5 Signs That You’re Unmotivated, Not Lazy

It’s common to lose your drive from time to time. And while it’s normal, losing motivation in important areas of your life like life in general and work can be particularly frustrating and depressing. It’s like someone blew out the candlelight of your life.

Losing motivation is usually seen as laziness to other people. In extreme cases, your lack of motivation can be  depression, which people still believe is laziness. While laziness is not doing anything and being able to , being unmotivated is wanting to do something but not being able to. Being unmotivated can be caused by a variety of things, so it’s important to identify what the cause is for you. 

Here are a few possible signs that you’re unmotivated and not lazy. 

  1. You Lack Purpose and Have a Negative Outlook

You might be unmotivated because you don’t know what you want in life and you haven’t really taken the time to find out what that is. You lack a North Star, which is your guiding light. When you have nothing to strive for and no goals to achieve, you have no reason to do anything.

If you suffer from negative self-talk and a pessimistic outlook, that can also destroy your motivation. If you believe that you can’t do something, you don’t believe that there’s a point to it and then the vicious cycle continues. 

  1. You’re Stressed

While ‘good’ stress exists and it can be used to spur you further towards your goals, ‘bad’ stress exists too. This is debilitating and can take away your energy that you would have better use for. 

When you have urgent deadlines, a messy inbox and a never-ending To-Do list, you can lose track of your own personal projects and goals and thus, making you very unmotivated to do your own tasks. 

  1. Your Surrounding Environment Is Draining You

As James Clear, best-selling author of the book Atomic Habits said, “environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behaviour.” When you have an environment that is not conducive to your success and well-being, you are going to have a harder time with being motivated.

Your home or work space can either drain and depress you or it can inspire and energize you. A negative place and  negative people play a big role in being motivated. If you dread the idea of going to work in the morning and dealing with people all day, you might subconsciously or intentionally show up late to work. 

  1. You Have Unrealistic Goals

A common cause of feeling unmotivated is having unrealistic goals. Goals are great but if you feel like they are a mountain too high to climb, you might want to break them down a bit to not be so daunting. 

When you don’t believe that you can accomplish a goal because you set a really high bar, you feel overwhelmed and it becomes easier for you to avoid getting started. Challenges mustn’t be out of your reach :they should pull you enough out of your comfort zone to get them done. 

  1. You Lack Structure and Routine

Interestingly, lacking structure and routine leads to a lack of motivation. Like I said, you probably don’t have a North Star. But if you do and you don’t have any place for your desire to be channeled towards, you’re not going to get anywhere. You might spend more time daydreaming about achieving your goals instead of actively executing your plans. 

This is also another common reason for lacking motivation. Building a habit gets you going and doing things even when you don’t want to do it. That’s why having a routine and structure is so important. 


While being unmotivated is crushing to your productivity and sometimes, self-confidence, the good news is that you can overcome your lack of internal drive and get your passion back. Devising a strategy to get it back will help you get back at your optimal level, instead of running on empty. Having moments of rest and leisure are important too and laziness isn’t the same as being unmotivated. And know that it’s okay to take some time to get your mojo back. 

See you soon. 


*Altrogge, S. (2021, November 30). Unmotivated? 8 proven strategies for when you’re feeling stuck. Freedom Matters. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://freedom.to/blog/unmotivated-8-proven-strategies-for-when-youre-feeling-stuck/ 

*Clear, J. (2020, February 4). Motivation is overvalued. environment often matters more. James Clear. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://jamesclear.com/power-of-environment  

*Draghici, A. (2022, January 6). Am I depressed or lazy? 10 ways to know the difference. Happier Human. Retrieved February 9, 2022, from https://www.happierhuman.com/depressed-lazy/ 

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