How to Stop Fear From Hijacking Your Motivation


I've been listening in to the conversations of people during breaks at conferences I've been attending recently, and sadly, it doesn't take long for the conversations to focus on these miserable low-lifes who are currently and increasingly, terrorising the world.

It’s prompted me to ask of myself, my family and now here in this post, an important question… and the question is, do you have an intentional and mindful strategy in place at the moment to personally take control of your emotional and physical motivational energy and wellbeing at work and in your personal life?

If not, there is the potential for the news of terror, to hijack a large piece of the finite capacity of your conscious mind. We have a limited amount of capacity to focus our conscious attention on… what are you intentionally or unintentionally focusing your attention on? Fear breeds fear… but so too does positivity and realistic optimism breed positivity and realistic optimism.

The reported repulsively evil actions and goals of this scourge on humankind can very easily distract us from all the wonder and joy that surrounds us. Oh that it would be so easy to say just ignore it, but of course, it isn’t that easy, and I’m not sure that ignoring it is necessarily the best action.

What I do know however from applied positive psychology research, is that we can take intentionally mindful action to focus on the things for which we are grateful in our lives.

Now before you write that off as some soft self-help nonsense, the scientific evidence that has been validated through the research points directly at specific strategies that, while when things are going great for us, may seem a little trite and unnecessary, but in times when our overall life satisfaction, happiness, emotional and physical wellbeing might be under threat, these positive psychology interventions or strategies can make a positive and significant impact.

It takes courage

While each of these positive psychology strategies appear relatively easy, I know for many people, it actually takes a bit of courage to give them a go. Your future-self needs to trust that your current-self will be doing your best to maximise the opportunities you have to live a happy, flourishing and meaningful life.

Here are just a few of the strategies that I highly recommend you draw on some courage to try:

We can mindfully and intentionally savour everyday life’s joys. Give it a try today. Make a list of the things that you are grateful for in your life… of all the positivity in your life. Don’t just think about them, actually take the time to write them down.

We can take intentional action to fulfil the promises we make to nurture the trust relationships we have in our life. Take some time today to think about the most important relationships you have in your life. What do you want, wish, hope for the people you impact in your life roles and relationships? What are the promises you want to make and keep to live up to your intentions for these people? Take stock of your current truth by asking yourself ‘To what extent am I living up to my promises?’

We can focus on living in the now, with who we are and what we have, and to do it intentionally and mindfully, whatever ‘it’ is that we do, striving to achieve in our various life roles to the best of our capacity. This helps us bring more meaning to our lives and will help us to receive that all important sense of purpose and achievement that is so highly correlated with self-reported levels of higher life satisfaction.

What I’m not suggesting is to ignore the terror, because it’s a real and present danger. What I am suggesting is to choose carefully what you do focus your intentional attention on. Be more intentionally mindful, in more moments more often through the day, and you’re taking action on the things that are within your control 100%, and not letting the things that are outside of your control erode your capacity to live a happy, flourishing and meaningful life.


David Penglase


David Penglase is a leading authority on Personal and Workplace Prosperity. He is author of Intentionomics (top 10 best-seller on Amazon in two categories), an international conference speaker and corporate educator.

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