Demotivation: what is it and what are its types?

Demotivation is a problem that bases its harmful nature on a very simple fact: We tend to underestimate him.

Often when we analyze the advantages or disadvantages of starting to work on a project, apart from possible problems, we only include what has to do with the difficulties that come to us from the environment. For example, a labor market in which there is a lot of competition, an educational trajectory in which you have to go through very demanding filters, or an environment in which it is difficult to receive funding. However, we can obviously come to self-sabotage.

In order to be able to remedy these types of situations, it is essential to be clear about what demotivation is and what we can do to combat it.

    What is demotivation?

    To answer this question, let’s start by briefly defining what motivation is.

    Any activity that we perform, consciously or unconsciously, occurs because within us there are a number of dispositions that lead us to initiate behaviors aimed at achieving a short, medium or long term goal. The motivation is right this set of provisions that act as the driving force behind our actions. That is, a series of conditions (formulated as “if p, then I execute q”) which brings us closer to a goal when a favorable situation arises.

    So what is demotivation? It is the psychological phenomenon in which there is a gap between the objective that we theoretically aspire to achieve, on the one hand, and our real dispositional state, The other. That is, it happens when there are serious problems when you try to invest in an initiative enough effort to achieve something, or when you fail even to start that task and fall into procrastination.

    Thus, demotivation does not harm us only because it is associated with problems in meeting certain expectations; moreover, where it appears, we cannot even enjoy the calm or the rest that supposes us not to carry out those activities that we wanted in theory to do. And even if we don’t do what is necessary to achieve the goal, the mental framework that we should do it does not disappear.

    In short, demotivation brings together the worst of both worlds: the discomfort that someone might experience who, despite their best efforts, has not achieved what they wanted, and what is caused by guilt.

      Types of demotivation

      Demotivation can take many forms, And can also present with different degrees of intensity. The most problematic or serious cases are those in which this lack of motivation extends to all areas and facets of life: at work, in personal relationships, etc. In these situations, it is common for the problem to originate from one of two root causes.

      On the one hand, this may be due to a low-reward environment, in which there are no good reasons to do anything, in general. For example, an environment in which there is not much freedom, even for economic reasons, and which is not associated with significant opportunities for economic or social progress, often leads to demotivation in many areas of life. life, if not in all.

      In other cases, there may be a depressive disorder which manifests itself, among other things, by a feeling of demotivation which is in fact a conglomeration of symptoms. In the case of diagnosed depression, this lack of initiative or extreme demotivation is known as abulia, and often appears at the hands of other phenomena which also hinder the emergence of major sources of motivation; for example, anhedonia, or inability to experience pleasure (without pleasure it is difficult to move for a specific purpose).

      However, besides general demotivation, there are also types of demotivation related to specific contexts. Let’s see which are the most common.

      1. School demotivation

      The school is an institution in which the problems due to the demotivation of the pupils are common. The causes are generally linked, among other things, to the fact that, from the first day, attending classes is perceived as an obligation, which generates resistance, and to the lack of individual attention in the very large classes, because it is difficult to adapt the teaching to the interests of each student. However, it is possible to intervene in many cases and to reinforce the motivation of the students by modifying certain learning dynamics.

      2. Demotivation of jobs

      In these cases, the demotivation negatively affects both the worker who experiences this phenomenon in the first person and the organization for which he works. Interventions in the working climate, in the workflow or in the working format they can help with this problem, although in some cases the problem is simply that the main activity taking place on the site does not make sense to the person.

      3. Social demotivation

      This type of demotivation appears in cases where the person we see him in the need to interact with certain social circlesWithout this being a pleasant or stimulating experience beyond obtaining a very concrete benefit and foreign to the nature of the social relationship.

      The causes of demotivation

      There are as many causes of demotivation as the life experiences that a person is capable of having. It is the task of psychologists to recognize what the problem is in each case. although the frequent causes are an excess of perfectionism, the perception of a great barrier to entry into this activity, the absence of significant challenges and a feeling of progress, etc.

      On the other hand, we must keep in mind that demotivation is a contextual phenomenon: it is not inside the person (beyond pathological cases), but has to do with his relationship to the world. . Therefore, sometimes it is necessary to rearrange priorities, abandon some milestones and aim for others, instead of doing everything to achieve goals sometimes imposed by the company, family, friends, media. , etc.

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