Motivated by Fear

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed. – Buddha 

One of my favorite past time when I want to relax is to watch documentary videos or television shows, especially those that talk about the history of the world.  I like watching documentary of our world’s history because I want to learn from them.  I believe that we can learn from the experiences of other people and we make use of those of learning to advance further in our own life.

With the number of documentary videos I’ve watched, whether it’s about past civilizations or war, they’ve mentioned something that stuck into my head.  And that’s,

Most people are motivated by fear.

It has been analyzed and proven that in all generations of human existence, majority of people act out of fear.  The rulers, such as kings, are often able to manipulate the mass majority and conquer new horizons through fear.  Most people lose their capacity to think for themselves because of fear.  As such, they are motivated by fear.  They let fear determine their decisions and actions.

I can’t help but to agree with such analysis. I was able to take time observing human’s attitude and behavior, and I’ve found out that up to our current generation, majority of people are still indeed motivated by fear.  Many are still incapable of thinking and acting for themselves because of fear.  They still lack the freewill to live life according to their wants and terms.  By doing so, they feel unhappy and miserable with their life in the process.

4 Type of Fear that Blocks a Person’s Capacity to do as He Pleases


1. Fear of Criticism

It’s our human nature to seek belongingness and acceptance.  We feel secured with ourselves when people agree to us.  This is why most people seek a lot of friends, in order to feel more secured and accepted.  However, with such desire to belong, people tend to settle to mediocre and follow what is commonly perceived as good.  People avoid doing what is seen as bad or abnormal for fear of criticism or disapproval.

Personally, I used to fear criticism and tend to please people around me because I wanted to belong and be accepted.  But I’ve eventually realized and learned that nobody can dictate what’s good or not for you.  We all have different opinions and perception on things.  If you want to live a fulfilled and happy life for yourself, you have to follow what you think is right for you, regardless of what other people think or say.  You don’t need to belong and be accepted.  In fact, once you settled for mediocrity and belongingness, that’s when you stop growing in life.

2. Fear of Failure

The next type of fear that motivates people to act and follow mediocrity is the fear of failure.

Most people don’t understand the value of failure to success, that’s why they do their best in avoiding failure.  As such, they are afraid to take risk and venture out on unconventional and untapped opportunities.

One of the valuable lessons I’ve learned from Entrepreneurship is that

Success comes from multiple failures.

Few people understand this, and those few are often the most successful people of our society.  Like fear of criticism, unless you stop avoiding failure, you will never achieve real growth and success in your life.

Remember that failure is good.  It only becomes bad if we tend to repeat it because we don’t learn from it.

3. Fear of Money

Another type of fear that motivates people to follow mediocre life is the fear of money.

I know people who think that money is bad, that it can’t buy you happiness and it’s the root of all evil.  As such, they tend to spend money carelessly.  On the other hand, I also know people who think money is so important they tend to hold on to it so dearly, not wanting to spend any of it.  For both, they live with fear of money because the first person will be struggling with money crisis, while the latter is living with the fear of losing money.

As for me, I’m neither careless spender nor fearful of losing money.  I believe that money is just a piece of paper that you will both earn and lose at some point.  I believe that if you know proper money management, you will be able to eliminate such fear of money, as well as money crisis.  Remember that in whatever you do, do it not because of money.

4. Fear of Death

Last but not the least type of fear that motivates people in their day to day life is the fear of death.

The fear of death causes people to be skeptical and careful with their everyday activities.  There’s nothing wrong with being careful, but it only becomes a problem when one forgets to enjoy and live their life fully because they fear dying or getting hurt.  Fearing death limits one’s capacity to explore and take risk in life.  And such, they miss so many memorable experiences and worthy opportunities in the process.

Remember that life is short and death is certain to happen.  Instead of being fearful of dying, be fearful that you did not live your life fully.

I used to have all these type of fear with me, and I’m confident that most people do.  But a turning point in my life has happened that changed my perspective in life.  It was ironic that the time I lose everything important was the moment I started to live a more enjoyable life, because those were the instance I no longer fear anything.  I’ve learned that,

Fear limits our capacity to think for ourselves, act according to our will and live according to our terms.

My challenge for you is not to erase out all these fears in an instant.  Try to face your fears one by one.  See and experience how much freedom and happiness it will bring to you when you stop being motivated to act by fear, instead, you are motivated by your own will and wants.

For a final note, I hope this article has opened you on how people are motivated by fear.  And I hope you will find the courage to face your fears for you to be able to live a more fulfilling and happier life.  In your journey to conquering your fears, always remember this

Almost everything: all external expectation, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure. These things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. – Steve Jobs, Founder and former CEO of Apple, Inc.


  1. Thank you Lou for sharing this article with us. and it is true that most of us are motivated by Fear. That we let our Fear dictate our actions, in the result is it limits our income, Restrict our freedom, in fact to most our fear runs our life. To a large extent, what we fear determines who we are…

  2. You’re welcome, Arnold. Thank you too for reading and leaving a feedback. 🙂

  3. Leo Dulatre says:

    This is Great Ate Lou! I’am now a fan of “lifetofullest” 🙂

  4. Thanks for checking out my blog. I’m happy to hear the article was helpful. See you in class. 🙂

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