Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I havent been trying at school for quite a while, and havent been getting the best grades.  i always lose my stuff, forget what i need to do, dont hand in preps and don't concentrate.  i just cant find motivation to do anything no matter what threat my parents use.  its got to the point where i force myself to do homework, by when i not concentrate, cutting myself, in an effort to force myself to concentrate.  please give me advice on how to motivate myself.

Ask Sam


Hi there

Thank you for your letter. It sounds like you have lost your motivation and concentration at the moment, by not trying at school, losing your stuff, forgetting what you need to do and not handing in preps. It seems like you are feeling your grades have been affected as well. 

Sometimes there can be quite a lot of pressure from school to do lots of things which can be quite overwhelming.  It may be helpful to create a timetable with all the things you need to do so that you don’t forget anything. When you have lots of things going on, knowing what to tackle first can seem confusing. Writing it all down can make it seem clearer.  

There may be other things happening outside of school for you as well which could be affecting your motivation and how you are feeling. You mentioned that no matter what threat your parents use it doesn’t motivate you. Maybe by talking to them about how you feel and telling them that threatening you is not working, they could help support you to find out what would help. If you don’t feel confident talking to your parents you could always think about writing them a letter.

You mentioned that, in an effort to concentrate, you cut yourself. Some people start to self harm as a way of dealing with difficult emotions but it doesn't have to lead to this. Maybe it would be helpful to think about how you feel before you cut and how you would like things to be.

I can hear how much is going on for you at the moment. People are motivated in different ways, I wonder if you can think back to a time when you feel you were motivated and what was happening then. Sometimes remembering what you are working towards or setting yourself a goal and rewarding yourself can be a good motivation. 

I am really glad that you have written in. If you would like more support on trying to find motivation and exploring what is going on for you, you can contact a ChildLine counsellor. You can call free on 0800 1111, through 1-2-1 online chat or by sending an email.

Take care


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