Motivation Mindset: How to Overcome Apprehension of Failure?

Sup mate! Vincent here.

Today I want to talk about viewpoints and mindset regarding our goals and aspirations. That is quite a tough one and there will probably be a lot more to say than what I’m about to tell you guys but heh, I want to keep those entries authentic and stay humble about it. I’m not a psychologist or what, but I’ve been practicing a lot. In the urge of creating myself new projects and healthy habits to defeat depressed moods, the concepts of motivation and self-discipline are quite familiar to me and believe it or not, I’ve come a long way.

« Not everywhere you fit in is where you belong. »

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I can remember the first time I truly felt what some may call a downward spiral. The exact moment when, being in a loop, you can’t realise that all this shit pouring down like rain may just be a last-longing but temporal trough. You eventually drown into despair and forget the fact that nothing is irreversible and that you still can make CHOICES. Occasionally you may even think that there’s no point at making any choice at all because you feel like you’re doomed in an unsolvable context.

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Alright, I grant you that. Sometimes choices can truly be frightening because you fear that your situation might get worse. But I would tell you that a biased perspective is such a filthy bastard. Partiality prevents you from doing things or even just enter a clear mind. Damn, I hate emotional traps like these.

Doing some research in those fields led me to Dr. BJ Fogg’s behavior model which describes motivation within three core factors: Sensation, anticipation and belonging. Each of these with two side/opposed effects. Sensation leads to pleasure or pain, anticipation stands for hope or fear and belonging relates to (social) acceptance or rejection. This is what he calls the ‘’motivation wave’’.

A high motivation can get you to do hard things whereas a low incitation makes you prone to pretty much do nothing or maybe just the easy stuff. I’m personally used to talk about dynamic range (I tru-really don’t know why, plz do not judge me) but in any event many of us will agree that motivation goes up and down every now and then. But most of the time motivation is low.

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So whaddup dude? Aim for opportunities to do hard things.

When the motivation is high, we must take advantage of it to get closer to our goals and structure future behaviors. And by that I mean healthy daily habits. You may want to identify which structured behavior could help you reach another milestone. For example if you’re a rookie musician and want your band to get better it might induce you getting used to band practice altogether with good talks and quality rehearsals (those without the beers and stuff) and of course practice your instruments for at least an hour per day everyday using a metronome. Baby steps make future behaviors easier to replicate/uncover and the next milestones nearer too.

Another great benefit of such a mindset is some serious leverage of your daily habits to a new level. It literally turns you available to do new things, even when the motivation is low, meaning that daily habits eventually begin to shape you. From who you are to where you want to be.

When you start to do something new (like record yourself, painting, singing, film a video or whatever creative for instance – and because that’s pretty much the only thing I can talk about/relate, heh), every little step seems terrific and the idea of reaching ‘pro levels’ seems quite infeasible too. But once you consider the thing as a whole journey and your progression cycles just like opportunities to learn and get better. The temporal trough is yet only a challenge to overcome.

Now about the struggle: Aspirations.

« Architecture is about making the world a little more like our dreams » (Bjarke Ingels)

I personally identified one actual reason that could explain why I’ve been experiencing some particular bad episodes/times/moods in my life. And that is a very common one: yearnings. Success is much more likely to occur if we express ourselves in our own field, an accurate one that truly fits who we are.

I have some good friend of mine that once told me she had no dreams nor aspirations at all. I told her I couldn’t believe her and began to think that she was exaggerating the situation but then I realised some people might need some more time and research before finding their path. Which is totally fine. No-one should be forced to do something for too long without any promising/genuinely interesting future career or perspective. And as everyone truly deserves to find their path, we also need to make time to do so.

In a next blog entry I will tell you how I’ve recently been trying something really cool to ‘generate’ time and preserve my central nervous system (not even joking): selective ignorance.

In the meantime, stay resilient. Keep experiencing life until you find your place/thing/sanctuary.

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Now assuming you’re doing your own thing in a field that is yours and that you deeply cherish. You know, last week was one of those weeks for me, like when you’re feeling crushed by your aspirations VS your inability to approach them.

The concept of « dip » as first expressed by author Seth Godin stands for the lowest period of the motivation wave/dynamic range (the one we’ve seen before) – or troughs. But here lies the truth: not only is the dip an opportunity for you to get closer to your goals, but it will also process you from the inside at a much faster speed rate than the baby steps/healthy habits you’ve set up before. It is an ultimate test (every dip should be bigger than the previous one) or summary of all your past trials/troughs.

There’s always a love-hate relation with what we’re doing with our lives, especially if you are a creative person and one of my favourite themes regarding motivation and aspirations is the one of self-discipline. Mostly because it means action. Enough theory, enough concepts. Just do.

« We learn from failure, not success » (Bram Stoker)

Neutrality, emotional diet and action. You need to take some risks for your goals even without asking yourself if it scares you or not, and experiencing peaks of motivation makes us temporarily available to do hard – if not very hard – things. Which is YOUR proof that YOU wholly CAN do stuff. Remember that if something scares you and appeals you at the same time, this might be something to try out.

I’d like you to think about this episode in your past when you had achieved something you thought you wouldn’t be capable of, and remind yourself how amazing it came out. Hacking your motivation requires you to get out of your comfort zone. You are going to want to give up. Don’t. Or maybe wait a little more before doing so. I can totally relate with the fact we often hear influencers from the motivation ‘niche’ saying stuff like ‘’never give up’’, ‘’hard work pays off’’ or even ‘’no pain no gain’’. That might be a 100% accurate statement if you’re in this second category of people who truly found their way and are struggling with getting exposure or success or even sustainability with their thing. But how about some not-so-happy folks forcing their way on a path that isn’t made for them? In my opinion, you genuinely deserve the right to choose the moment when it is the right time to surrender, once you’ve tested all the possibilities of your scenario.

Now besides all this, what if your situation actually needed to get worse in order to get better afterwards?

In my next post I will tell you a very personal approach on how things may sometimes appear as shit while it’s not (AT ALL).

Thanks for reading me, have an awesome day/week!

Stay resilient.

  • Uplifting song of the week: Periphery – Ragnarok
  • Yo! I’m also accepting requests & suggestions on Twitter! Did you like this article? What should I write on next? Send your tweets to @haarasnc with hashtag #StayResilient
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6 thoughts on “Motivation Mindset: How to Overcome Apprehension of Failure?

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