5 motivation drainers

motivation drainers

Motivation is “a force or energy inside us that moves us into action towards a desired goal.” The problem is there are many motivation drainers around us. We know what needs to be done but the energy is being drained from us from outside sources and we become disinterested.

5 motivation drainers

(adapted from Steve Bagi’s post “Motivation Drainers“.)

1. Negative people.

Some people can project a negative and overly critical influence onto the people around them. These people can really affect individual and team motivation. I have seen, many times, how the addition of a really negative person can alter, and severely deflate, the mood of a team that is hyped up and ready to go.

2. Unrealistically positive people.

Although positive people are great to be around, occasionally we strike those who are optimistic ad infinitum. Optimism without a reality check can also demotivate as it simplistically paints a perfect picture of what will be and makes planning for problems and contingencies more difficult.

3. A lack of encouragement and acknowledgement.

Encouragement and acknowledgement from leaders help to boost motivation. Although most of us know this, as I work with different teams it becomes obvious that encouragement is in short supply and so many people aren’t working to their potential because they feel unappreciated and rarely receive any real encouragement.

4. People letting us down.

The people around us can help to inspire us, or on the other hand, demotivate us. When people don’t follow through on their promises, or build you up only to let you down, it drains our energy. By the way, I will call you next week with some exciting news!

5. Interpersonal conflict.

One of the biggest motivation drainers in the workplace and in our personal lives is unresolved conflict. Conflict, itself, drains emotional energy. When it is constant and there are few glimmers of hope for a resolution, it can really take the spring out of our step.

motivation drainers

Are any of these motivation drainers impacting you at the moment? What can you do to reduce their impact?

Categories: Personal growth


  • The first and second seem inconsistent, but I agree that they are true. Negativity tends to drag me down and positivity tends to pull me up. But if someone is way too cheery, I feel the need somehow to bring them down to earth. I love being positive, but I also feel it important to be logical. This is me, so I agree with these two points in your list. However, this is not everybody, and I am not sure that what applies to me (and you, I presume?) fits for everybody else.

  • tcavey says:

    #2 is ironically true. There as to be a balance between positive and negative in order to actually carry a project to completion.
    Good points.

  • Lisa says:

    #2 is interesting Kevin, I have never thought of that before. Is there really such a thing as being too positive? #1 and #4 are very hard to work with either at home or close to such people at work. One has to find a way to block them out 🙂

    • I think there is a such a thing as being too positive. This is the type of person who doesn’t accept reality and can’t foresee potential problems. This is not helpful.

      Thanks for sharing Lisa!

  • Leslie says:

    Kevin, this is a great list. You know what I liked about it particularly was that it wasn’t cliche. Some of the items surprised me, but I was nodding my head in agreement at the same time! Especially #2–I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks so. 🙂

  • Evan says:

    We have to take an actioN!!!!!!!! Of course, bad people, lack of inspiration it all influence our motivation, but the world is to sit and complain about all the factors that are around us.

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