Exploring Motivation to Work

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Reader’s Question

I lost my real job a few months ago and since then I’ve not been able to find the motivation to do, well, one thing. I realized today that it’s possible that what I thought was a pattern in behavior at work actually applies to my whole life. Namely: I flounder unless put under stress or a large amount of responsibility. It seems counterintuitive to me, but I noticed it starting with the initial job I ever had where I had been just a lowly employee doing the least to get by. I felt lathargic. I was still a decent employee despite, and eventually I was made manager — and as soon as I felt like I had developed control over something, everything changed in my opinion. Almost overnight, I suddenly cared for about what I was doing, would work extraordinary hard, and was really involved in everyone aspects of it. I loved the house and I really blossomed into a amazing employee. Any job since then is the same: unless someone is really relying on me to handle something important, As i’m allowed barely do anything.

Report on partner makes enough to support u . s citizens and I’ve never really been in a scenario where my monetary contribution is imperative. I hadn’t realized that perhaps it’s causing me to feel useless, and thus my life is lacking the responsibility I crave.

The biggest problem for me, though, is that recognizing the problem doesn’t help. It doesn’t help despite the fact that I know if I just forced myself to look for a job, a volunteer position, or ANYTHING that would promote those feelings of responsibility then I would start to shift back into my normal self. I just can’t seem to care. So how do I break the cycle? And just why do I not just thrive under great pressure, but require it?

Psychologist’s Reply

It sounds like you’ve discovered how stress is very much indeed like an ocean wave. Like surfers, we look for the optimal wave that isn’t too weak or too strong to help get us to shore — upright on our boards. When stress is excessive, we can often get consumed by the wave, or knocked off our steady footing before reaching our goal. Sometimes we just avoid the strong wave altogether for fear of falling and failing. However, when stress is too low, we often don’t have the momentum to reach our goals, and the wave fizzles out too early — which it seems you are experiencing.

I think you’ve done some really effective reflecting, but and are beginning to notice the patterns along with your needs for an ocean with bigger waves. It’s not something within you, but rather the interaction betwixt your needs and your environment that aren’t matching well. I also suspect that the circumstances of how your last job ended — not by your choice, it seems — may be making it even more difficult for you to discover the energy to care.

Often when people lose a job, this can feel much like grief. The extra losses experienced with a job loss, including loss of structure, accountability, social junctions, and a place to go every day, can be hefty. When we experience a loss and tend to grieving, we often don’t feel like yourself. We feel more sluggish, hurting, have changes in appetite, feel separated or have difficulty reaching out to others. Preparing these difficulties with the pressure to find a new-fangled job can be even more debilitating. During these situations, it can be helpful to talk with a dependable friend or a mental health professional that process the loss, to engage in superior self-care, and to find ways to group the pressure to find a job aside till you’ve worked through what the 9 to 5 meant and what it means not to go now.

Promptly after going through the grief process, it will also be helpful to find someone who specializes in business counseling — many counseling when compared with have had training in vocational assessment and simply development. A well-trained professional can function with you to explore your interests, talents, and values to find a good person-environment fit for you that will be more beautiful and motivating. Work is an internal part of our lives and our personal — and exploring to find a product meaningful and satisfying may be worth the period and energy for you now. Knowing more yourself and how you might thrive for a bigger wave could be useful mainly because you explore potential career paths.

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All clinical material on this internet site is peer reviewed by one of these clinical psychologists or other to execute mental health professionals. Originally published basically Dr At the Chamberlain, PhD as well as last reviewed or updated around Doctor Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on.

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