Monday, March 5, 2018

Research Reveals the One Thing That Can Derail Your Motivation

It's not unusual to hear people say that when they've been job searching for a while, they sort of lose their motivation. This loss of initiative can also be found when people are working on projects for work or trying to come up with an innovative idea.

I've been through this myself, many times. When I feel my motivation lag, the one thing I don't do is pay close attention to others who seem to be excelling. I don't want to read their tweets or Instagram posts about how much progress they're making with a career goal.

But a new study shows why my strategy may only make things worse when it comes to re-charging my initiative.

Szu-chi Huang, an associate profession of marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business, finds in her research  that when you (and I) avoid information about others striving to reach the same goal when you're in the middle of a process or effort, it's because you (and I) don't want to look bad by comparison.

So, instead of becoming re-invigorated by seeing others still striving, you sort of check out and your initial excitement begins to fade like a cheap dye job. Because you can't see the finish line yet because you're in the middle of your efforts, you may just abandon your efforts completely.

Why does this happen? Huang says it's because you need a motivating "anchor," and you don't have one when you cut yourself off from others who are in a similar position.

So, the next time you feel yourself start to fade in the middle of a project or process, try checking out social media and absorbing how others in a similar situation are still striving. That should be enough to get your motivation flowing when you need it most.

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