In 5th grade I took a test on government - and got a a 67%. I hyperventilated at my desk. NO NO NO. Shame washed over me. What am I going to do, is this REALLY my test?
I was not used to screwing it up this bad or looking dumb. After this incident, I realized that part of the reason I didn’t ace the exam is because, well, I just didn’t care. I really didn’t care at all and my teacher was a bore. Well, I couldn’t go around getting C’s and D’s so I needed a different solution.
I’ve got it. I’m going to become a ball of stress and anxiety and fear the day I’m handed another 67%. (It never happened again…)
I realized that if I worried about a test, I studied harder. TA DAA — I found a way to get myself to focus harder — raw FEAR. And it worked. It worked so well I went to college with scholarships and took honors courses and was successful. I think?
Using fear to motivate is a tactic that works. That’s the problem! It actually WORKS. In the short term. It turns into a habit for most of us and we drag it into our work life and our relationships and we try and do better and better — not because we love ourselves, but because we’re afraid.
This can also look like:
High Achievers, we are looking for a way OUT. We are tired of being afraid of failing. And getting good grades or making a lot of money will only offer short term relief at best.
Keep track of how many decisions you make out of fear this week — you might be surprised how much it keeps poking at you to keep you up and performing.