Monthly Archives: April 2010

Fear as a Motivator – A Fabulous Start

Wondering how a negative aspect can really have a positive aspect to it? Well, fear as motivation is not really a new concept. However, most of the stories, anecdotes or examples we know of are all about fear being a negative motivator – that is motivating people to do the wrong thing, go the wrong way, or ending up making a victim out of the person.

Well, in the right perspective – fear can certainly be a positive motivator (at least partially). Hmm! Example: Fear of cancer motivating an obese person to take steps to reduce weight loss; fear of losing a loved one (because on one’s wrong actions) motivating the person to come back on the right track; fear of losing the job leading the person to update his skills and look for other options.

Okay, so definition and listing the examples of fear as motivation was the easy part. The hard part comes here. The basic issue with fear as a motivator as with any external motivator is that it tends to not last long – that is it is not permanent. And the person acts only as long as the fear persists. Once the fear has vanished, the actions stop too!

Back to square one! So how does one cross this hurdle? The answer lies within us. Using an external aspect such as fear as a motivation is not a bad idea at all. In fact, if it helps in giving us a start, then why not. But relying on fear for motivation, even after we are on our way to achieving our goal, is certainly a bad idea. That is sure to give us short term results, which will also be short lived.

A good way to sustain the motivation is to seek motivation from within. This can be done by attaching some emotion to the task that we are up to such as passion, love, commitment etc. So if fear motivates you, go for it, take the opportunity and take a plunge. Once you are in it, then take a likening to it, grow an affinity to it and the rest becomes easy!

Wish you a motivation-filled day!

-Raj

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