do is to seek clarification in every minute step you take to complete your current project. Streamline the entire pathway and seek answers to each stage. 

As you do this, you will gain clarity of what to do next and which direction to take. When you have clarity on direction, you will feel more motivated to pursue your goals. 

Seeking professional help

If you find yourself unable to get yourself motivated and the people around you have noticed that your performance is becoming dangerously low, to the point where you might face serious consequences, it is time you consider professional help. 

Demotivation can have serious implications at our workplace and even more so our sense of self. When you begin to feel burned out, it affects you mentally, physically, and socially. Your quality of life can be affected. 

There is also the probability that your demotivation could be related to your mental health- depression and anxiety can be debilitating to your well-being. 


In this guide we have taken a look at what is drive and motivation and what causes people to lose their drive. We have also taken a closer look at what you can do to get your drive back and work towards achieving your goals.


Frequently asked questions related to “How to get your drive back (Tips to get your motivation and drive back)”


What causes lack of motivation?

There are many causes that can cause demotivation or a lack of motivation. Some of them include Self doubt, overwhelming goals, conflict in values, avoidance of discomfort, irrational fears, mental health issues, and trauma.

How do I stop being so lazy?

Some of the things you can do to overcome laziness is: 

  • Break down your goals to manageable, bite size steps.
  • Do not expect too much of yourself- start small.
  • Change the way you see things and yourself.
  • Reward yourself for your achievements and be kind when you fail.
  • Create a plan of action that is simple and achievable
  • Ask for help, from a friend, a teacher, a family member, or a professional therapist. 
  • Take breaks where you do things you love and that brings you joy.


How do you find your ambition?

Brainstorm. Write down the things that bring you joy and a sense of purpose. Take time to reflect on the things you have done so far and the things you are doing now. Connect what you do today to the world beyond yourself. 

If you find it difficult to connect the dots, talk to a career counsellor or a mentor.

Is it burnout or am I lazy?

The difference between a lazy person and someone who is burned out is that a lazy person is someone who does not want to work at all. However a person who is burned out is someone who likes working and is often very driven which leads them to take on too much work, too much stress, and not enough rest. 

Why am I so lazy and unmotivated to study?

One of the most common reasons why students find it incredibly hard to start studying is because they are overwhelmed. 

The fact that they spend most of their day in school and in classes, followed by a long list of assignments, and test schedules can cause the student to be overwhelmed and burned out.

If you agree to the fact that you’re overwhelmed, take a moment to put down all things about school that overwhelm you and come up with a plan that is realistic. Your plan should be broken down into smaller parts and should give you enough time to rest, do things you love, and spend time with the people you care about.

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