Behavioral Psychology

Drawn Forward By What You Love Or Driven By What You Fear

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Two behaviors can look identical from the outside but be the result of very different motivations on the inside. It’s worth asking yourself if, in most of your pursuits and endeavors, you’re drawn forward by what you love or driven by what you fear. Are you primarily motivated by the possibility of success or by the threat of failure?

In terms of behavioral psychology, the real question is whether your life is primarily ruled by positive reinforcements or by negative reinforcements. Both are extremely effective at eliciting behaviors, but they come from different sources and make you feel much different about yourself and the world.

You usually can’t go wrong when you’re drawn forward by what you love, when you feel that pull to reach beyond yourself in order to reach some goal. But if you often feel driven by what you fear, then your behavior is not necessarily motivated by what you want in life but instead by avoiding consequences that you don’t want, a setup that might get you good results but will probably keep you miserable along the way.