Using Fear to Motivate You

People might hate this post, because it isn’t all love and light, filled with new age positivity and upbeat sayings. Well, then, they just shouldn’t read it. Before you think I’m going to write something to demotivate you, you have it entirely wrong, if this doesn’t spur you into action working towards your goals nothing will.

Sometimes people sit for years, knowing what they need to do, but never having the motivation to go do it. It seems like too much work to make changes, to get off your butt and actually do things differently, whether it is starting that business, or taking charge of your health, these goals seem to elude you, like, I should start that business, but I’m afraid to talk to people, or you know, I do need to lose weight, but I don’t really want to change my eating habits. Frequently these things get put on the back burner and then never get done, not because the goal doesn’t sound good, not even because the needed changes are so hard.

The main reason these changes are hard is because you just aren’t sufficiently motivated, you think, oh yeah, I’m motivated, but its like the status quo takes over, and you get right back to doing what you used to do, because it feels comfortable, even when it is isn’t fun.

I will give you a terrifying example. My mom used to be over 200lb. She was like, I’m fat, and that is how I am going to be. She got rid of all her thin clothing and just bought clothing for her new fat size. She went to work, and over ate a lot of garbage food, including entire bags of potato chips, heaping bowls of spaghetti, and entire quarts of ice-cream in one sitting. She used to work out, but with her unethical job, she didn’t really have time to exercise. Besides, the gym where she had gotten membership was way over crowded.

Then she started feeling real sick. She didn’t know what it was, and then she went to the doctor. The doctor told her that she had something called diabetes type 2. She found out about all the awful potential effects of this disease, including going blind, and having to have feet amputated because of the inability to heal wounds due to high blood sugar. She was terrified. She decided that she cared more about her eyes and feet rather than just sticking to the status quo of being fat, so she made serious changes. She started working out everyday and bringing her lunch to work instead of buying whatever they had in the cafeteria. She lost a lot of weight and kept her blood sugar under control.

The point is, the horrifying scenario of losing her eyes and feet prompted her to finally do something towards her goals and achieve them, instead of just sitting there, knowing what she needed to to, but not doing it.

So, how can this knowledge of bad things that could happen if you don’t achieve your goals work for you. What if it seems like the goals you have, if you don’t achieve them, won’t result in anything bad happening, that they just seem like self improvement goals, rather than dire, I might lose body parts or my house type of goals. Well, its very simple. You don’t just make up these goals because you think that you should make up goals, you make up goals for very specific reasons, and if you do want to achieve them, then sometimes a little future thinking will help you.

Say today you want to start a business, but feel overwhelmed by all that you need to do, the various sub goals, etc. Sometimes, you might need to look five, ten twenty years down the road. Ask your self hard questions, like what could happen if I don’t start my business. Take a long look down the road, right even up to your deathbed if that is what it takes, or even after that. Actually consider worst case scenarios in your mind, including joblessness and homelessness, and a sense of regret about what you could have done with your life, but failed to do because you were afraid to do it.

Now, keep that scary image in your mind, and whenever you feel like slacking off, say, eating one more doughnut, not going to the gym, or not making that sales call, just recall the scary scenario, and then do it. The terror will keep you moving forward, because otherwise, you could just stagnate and that horrible thing you imagine could actually come to pass.

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