Motivated by Fear? 5 Reasons Not to Be

Motivated by Fear? 5 Reasons Not to Be

As powerful as fear is, it deserves to be handled wisely.


A casual Google search recently revealed the startling number of humans who believe in the value of being motivated by fear.

Fear, these proponents argued, is a powerful force. It can get things done in a way other motivators–such as curiosity, ambition, or need–simply can't. If fear can propel you into a principally good territory, too, its association with negative power is moot.


I'm not arguing with the notion that fear has power. But states of fear have proven to be psychically and physiologically unhealthy for humans. Fear can instigate chronic health problems and mental illness. It can sever relationships and dreams.

In short, as powerful as fear is, it deserves to be handled wisely. I'm making the case that it shouldn't be your motivator–no matter what you are trying to accomplish. If it is, it's time for a change.

1. Being afraid has physiological impact.

I'm serious. Medical practitioners, psychologists, and scientists alike have all testified to fear's capacity to alter our physiology: in the moment and over time.

A state of fear induces a 'fight-or-flight' response, elevating your heart rate and sending signals to your brain to amp up adrenal activity and pump more blood to prominent muscles. It also immediately impacts your brain, modifying the way you store memory and how you respond to similar triggers in the future.

Sustained states of fear can actually lead to anxiety disorders, depression, and premature death.

Even if you are using your fear of losing your job to justify your stellar work performance–and even if this does not feel like 'fight-or-flight' mode–doing so may be building your brain's purview of triggers, conditioning you to stay in this mode in similar environments.

Fear and stress are also closely linked. In many cases, we experience stress as a result of fear. I'm stressed because I may lose my job. I'm stressed because I'm afraid my marriage is disintegrating.

And chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death worldwide.

2. Fear puts the emphasis on survival.

We are all trying to survive on this earth. Yet living in a state of pure survival is different than, well, simply living.

Letting yourself be motivated by fear is akin to letting yourself survive (rather than live). Such a mentality of "getting by" in a primal fashion can make for a sordid, mean kind of existence.

It takes the emphasis away from building loving relationships, caring for your family, and impacting your community positively. It places the emphasis on a give-or-take mentality–and in give-or-take environments, it's easy to sacrifice values.

3. Fear develops a fishbowl perspective.

States of fear can narrow your focus, limiting your capacity to think holistically. I can choose to look at these boards alone or I can choose to visualize the entire structure of a future home.

Have you ever noticed how states of fear shrink your awareness? When my heart races at the prospect of giving a presentation to a group of people, I'm aware only of that present moment–the shaking notecards in my hand, the lecture room, my sweating armpits.

It's hard to look beyond this narrow focus (i.e., to visualize how I will feel after giving the presentation itself). While there may be benefits to inhabiting the present moment so intensely, there is a difference between the presence of meditation and the presence of fear.

Fear's fishbowl perspective may accordingly shrink your ability to conceptualize time, anticipate the future mindfully, and consider others' perspectives and opinions. This can generate narcissism and crippling states of victimization.

In the professional sphere, fear's limited awareness can inhibit team collaboration, shun business growth opportunities, and generate an unhealthy work-life balance.

4. Fear can change you.

Fear can cripple us with symptoms of anxiety, depression, narcissism, desperation, and even violence. Allowing fear to be your motivator essentially gives it permission to change you–and perhaps not for the better.

I've sacrificed dreams and experiences for the sake of fear. I've compromised relationships. I've changed my values.

In fact, fear is a fairly aggressive linchpin. It doesn't quite care what it does to you. It just wants to be acknowledged.

How would you like to be changed? Through fear or through love?

5. It's hard to live your truth if you are motivated by fear.

I feel like "living your truth" has become a vogue phrase. But it's a valid phrase. We all have our truths–the expression and essence unique to our fabric.

I believe everyone deserves to live her truth. Doing so connects us with our purpose and our community. Living our truth is also a state of freedom. It is limitless, compelled by one thing: our intuition.

Fear cripples truth. It squeezes it like a lemon. It's hard to get our truth out there in the world if we are letting ourselves be motivated by fear.

And I'm all about choosing truth over fear. What do you think?

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What Is Wrong With Humanity That We Only Unite When Horrific Tragedies Occur?

It's time we change the way we think about unity


As I watched the news for what seemed like a solid month of hurricane coverage, I questioned why was it that destruction is the only thing that brings people together? We have our social disagreements and political battles, but when it comes to a disaster, we care for one another. Slowly as the tides receded, so did our compassion and we were back at it again with our political debates and our hateful words until another tragedy, like Las Vegas, happened to bring us back together again. Why does it always take a tragedy for us to find unity?

With the recent natural disasters and the terrorist attack on Las Vegas, we find ourselves looking for the good. Looking for these heroic moments where people have stepped in and risked themselves for others. We try to find comfort in knowing that we are good people and that we stepped up to the plate when we were needed, but why is it always in an act of desperation? Why does it take the loss of life for us to see that we can be good? Why does it take an attack on all of us to put our differences aside to be able to help others? Why do we have to find ourselves in tragic moments to find the beauty in the world?

Call it an act of God or just call it a coincidence, but doesn't it seem as though history is continuing to repeat itself because we haven't learned anything from it? After every natural disaster or terrorist tragedy in history, we have changed our behavior and our course of action for a short time after, but we always fall back into our old ways. We always go back to our battles and hateful ways, forgetting about the compassion we once had and the love that we had just felt for one another.

It isn't until another random act of hate happens again that we are able to see what we had done wrong, but we still aren't fully able to change our ways.

The recent news hasn't shown anything about the NFL protests or riots against the police. It hasn't had any talk of the war against taxes or new health care bills. It hasn't even shown us any updates on the Kardashian pregnancies because we have refocused on what truly matters in this world: us coming together to show support for our people. As a country, as an act of love, as an act of humanity. We need to refocus on what really matters in this world before we go back to our old ways and let history repeat itself again.

Lesson to be learned: we need to stop requiring a tragedy to bring us together. Life is too short and too precious to continue to keep repeating the same mistakes that we have made in the past. We need to live in the moment, love the ones that you are with and thank God every single day for the extra breaths that you have been given to take. We need to show more compassion on a daily basis and realize that life is a gift, so show your appreciation for it and the others around you.

Regardless, please pray for those suffering from recent attacks to the hurricane victims who are still suffering. Those are the ones that deserve all of our prayers right now. If their loss doesn't make you learn to appreciate life, I don't know what will. We need to first learn how to spread positivity and love before these tragedies even occur in order to actually be one big, happy human family. Sure, there is always going to be negativeness around us, but you need to learn how to look over that and start to look at the positive things.

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6 Signs You're in the Right Relationship

You can determine if your current relationship is best for the both of you with some reflection.


There's one burning question nearly every woman asks herself a few weeks, months, or years after dating someone.

"Is this right?"

It's easier to turn to friends, loved ones, and advice columns to answer this question. It's even easier to make this judgment call based off of outside opinions rather than deep intuition.

The most important opinion, however, is yours. You can determine if your current relationship is best for the both of you with some reflection.

Check out the list below. If your relationship fulfils all seven stipulations, keep going! Less than four? Time for a talk and some inner guidance.

You Are Fueled to Do What You Love

Take a minute to write down the things that you truly, deeply love. These can be hobbies, interests, people, or activities.

If you're struggling to come up with something, write down what always makes you smile (without fail). Write down the things you would do if you had one day of unlimited freedom.

Don't be shy with this list. Write down everything!

Now consider how your partner either enables you to pursue these things or limits you. Do you feel more fueled to do these things, or less fueled? It can be helpful to recall anything your partner has said about these pursuits in the past.

For example, does your partner seem actively committed to making sure you do more of what you love? Has your list expanded because of your partner? Have you done these things together?

Consider the flipside, too. Do you help your partner pursue their passions?

If you conclude that your partner (for the most part) fuels your passions for life and beyond, this is a good sign. It indicates a relationship that prioritizes both parties' well-being and flourishing.

You Are Learning

Partners learn from each other in a variety of ways. Your partner may teach you about boating, for example, or how to live with compassion. You may teach your partner about active listening and cooking vegan dishes.

Healthy relationships strike an appropriate balance between learning and teaching. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done to ensure that you are learning (as well as teaching).

If your partner is doing all the teaching, this imbalance could lead to an unhealthy power dynamic. It may diminish your sense of self-worth or empowerment.

On the flip side, if you do all the teaching, you may not be growing as an individual. Personal growth enables relationship growth.

Brainstorm the things you actively learn from your partner. Do you both have equal opportunities to be teacher and student? If there is an imbalance, have a conversation with your partner to address it.

More extreme imbalances could be the seeds for an unhealthy or even abusive relationship down the road.

Your Relationship is Not a Dependency Relationship

All relationships have a natural sprinkling of dependency. Relationships, after all, involve at least two people at the helm of a lifeboat.

It can be all too easy, however, to be overly dependent on your partner or lover. Over dependency often takes the form of relying on the other person for happiness, motion, and well-being.

Some people view relationships as means to certain ends, such as marriage, money, self-worth, or sex. Others may use a relationship as a linchpin for unnecessary change: career swerves, botox injections, abandonment of what they truly love.

Think about your relationship's dependencies. Consider your life without your partner. What would it look like? What would you look like?

This mental exercise can help you understand the nature of your reliance on people you care about—not just your partner. Self-reliance is a precursor to confidence and greater self-awareness.

The more dependent you are in a relationship, the lower your odds are of building healthy self-reliance.

You Still Have Friends

When you're head-over-heels for someone, it's easy to forget about the rest of the world. Suddenly, your calendar is filled with your lover. You may have trouble focusing at work or prioritizing others.

It's very common for some women in relationships to neglect their friends and community outside of their lovers. This is especially the case at the start of a relationship.

Some partners may be jealous or abusive. They are more likely to isolate or prevent women from being close to certain friends or loved ones.

Healthy relationships should not keep you from your friends in any way. If you still have a viable network of friendships and connections while in a relationship, this can indicate a healthy life-to-partner balance. If not, it's time to re-evaluate.

You Both Feel Heard

In any relationship, it's essential for both parties to have a valid voice. Respectful relationships incorporate a strong model of listening and responding to issues, feelings, and opinions.

Do you feel that your voice is always heard in your relationship? What does your partner do to ensure that you feel heard?

Consider the other perspective. Do you ensure that your partner's voice is validated and respected?

If you aren't sure how to answer these questions, take the time to bring an important issue to your partner's attention. Notice how they respond to your thoughts. Do they actively listen or appear distracted? Do they offer advice or solutions? Are they likely to follow up later?

It is possible for some women to feel "unheard" due to miscommunication. However, if you are feeling increasingly voiceless, or if you feel that you are powerless to change this, this could suggest an unhealthy power dynamic.

You Aren't Compromising Too Much

Every relationship requires some sort of compromise. You may not like the fact that your partner leaves the toilet seat up all the time. Your partner may not like your taste in music.

Healthy compromises safeguard against looking for the "perfect" partner. After all, searching for a superhero is often a vain endeavour.

Nonetheless, if you find yourself compromising too much with things that you care about, this could be a red flag. This is especially the case if you are frequently giving up on passions, other relationships, and goals for the sake of your partner.

Have a conversation with your partner about compromising. What have you compromised on, and what are you unwilling to compromise on?

Practice mindful compromising in order to develop a relationship built on trust and mutual respect.

No two relationships are alike. But it is possible to tell the difference between a healthy, balanced partnership and one that is unhealthy or unfulfilling.

It's important for you to feel heard, validated, and inspired in your relationship. Both people should feel fueled to do what they love and free to express themselves. Most importantly, healthy relationships flourish when both parties are enabled to flourish.

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