Intentional Living Series Week Seventeen: Fear As A Motivator

by Christine

{Charging Elephant in Republic of Botswana, Africa}

"Nothing is so much to be feared as fear". ~Henry David Thoreau

In week 16, I shared with you when and how to make course corrections to your Lifetime Priority Plan, this week we will explore the restraints that keeps you from living your priorities. 

What do you do if a elephant is chasing you? ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!!!!!!!!! Fear can be a positive emotion if the fight or flight response is needed to ward off a charging elephant. But it can also be paralyzing or worse yet, a false motivator when used by others to instill fear. When crafting your LPP, hopefully, you pushed yourself to move out of your comfort zone and explore areas of interests that you have allowed to lie dormant. Now you are venturing out to take a class, start a business or take that dream trip you have been putting off for years. Your plans are exciting and just a little scary but you are committed to making them happen so you start working your plan. 

The next day you turn on the news and words like financial cliff, sequestration, or some other end of the world scenario comes at you. You then cautiously share your plan with a friend who breathlessly asks how can you do this now when you should be focused solely on saving for retirement because Social Security won't exist in a few years and what if you live to be 100. At that point, fear starts to reshape you Lifetime Priority Plan. Instead of taking the cooking class or writing your business plan for your new venture, you double down at your current job. 

My question to you is how do you use fear in your life? Are the things you fear real or an imaginary? Is your job truly in jeopardy or do you work in a fearful environment created by you and your colleagues? Will the cost of a class really impact your retirement savings or is it a negligible cost for the joy and education you will receive? Fear based living takes a toll on your health, your family and your Lifetime Priority Plan. It also allows you to self limit your plans and dreams; fear allows you to stay right where you are and not try anything new. 

Week 17 Assignment: Spend time during your Morning 30 to explore how you use fear in your life. How does it motivate you? Are your fears real or imaginary?

Footnote: It may make for a funny one liner but as I learned on our walking safari in Botswana, running is NOT always the best plan when being charged by an elephant. Our guides explained to us that running away in fear from a preditor in the wilds of Africa was a sign to the animals that we were food! I did not want to be food so I held my ground and it all turned out well. That is not to say that I wasn't afraid, well actually it was more like terror but it was necessary to contain my fear so that I could achieve a greater good...survival. 


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