Mind the (Motivation) Gap

Motivation gaps are those times where you feel as if you are not motivated enough to do what it takes to get a particular result. In this episode, we talk about four things that frequently cause motivation gaps, plus what researcher, Julie Dirksen, refers to as a “special motivation gap.”


Instead of trying to find or make more motivation, it can be more productive and helpful to think about why there is a gap in your motivation.

Instead of blaming yourself for not being disciplined, take a look at the goal, the process, or the change itself to see if that is what is keeping you stuck. 

Unlearning behaviours can be tough, uncomfortable, and at times even scary but pushing through the discomfort is often the most effective way to create positive changes in your life.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Your lack of motivation is likely telling you something important. Don’t run from it, learn from it.  

Lab Experiment

Identify a place in your life where you are trying to learn something new or acquire a new skill.  It might be a cognitive skill, a physical skill, and artistic skill, communication skill…

Ask yourself: Is the new skill or behavior that you are cultivating actually replacing an old behavior or patterned response?  What might you need to unlearn in order to make room for this new way of doing or thinking something? 

Remember to make allowances for this part of the process in your expectations about how quickly you will progress or succeed. When there’s a lot of unlearning to do, give yourself a little more grace…and also give yourself credit for doing that part of the work and acknowledge that this, too, constitutes progress.