Gratitude is limited to first accomplishments. After that, success is expected. This is the truth and this is what sometimes stops our motivation to continue on. We all know the power of motivation: it gives us a reason. And who are we without reason? But then again, think of who we are when we have a reason. We can walk more than we usually do, we can laugh harder than we usually do and we feel like the impossible is somehow possible. In our everyday life, it is important to stay motivated and do what we need to do. Feeling underappreciated at home, at our workplace knocks our motivation down.
The problem is that many employees don’t feel appreciation from their supervisors and bosses The result doesn’t make anyone happy: motivation and productivity drop to the ground. The lack of appreciation leads to a lack of work and created friction in the workplace. But sometimes, we can’t control others’ appreciation towards us, and still, need to find ways to stay motivated. Here are some tips on how to stay inspired and driven when not valued.
Take a deeper look inside your head
Motivation is internal and external. The one that you have more power to control is the internal motivation. You have to understand the type of praise that pushed you forward. For most people, and this might be true for you too, motivation comes when they don’t just do their work, but actually think about the purpose of their work. Put a greater purpose on the work you do. For example, schoolteachers might not get a raise all the time and might not earn much, but seeing the progress of their students makes them feel a deep reward. Find that great purpose for the job you are currently doing. Figure out what will make you feel appreciated: it might not depend on your employer’s words at all. Recognize the significance of your work and you will stay motivated.
Make up your own goals
Maybe the key is not to wait for others to express their gratitude towards you but to foster self-appreciation. Think about setting goals for yourself and then accomplishing them. Those accomplishments will give you the job and fulfillment you need for sure.
John Boitnott said, “If motivation comes from seeing how your work makes a difference, create a visual representation of that. If you answer calls on a customer support line, keep charts of the number of tickets you close each week. Or if you process payments for your employer, track the improvement you’ve made in getting suppliers paid from one month to the next.”
If you are not getting encouragement from your superiors, set time aside on regular basis to give that encouragement to yourself. Set goals and celebrate each new milestone you reach.
We all have those days that besides the ongoing feeling of under appreciation, we also have bad luck. For some inexplicable reason the printer jams when you really need it. You spill coffee on your shirt right before an important meeting.
Matt Keener said, “On days like this, it can sometimes help to look for small victories.”
And really, when you have something big something that takes a lot of time to do, and it just feels impossible to do, start small. If you have a 50-page report due next Monday and you just can’t get started, put it aside for a minute. Do something that doesn’t scare you so much. Do something that won’t take too much time. And when you do start working on at least something, the motivation will come and by the time it is Monday, you’ll realize you already finished the 50-page report.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
This is a good rule for bringing the happiness, motivation, and inspiration back to you. If you wish people would act a certain way towards you, act that way yourself towards them. If you want people to appreciate your work, then appreciate their work. Don’t be greedy with your words: let people know they did a good job; make their day just a bit better. And somehow the same will happen to you. Don’t get into competition with your co-workers for the “employee of the month” award, but compliment them for a job well done.
What if it is all in your head?
Sometimes only you know that you feel underappreciated. Maybe your boss is so busy that he/she doesn’t realize you’re feeling underappreciated. So don’t be afraid to speak up. Remember that it takes a lot of courage to speak up and a good boss will only appreciate it. Be strategic in how you approach the conversation. Explain that because they don’t value you, your motivation is lacking. And if it doesn’t work, at least your boss will know where you stand.
We all feel underappreciated from time to time. The key is to know about the internal motivation you got and work on that. Stay motivated. It might be hard at first but as you find the ways that work for you, nothing can stop you anymore.