What makes you move forward? Which are the most powerful stimulus for you? Are you doing stuff only to avoid potential dangers, or are you just curious? In today’s article, we will address the differences between negative motivation versus positive motivation.
Clients at Healing Path Counselling Services often ask motivation is just the power which moves you to do stuff, are there anything like “negative” or “positive” to it? Isn’t this something related to what you do, not to what motivates you? Well, in my opinion, your motivation is directly shaping you actions. If you’re positively motivated, your action will most likely have a positive outcome. If you’re negatively motivated, your action will have an undesirable outcome. Negative is rooted on fear, while positive is rooted in service.
The Fear Root Fear means you’re acting on the pressure of losing something. This is what fear is: the threat of losing something: your current context, your money, your life. Fear can be a survival mechanism, and for that it was a good asset on our old life kit. It was fear which made the weaker one to run or to hide when a real threat was around. And fear made the weaker survive. Fear can manifest in our life on various levels. Some of them are social norms, like “keeping up with the Joneses” (fear of losing prestige) or like blind competition (fear of losing market share). On a personal level, fear is manifested by the need to prove something (fear of being inadequate) or by revenge (fear of coping with a loss).
The Service Root On the other side, service means giving to others. Offering support, knowledge, material or emotional assets. There is this inverse connection between fear and service: the lower the fear level, the higher the service level. If you’re not afraid you can easily go out and share, because, well, there’s nothing to be afraid of. If you’re afraid of something, you’re going to limit the contexts in which the danger could manifest, therefore, you’re going to limit your sharing activities. Another opposite to the fear is curiosity: if you’re eager to find out more, you’ll have to get rid of your fears. You can’t be curious if you’re afraid. If your fears will tell you that something bad will come out of this action you’re so curious about, you’ll never do it.
Ultimately, we as humans are still conditioned to act on fear. We translated our old fears related to survival to our modern indicators of success: we’re afraid of being taken for less than we are or we’re afraid that somebody is talking bad about us. We’re afraid that we’re going to lose something if we’re not talking “immediate and aggressive” action towards the potential danger. It is these core beliefs that clients work on shifting in therapy to alternate positive beliefs. Motivation based in positivity has more weight in effecting lasting change.
If you or someone you know would like to work on positive motivation, please connect at Healing Path Counselling Services.
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