Use Negativity To Drive Action

Get Results: Motivation requires use of negative emotions to drive action
Get Results: Motivation requires use of negative emotions to drive action

Fear and pain is often the very thing that can stop you pursuing your dreams, by contrast, it is often the most powerful catalyst for change. Let’s look at a few examples…..


Missed opportunities, like what you didn’t do when you had the chance, is often quoted to be one of the greatest pains, when people look back on their lives. We tend to regret what we didn’t do over what we did do, that didn’t work out. Fear of regret however can help to strengthen our motivation to “take action”. Focus on how you will feel, if you fail to give-it-a-go. Visualise your regret, and use that to drive you into action.

Escaping Pain

When you can’t take any more, when you’ve had enough. “No more” you say. This is regularly the point of change. You just can’t take the negativity, the draining negative emotions of a situation. You might feel trapped, frustrated, possessed, and you want to escape to a different reality. It can take years to get to this point of no return, but change happens in an instant, when we decide it has to.


Loss of credibility or being seen as a failure by others is a big motivator for most people. Put yourself in a situation where you have to deliver on your promise, by declaring a target, a goal and let the fear of failing, drive you into action. Accountability partners, and/or social groups like weight watchers are great examples of this kind of motivation.

Something to prove

How people are viewed by others is a big deal for many, if you’re cast in a negative light, or are seen as less than we feel you should be, you might feel the need to prove a point. Have you got something to prove? How about proving that you can set your mind to something and see it through to a successful conclusion. Use this drive to motivate you into action.

We often ridicule negative emotions, and try to avoid them, but as we’ve pointed out, they can be used to help you take positive action, as you reach for your goals.

For more about motivational influences, check out our Motivation guide.