How to Motivate Yourself to Do Something You Really Don’t Want to Do

It’s a lot easier to find the motivation you need to do something you actually want to do than it is for something you really dread doing. Unfortunately, we all end up having to do things we hate doing at some point. It’s just part of life.

So, how can we make it less painful? Start with some of these tips.

Don’t think, just do.

Your mind is a pro at resisting pain and discomfort, and it will come up with all sorts of thoughts that will make you procrastinate or influence your decisions. Rather than sitting there and letting your mind just run wild with negativity, just stop thinking and try taking action.

Yes, it’s hard. And no, it won’t work all the time, but when it does work, you’ll find that it won’t be as bad as your mind was making it out to be.

Identify the pain you’re trying to avoid, and turn it over on its head.

Sometimes the thoughts that fly through your mind can be just too much. In this case, focus on what it is you think will cause you pain or suffering. Usually, it has something to do with losing something comfortable, the actual process of carrying it out or the outcome itself.

If you’re afraid of losing your comfortable work environment by taking a new job, try thinking about all the new and great things you’ll gain from that new job. If you hate the process of public speaking, try seeing it as an opportunity to grow and develop a new skill. If you’re terrified of failing at losing 30 pounds, try imagining how amazing it will feel to succeed and picture everything you’ll be able to do when you’ve achieved that goal.

Commit to working on it for just 20 minutes.

Despite being aware of how great things can be if it all works out, sometimes it’s still hard to get moving when it all seems so overwhelming. During those times when it all feels like just too much to handle, start with 20 minutes. Anyone can do just 20 minutes.

You’ll feel really good about at least getting started, and it will probably even give you some momentum to continue. Promise yourself breaks to get up and grab a drink or step outside for a breath of fresh air every 20 to 25 minutes to help maintain it and look forward to something along the way.

Focus more on learning and less on results.

We all want things to go our own way, and we all want to be in control. Sometimes we just get so caught up in what could go wrong and how things turn out, we forget all about the importance of learning and growing from the experience—and yes, virtually anything can be considered a learning experience!

Embrace everything that has the potential to teach you a new lesson and allow you to discover new things about the world or yourself. It will really help take your mind off of the end result you’re looking for.

Write it out. 

When none of these seem to work, just write. Pull out a notebook or a blank document on your computer and just write whatever’s going through your mind. Writing is one of the best things you can do to iron out everything that’s going on inside of you, and it even gives you the opportunity to consciously identify everything you’re grateful for despite all the negative thoughts and emotions.

You don’t have to fake being positive and pretend that the dreadful thing you need to do is actually awesome. It’s more about seeing it how it is, accepting it and finding new perspectives that actually do reveal some positive aspects about it.

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7 Tips to Stop Taking Criticism So Personally

Photo Credit: Bailey Weaver


Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago


Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago


Paulo R
Paulo R2 months ago


Danuta W
Danuta W6 months ago

Thank you for sharing

Christine J.
Christine J2 years ago

Good tips. I especially like the "20 minute" guideline and will try it. It doesn't seem so daunting to just get stuck into something for 20 minutes.

Sierra B.
Sierra B3 years ago

really need to start doing that

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

DJ M3 years ago

thanks - I'll try this will a challenging situation I'm currently facing.

Marilyn D.
Marilyn is Away3 years ago

Very good ideas. Thank you!

Jan L.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thank you for the advice.