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4 Ways to Use Fear as Motivational Fuel

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use fear as motivation

Messages about overcoming fear in order to be successful are built with good intentions, but they may be making fear your enemy instead of your friend. By playing a few mind games, you can transform fear from a force that holds you back into a force that pushes you forward.

There is one important caveat. Fear is a powerful motivator to lift you out of a rut and set you in motion, but living in a constant state of fear is damaging. Think of fear like the booster rockets on a space shuttle that help it pull free from gravitational forces, only to be discarded when no longer needed.

Fear can be temporarily useful. But there has to be something you’re moving toward because of love to sustain motivation.

Here are 4 ways you can use fear as fuel:

1. Make Your Comfort Zone Really Uncomfortable

One of the simplest ways to get out of your comfort zone is to make your comfort zone really uncomfortable. Let’s say Sarah loves to binge-watch Netflix each night instead of working on her blog. While she could force herself to work, it will never be as comfortable as watching movies.

What if Sarah set a deadline to finish a blog article every week, told five friends, and offered to pay them each $100 if she didn’t get it done? Now the idea of watching Netflix and not writing the article is more uncomfortable than writing the article.

She fears losing money, breaking her word, and looking like a failure to others. Accountability is one way to make your current comfort zone uncomfortable, but there are other approaches. Ask yourself, “How can I make my comfort zone more uncomfortable than doing what I know will move me forward?”

“Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” – Japanese Proverb

2. Care More About Your Supporters Than Your Haters

One common fear among high achievers is, “What if people criticize me?” They may even feel bad about it and conclude, “I know I shouldn’t care what people think, but I can’t help it.” Consider this: To literally “not care what people think” is impossible for someone with normal human psychology. We’re hardwired with a desire to fit in and be accepted.

It’s normal to fear criticism. Instead of fighting it. The secret is to simply care more about those who benefit than about potential haters. The fear of letting them down can be a powerful motivator.

Tim Ferriss puts this in perspective when he discusses focusing on the 1,000 fans who get what you’re doing rather than the 10,000 who don’t. Ask yourself, “Who will suffer—even if I don’t know them yet—if I don’t achieve even greater success and share my work?”

3. Fulfill Your Future Self’s Desires

Playing small comes from avoiding the disappointment one may feel if they don’t reach an ambitious goal. Instead of trying to avoid disappointment, what if you used the fear of disappointment in your favor?

Imagine yourself 10 years in the future having not pursued your dreams. You review the previous 10 years and think about how you shrank away from opportunities and settled for mediocrity. How does it feel?

Now imagine yourself on your deathbed, looking back on your life. Your gravestone will read, “Here lies so and so. He was an ordinary person who inspired no one. He’ll quickly be forgotten.” How does it feel that you decided to play it safe all your life?

You may find your life was less about what you did or didn’t accomplish, and more about how you showed up to take a swing. A little disappointment now can sting, but major disappointment felt years down the road—realizing the actuality of your wasted life—can be soul crushing.

Ask yourself, “Would I rather experience the temporary discomfort of a particular ambition not achieved or the crushing disappointment of failing to show up as my greatest self?”

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”

4. Use Fear As A Teacher

“I can’t do it!” On the surface, this sounds like a limiting belief that invokes paralyzing fear. If you don’t believe you can achieve a goal, what are the odds you’ll go after it wholeheartedly?

What if that fear is actually trying to help you learn something? There are many things you truly can’t accomplish, and that’s okay. All you may need to do in these situations is recognize a simple fact. “I can’t do it on my own, but we can do it together.” Now you’re liberated from believing you need to do something alone and can free yourself to receive help from others.

Fear isn’t necessarily false evidence appearing real. While some fears are illogical and can be addressed using various forms of therapy, other fears are legitimate concerns that your subconscious brings to the surface to help you develop a strategy to avoid failure.

Fearing you can’t do something can be motivation to find mentors, build a team, and develop necessary skills. Rather than relying on positive affirmations to override all fears, you may find it more beneficial to acknowledge the fears and expose the underlying lessons the fears are attempting to share with you.

When you grasp the lesson that fear is trying to teach, the fear often disappears on its own. Ask yourself, “What is this fear trying to teach me?”

Which of these four things are you going to use today to turn fear into your friend? Leave your thoughts below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Derek Doepker is a former rock guitar player turned author of the #1 bestselling books ‘Break Through Your BS’ and ‘Why You’re Stuck’. He specializes in helping intelligent people burdened with endless mind chatter, develop self-mastery and emotional connection with clever mind games. You can discover more insights from him and download a free copy of Why You’re Stuck at http://derekdoepker.com.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ton Bil

    May 16, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Loved this. I know the fear of loneliness held me back in life many times. The fear totally paralyzed me, when I was being left by my wife of 21 years. To me, Derek’s points 3 and 4 shaped the way out: tuning in to my future self’s desires, and seeing what the fear had to teach me. The lesson was: you can have fear and do it anyway.

    Nowadays I coach people with recovering emotionally and growing confidence after their divorce or breakup. Most of my clients experience a lot of fears. So, thanks for this post.

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Motivation

Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

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How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury. (more…)

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Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

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lessons you can learn from a lion
Image Credit: Unsplash

Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler. (more…)

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Motivation

The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

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how to stay motivated when working alone
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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success

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how yoga motivates you

Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.

Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.

Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.

I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.

Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.

Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:

1. It Solves Your Problem

When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.

2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress

Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety. 

Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale

3. Increase Your Focus

Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate. 

Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing,  and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.

4. It Helps in Redefining Success

Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential. 

If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.

5. It Boosts Your Health

Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically  affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments. 

Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.

“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra

6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present

Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations. 

Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.

7. Stay Aware and Positive

A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally,  it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self. 

Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.

To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.

Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!

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