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Motivate through fear

By Niels Lameijer on Sep 14, 2009 at 12:00 AM in Corporate Coaching Blog, General, Life Mastery Coaching


Fear a powerful motivator!

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "fear is a powerful motivator." And mostly it is not a productive and constructive way of getting motivated (unless you are running from Grizzly). Fear is being used by so many people, organizations and governments all over the world. It continues to surprise and shock me. A random example:

The other day I picked up the mail from our mailbox located just around the corner. A tiny walk, however it's always a nice one since it takes me past the most gorgeous part of the yard. Many stunning flowers brighten the day, and the apple tree is filled with bright red apples waiting to be picked.

So I walked back to the house with a small stack of envelopes. Flipping through them I noticed that my heart started to beat faster at one particular envelope. This particular envelope had written on the front in big red letter: "SECOND NOTICE." Now I know that there are no real "second notices" arriving at my house, however I did register that instant reaction of "Oh-Oh, something is wrong". So I opened it and of course, just some piece of spam mail.

Why does this company put "second notice" on the envelope? Indeed to make me fearful and thus open the envelope right away and see their "spam-mail-offer." They are using our programming to startle at the sights of a "second notice" note to get their message out there.

It keeps intriguing me how much fear is being used to influence us. When I encounter it now in a peculiar place I just laugh about it and choose to not have it affect me!

What strange places or moments have you noticed fear being used as a motivativator?