What Is Fear Motivation? And 4 Positive Motivational Techniques To Use Instead

Fear motivation is the internal process of moving yourself away from what you don’t want. Fear is a powerful motivator because it makes us uncomfortable, and we want to move away from that discomfort toward our comfort zone.

We are all very aware of how fear can make anyone follow orders “or else.” We use it as parents to get our kids to do or stop doing something right away, we use it to get our coworkers or friends to do the same thing by using threats, and we use it to get our partners to do something, especially when we threaten to leave. Both school discipline and law enforcement in our society are based on threats of punishment and fear. And almost always, at least initially, we achieve the outcomes we desire.

The issue is that fear is always a reaction to external threats of punishment, and that once those threats cease to exist, so does the fear. As a result, we frequently revert to our pre-fear states. In neuteral situations, we always revert to the most deeply ingrained behavioral patterns. This is basic human behavior as well as animal behavior. Many of our social systems attempt to alter people’s behavior by instilling fear and threat before “teaching” them more appropriate behaviors, but these efforts are unsuccessful as long as fear serves as the primary motivator because people focus all of their energy on learning how to “play the game” rather than accepting and internalizing the new knowledge.

Threatening someone is a good way to stop them in their tracks and get their attention, so that’s what works. Once that’s been accomplished, the only way to persuade that person to accept and internalize new ways of thinking and acting is to make them perceive you as someone who is genuinely interested in their best interests and who is not threatening, as well as to make them perceive the new information being presented to them as actually being beneficial to improving their lives. And if that is successful, then another person would need to be given the chance to try and retry the new behaviors with the understanding that they might occasionally revert to their old behavior. However, they would also need encouragement, support, and fair rewards to encourage them to come back to and practice the new behaviors until they become the most prevalent habitual styles of acting.

Fear Nothing (Motivational Video HD)

Positive motivation theories for the workplace

Here are some positive motivational theories you can employ to motivate team members at work rather than using fear:

Protection motivation theory

According to this theory, people adjust to stressful situations or make decisions in different ways. The theory explains why people alter their behavior to defend themselves against imagined threats. Two cognitive processes—threat appraisal and coping appraisal—control the decision to alter behavior. The person evaluates how much fear has been evoked due to the gravity of the threat in the first stage.

The second cognitive process of coping appraisal includes three different sets of beliefs. The person must have faith that altering their behavior will lessen the threat, that they are capable of doing so, and that the cost of doing so won’t be greater than the threat itself.

For instance, if you are aware that you must conquer your fear of public speaking in order to be considered for a promotion, your fear of not receiving the promotion must outweigh your fear of public speaking. Although this theory resembles fear motivation, the employee doesn’t continue to experience anxiety or fear. To get to a healthier place, they face their fears head-on or move past them.

Find out what your team members are passionate about, and encourage them to be open with you about any potential workplace issues. Encourage them to stretch themselves while being confident that their jobs are secure. Work with them to determine their objectives and the steps they must take to achieve those objectives.

Affiliation motivation theory

According to this theory, the majority of people desire to be a part of a group or organization. It suggests that people are motivated by three basic needs: affiliation, power, and achievement. This theory is used by managers to determine how well a worker will contribute to a team goal. People who are driven by affiliation typically develop close friendships, support group decisions, and connect with the positive traits of their teammates.

This motivation theory can be applied by emphasizing group accomplishments over individual results. Additionally, you can design a system for rewarding your team’s accomplishments.

Expectancy theory of motivation

According to expectation theory, an employee will decide on their behavior based on what they think will produce the best results. In the end, this person will select a course of action that they believe will result in the best result and the greatest reward. Apply this theory by establishing distinct links between the rewards your employees receive and their performance. Make sure the rewards distributed to team members correspond to their level of effort.

Power motivation theory

This theory contends that some people are driven by a desire for power and prestige. They hope to inspire those around them and have an impact. While not all team members may fit this theory’s criteria, you can use it to spot those who are driven by power and make sure to assign them to roles where they will be most useful.

Power-motivated team members, for instance, are perfect for leadership positions where they can boost team morale and encourage everyone to work harder to achieve goals. They excel at assigning tasks to help the team as a whole achieve goals more effectively.

You should make sure you are publicly celebrating all victories, no matter how small, as power-motivated individuals are motivated by prestige. To boost the team’s morale when goals are attained, set challenging yet attainable objectives.

What is fear motivation?

The internal process of removing yourself from what you don’t want is known as fear motivation. Fear is an effective motivator because it makes us feel uncomfortable, and we want to move toward our comfort zone to escape that discomfort. Fear motivation is strong, but the drawback is that it can eventually become stressful. It can paralyze workers whose fear of being fired, for instance, prevents them from working to the best of their abilities.

Tips for managing fear in the workplace

A skill that can be developed to make us stronger and more resilient is learning to control and overcome our fears. Here are some powerful methods to help you overcome your fears at work:

Normalize the fear

Realizing that your fear is completely normal and that you are not alone is one of the most effective ways to get over it. Speaking with coworkers or managers who have faced and overcame their fears can help us feel more confident and make it simpler to take action.

Look back at previous accomplishments

When compared to some of the amazing things you have accomplished, the things you are afraid of may seem insignificant. Make a list of your accomplishments, and refer to it whenever fear strikes.

Think about what the result could be

Instead of dwelling on your fear, consider how your life would be different if you were to succeed in your goal. If you got a pay raise or got promoted from your current job, how would you feel? How would your life change? Additionally, it might make you a strong candidate for a better position at a different company.

Recognize it is part of the process

Think back on other things you have tried. As a child, when you fall you get back up. It’s part of the process of growth. Reframe your perception of fear and acknowledge that even in the workplace, anxiety and even setbacks are only transient. Failure on a work project might lead to chances for new and improved training, possibly leading to new opportunities. Even if a presentation doesn’t go well, offering to give it anyway demonstrates initiative and a desire to get better, both of which will impress your managers.


Is fear a good motivation?

Fear can be a strong motivator. People who are afraid of being poor may be driven to pursue any career to prevent being in a financial bind. Similar to this, people who are worried that they might experience certain health issues might put in a lot of effort to keep their bodies in the best possible shape.

How do you use motivation to fear?

Tips for turning our fears into motivation
  1. Choose a fear you can manage. …
  2. Ask yourself what’s behind that fear? …
  3. Take ownership and share. …
  4. Make a plan. …
  5. Consider your ultimate objective and imagine how your life might change if you succeeded.
  6. Make a S.M.A.R.T. …
  7. Get rid of obstacles.

How do I stop my fear of motivation?

When you commit to facing your fears, you’re able to discover strategies to overcome them and find peace.
  1. Determine the source of your anxiety. …
  2. Recognize that life happens for you. …
  3. Stop the excuses. …
  4. Turn your “shoulds” into “musts” …
  5. Adopt a growth mindset. …
  6. Learn that pain brings valuable insight. …
  7. Practice self-care.

Is fear the strongest motivator?

There are many things that motivate us. But the most powerful motivator of all is fear. The primal instinct of fear served us well when we lived in caves and it still does. Because we never forget how to avoid a bad experience if we survive one, it keeps us alive.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *