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Feeling Unmotivated, Bored or Lazy?

Written by: Sofia Sevilla, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The underlying emotion behind these labels.

Lately, I've had many encounters with patients and friends that are feeling inadequate in their lives. After a few conversations and a lot of vulnerability on their part, they told me that they were feeling bored, lazy, or unmotivated. As if they know they are meant to be doing something bigger, something beyond their current life situation.

Trying to fight against invisible enemies can be challenging until we understand why we are feeling this way. The underlying emotion behind feeling unmotivated, bored, or lazy is FEAR. We have all these expectations, dreams, and desires that we want to achieve, but when we are afraid, the gap between our expectations and everyday reality feels farther apart. So eventually, we unconsciously decide to conform to our current situation, which becomes our comfort zone. We tend to think of our comfort zone as the best place that we could be. But that is not always the case. Sometimes we create our comfort zone in a dysfunctional situation. It is scary and takes a lot of courage to understand that our current situation and what we thought to be our safe space is bringing us down. Fear is then the underlying reason for staying in a dysfunctional comfort zone.

Fear is one of the primary emotions that human beings feel. The function of fear is to activate all our senses to prepare us to leave our comfort zone. It brings out our intuition so we can have the possibility to act and respond effectively to changing environments. The fear of failure, rejection, and uncertainty is what keeps us anchored in our comfort zone.

Usually, when we are feeling unmotivated, we expect the unexpected to happen. We expect something to change in our lives for us to feel motivated, happy, or better. Which leads to the understanding that if we want to see the change, we need to act. And that's the moment that fears quicks in. We start thinking of all the possible ways our plan to leave the comfort zone could fail. What if I get rejected when I present a new project to my boss? What if I finally decide to pursue my dream and nobody cares? What if (fill in the black)? And so, we stay, and we complain, but at least we don't feel fear.

Boredom is a dissociated state. Most likely, when a person feels bored, they feel stuck in an environment, moment, or situation without the emotional ability to change it. Feeling stuck immediately puts the person in a position of a victim, where they think they have no active protagonism over their daily life. Boredom can be beneficial when we need to get from one place to another or get us through the day in a dissociative state, such as a class in college or a meeting at work. Boredom can also be constructive when we understand the background message that it carries. Usually, when we feel bored, we know we can do more or do something else, but we fear leaving our victimhood of boredom. The decision to leave the victim position requires vulnerability and courage because it forces us to start being active participants in our daily activities.

Laziness is usually an excuse to avoid doing something we don't want to do or to do not something because of fear of the results. Humans are active beings; no one consciously wants to feel unproductive or incapable of doing something. So, no one wants to feel lazy unless it has an underlying function, such as being the perfect excuse to avoid feeling fear.

Three things we can do when we are feeling stuck:

  1. We should start by changing our mindset to overcome boredom, lack of motivation, or laziness. For the first few days, we can try to incorporate only positive thoughts into our daily routine. Feeling good about the things we currently have in our lives can be a practical strategy to avoid the toxic positivism trap, which can bring you back to a dissociative state. This strategy goes along the lines of gratitude, which we know is a significant component to build resilience and wellbeing. Once we start bringing awareness to the positive aspects of a current situation, this can reinforce the feeling of self-worth and self-esteem to take action. If I understand and feel worthy of something, I know that fear will not limit me.

  2. ACT! We all know how powerful our minds could be, especially when we feel unmotivated, lazy, or bored. Following the theory behind exposure therapy, we could modify our limiting beliefs and thoughts or change our conduct to alter our minds. Before acting, we need to go back to understanding the function behind feeling fear. We know that fear is an emotion that activates all our senses, so we are prepared to leave our comfort zone. Knowing that our body is activated, we should use this in our favor to act. For example, if I have a meeting with my boss to present a new project, I thank my fear because it helps me actively listen to what my boss has to say, observe if I'm engaging my audience, and keep me alert throughout the meeting. So, this helps us get out of our heads and start moving towards being active participants in our own life.

  3. Accept reality as it is and start working from there. It's easier to align our thoughts to our reality than to align our reality to our thoughts. Being aware of our beliefs, identifying the emotions, connecting with our body in the present moment is the only way to modify our current state. I encourage people to have flexible short and long-term dreams and goals and work on the present moment to achieve these plans. To emphasize flexibility because we never know what the future will bring, and we must be willing to change and modify our dreams to the uncertainty of life. The idea is to align our present moment with our goals.

Let’s connect and start your therapeutic process towards wellbeing.

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Sofia Sevilla, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Sofia Sevilla is a clinical psychologist with a focus on cognitive behavioral therapy and specialization in third-generation therapies, such as mindfulness, body therapy, and emotional wellbeing. She is also a Certified Yoga Teacher. In October 2020, after a few months of being confined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sofia decided to join the wave of psychologists willing to work on improving the collective welfare of society. For which she developed a practical program with the purpose of improving the quality of life of her patients using scientifically based methods and tools. The program was designed to explore four areas of a person's life: the cognitive, emotional, bodily, and spiritual consciousness. Her purpose as a psychologist is to guide her patients through a path that leads to lasting wellbeing.



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