Excitement motivated Manuel but he lost it less than 18 hours laterAn inspiring movie fired up Manuel’s desire to get a better job and buy his own home. That evening he was full of racing thoughts and ideas about how it would be when he was CEO of his own company and didn’t have to take orders from other people, or be at their mercy. He envisioned the large estate he would have in a sought after neighborhood and went to bed excited. He was as excited this night as he had been when he was ten years old waiting for the morning to come and ride the bike his parents had got him for his birthday.In the morning Manuel felt burdened by the dreams he had seen and tasted before he fell asleep the night before. Now those visions didn’t seem all that exciting anymore. In fact they were totally unnecessary. He had a job; he was making do on his salary, and so what if he didn’t own a mansion! Complacency set in and motivation was lost By the time Manuel got to work he was right back at square one as if the inspiration and hope of the previous night was a figment of his imagination. Things were ticking along pretty well and he didn’t want to rock the boat. Who knows what change would bring if he followed up on his desire from last night. He may land in a worse situation, so why bother dreaming?Small scares were not strong enough to motivate ManuelThree weeks later the threat of layoffs at his workplace was thick in the air. Manuel got scared. He called an old friend and set up a lunch date to talk about the possibilities of starting up a company together, that they had once seriously considered until Manuel dropped out. His friend was encouraging and open to taking up where they had left off two years ago. Manuel was relieved and began to think about his future in a new way.The threatened redundancies never materialized at Manuel’s work. Manuel forgot all about his dream and plans to start a new company. He settled right back into his comfortable, predictable life style and pretended he was happy. He was relieved that he didn’t have to put anything new into motion and sweet talked his vision into waiting for a better time for it to bear fruit.Fear overwhelmed Manuel and pushed him into actionManuel’s younger brother died of an inherited degenerative disease in the next 6 months. The shock hit Manuel hard. His brother had built up a successful franchise, had a beautiful family, home and was on track to be in the best in his business. For months he had nightmares about being in danger. He hated going to sleep and became an insomniac. Fear resolved Manuel's conflict – he chose action rather than the apathy of the status quo Fear gripped Manuel like never before. He had the same genes and he knew that he could experience symptoms at any time. He thought he was already doing so when his movements felt less smooth and he lost his balance from time to time. Fear became the only thing he was aware of.Fear of dyingFear of dying a slow painful and undignified deathFear of dying aloneFear of not having achieved anything he wantedFear of being left behind by those at work who were making plans to move alongFear of his girlfriend getting tired and leaving himFear of running out of moneyFear that he would never settle down and have a familyFear that he would never settle his differences with his motherFear that he would never make his father proud of himMotivated by the wish to remove fear was the one thing that made Manuel actThe fear was so great and so overwhelming that it propelled him to take steps to make the fear go away. Manuel signed up for a course at the Small Business Council on starting a new business. He made a call to his friend and they made a business plan. Communication with his parents improved and Manuel got many old thorny issues addressed. He began feeling anxious and fearful. Sleep came back and allowed him to rest now that he paid attention to the core pieces of his life. Taking Charge of his life rather than let fear dictate his actions saved ManuelManuel took the wheel of his car only when he was terrified the car would crash. He had assumed that he car would just carry him along on some internal GPS without his input or the fuel that came from his desire. Fear gave him the push to fill the tank and make a correction in his course. This time he learned that holding the wheel at all times is easier and less stressful than responding to impending doom.Fear dumped a ton of stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol into his system compromising his health and wearing him out. Once he acted and felt the power of taking his life into his own hands, Manuel used success and desire to motivate him and reward him on a daily basis. Why scare himself nearly to death before making the move he always wanted to make?Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have while reading the article or implementing the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.