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7 Big Motivation Misconceptions That Are Counterproductive

Updated on February 23, 2020
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Nitin is a certified life coach, executive coach, writer, husband, and father. His passion is to help people become the best they can be. It

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What is motivation?

Is it something that we all need?

Is it easy to get motivated and excited all the time?

Do you want to know how to be motivated even during times when you feel down and out?

Well, sometimes it is easy to feel motivated and raring to go.

Then there is the time you feel so down, that it’s almost impossible to feel motivated.

In this article, I want to explore the topic of motivation and the psychology of motivation?

Right at the beginning, I want to mention, that this is not going to be an inspirational piece full of scientific jargon or high sounding words.

Instead, we are going to see how to get motivated and also how to stay motivated.

Maybe you are attempting to motivate yourself, attempting to motivate someone else or you are trying to figure out how to motivate a team.

Whatever the case may be, this article will guide you to know what you need to know about it.

What is motivation how exactly does it work?

Motivation can be defined as that state of being, in which you are willing to do something and get all pumped up to do it.

There are some psychological triggers that encourage you to take action and take it quickly.

Now that defines motivation in simple terms.

If you want to know more about it, you can find lots of information about it on the internet.

But let’s stick to this simple definition as we move ahead with our study.

“At some point, the pain of not doing it becomes greater than the pain of doing it.” Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)

To put it in other words, it is better to change our behavior than to remain in the same state of being.

It is better to go to the gymnasium in spite of the discomfort than to sit at home and feel lousy about not exercising.

It is better to make some cold calls rather than worry about where you will get the money to pay your bills.

That is the heart of motivation.

There is a price to pay for every decision that we take. When we feel motivated, it is much easier to face the discomfort of taking action than it is to bear the pain of remaining unchanged.

There is a psychological barrier that we have to cross where it becomes more painful to avoid doing something than to actually do it.

This may take days and weeks of procrastination before we start taking action, no matter how painful it may seem.

Some common myths about motivation

One of the most surprising things about motivation is that it often comes after starting a new behavior, not before.

Motivation is often the result of an action, not the cause of it.

Getting started in very small ways is a form of active motivation that produces momentum.

I like to refer to this as the Law of Productivity because this is basically Newton’s Law applied to habits: Objects in motion will continue to stay in motion.

Once a task has begun, it is conducive to continue moving forward.

4. Praising talents instead of efforts

Many people have accomplished great things in life without talents, to begin with.

They used the power of hard work and monumental efforts to get there.

Efforts made up for what they lacked in talents.

It is therefore required that the efforts of a person should be recognized instead of just his talents

1. Money is the greatest motivator

Money can certainly be a motivator but not always. After getting enough money, it can stop being a motivator.

Some people have different goals in life and that becomes their motivating factor.

So it is a myth that money is the greatest motivator.

I know people for whom giving away money is the greatest motivator.

I had to tell them to be wiser in giving away their money as people were taking advantage of their generosity.

2. Fear is a motivator

Fear need not be a motivator.

Punishment can hardly be a motivational factor.

Even if it is a motivator, it is short-lived and not permanent.

Rewards are far better motivators.

3. Visualizing success will make your dreams come true

Visualization techniques are very common.

Many gurus suggest visualization for success.

There is definitely substance to that but there’s also a danger that people will start visualizing themselves as successful but not do anything to get there.

They will stop taking action to reach success. So this is not a motivator.

5. You have to wait for motivation to hit you

Another misconception about motivation is you have to wait to be motivated and only then can you start taking action.

Nothing can be far from the truth.

Usually, motivation comes after you have started your work.

We have this misconception that motivation comes when we passively watch a motivational or inspirational video or reading an inspirational book.

However, active inspiration can be a far more powerful motivator.

6. Motivation always comes externally

Motivation doesn’t have to come externally it can come from inside.

Motivation doesn’t always have to be always listening or watching a video or podcast

It doesn’t have to be reading a book or listening to some famous guy.

Motivation comes from the inside of a person.

7. Writing down your goals will lead to success

Many motivational speakers and gurus encourage people to write down their goals.

While this is a good habit, it doesn’t always lead to motivation.

People think it is some kind of magical formula, that just by writing your goals you can achieve them.

This is another misconception that needs to be dismantled.

We have studied what motivation is, and what are the common misconceptions about it in this article.

I hope that this has opened your mind to get a new perspective about motivation, and how to derive maximum value from it.

Please go through the article again and get rid of any mental blocks you may be having regarding this subject.

I just wanted to help you know the 7 most common motivation misconceptions that are counterproductive to your life.

By learning about this, you will now be able to use the tremendous power of motivation, combine it with your best efforts and get fast to your success in life.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nitin Khaire

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    • nitinkhaire profile imageAUTHOR

      Nitin Khaire 

      7 weeks ago from Mumbai

      Yes sir, there are many myths about motivation and these myths need to be busted.

      The only reason to do that is to help people to know the truth and benefit from it.

      We need to take note of what motivation is and how to use it to our benefit in every possible way.

      I believe that motivation has its place and hard work has its place.

    • hmkrishna profile image

      Halemane Muralikrishna 

      7 weeks ago from South India

      Dear Mr Nitin, you have unveiled the mysteries associated with counter-productivity aspects of motivation. In this world, some personality development training and coachings are also based on these myths and divert the trainees to illusions. Your article is really an eye-opener for those and others who wish to know about the hindrances.

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