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Let me start this article with a cliché and overheard story: somebody gets dumped by their girlfriend or boyfriend.
The breakup is too heavy to handle for this person. The first days are just full of sadness and bitter thoughts.
Then, after a few days, this person starts feeling something entirely different; anger, annoyance, desire for revenge.
All they can think about is showing their ex-partner what they have lost. They need to make sure that their ex will regret their decision, so they try to improve themselves.
They start working out, taking classes, and focusing on their career. And at last, they succeed in creating a better version of themselves.
What just happened was this person directing all the negative feelings towards another person who broke their heart and using this heartbreak as a source of motivation.
Have you ever had the sudden urge to make yourself look better and improve in every way just to get back at someone who has hurt you?
This situation, breaking up and getting dumped, is not positive, so why do we feel motivated to grow and be better?
That is because there is a particular type of motivation, unknown to most people, driving us. What we would like to call it is dark motivation.
Keep reading if you want to find out more about this technique of motivating yourself and how you can use it to have a successful life.
But before that, watch this video on BROJO YouTube Channel to understand the concept of using negative feelings for motivation better.
The Dark Side of Motivation
Many of us have this constant battle with motivation. We do everything to keep it, yet keeping it can be a handful. Motivation is the engine that keeps us going. Once we lose it, keeping up with work and reaching our goals will be just unbearable.
Many people understand this feeling.
But what many people do not seem to know is that there are different types of motivation, and there are many reasons that can help us push our engines to the start.
One of these unexpected systems of improvement is using the dark side of motivation.
While the name suggests a suspicious connotation, we can be sure that it will prove beneficial if we use it right.
Read More: Mindset Is Everything
The Danger Of Positive Motivation
Some people might think that the dark type of motivation is a thing because more positive, more normal methods of motivation are not effective.
Well, to some extent, they are right. That form of conventional, positive motivation may not always work for some people.
Here is what can go wrong with the motivational practice we all know: Positive motivation is pleasant. Sometimes, the problem is that it can be too pleasant.
Dwelling on positive thoughts and dreams for too long can detach you from the real world. You keep building ideas and goals in your head, and they are all wonderful, but that is the only place they are in your head.
But when it comes to doing the work, you keep getting distracted and detached from what you have to do.
In the end, all you have left is a mind filled with positive notions but no willingness to actually get to work.
And at times like this, maybe dark motivating factors can help you out.
What Is Dark Motivation?
We insist on letting negative feelings go. Whenever we are jealous of someone, compare ourselves to others, find ourselves inferior, or start feeling insecure, we try our best to snap out of it and stop feeling like that.
Everyone wants to feel positive all the time. Unfortunately, this is not possible. No matter who we are, there are times we feel like we are not enough or we cannot keep up with somebody more talented or greater than us.
At times like this, the typical reaction is to fill our surroundings with positive thoughts and try to work our best.
But these negative feelings, at their core, are not harmful. It is the thoughts and actions we partake in based on them that harm us.
If we try to make these negative feelings to our benefit, we can see that everything can be functional, even if it’s called negative.
The use of negative feelings to motivate ourselves to take action is called dark motivation.
How Can I Use Dark Motivation To My Advantage?
The logic is simple: reach deep down inside, get to a negative feeling that makes you feel uncomfortable, and use it as a motivation to get up and do your tasks.
These feelings can be:
- Or any other negative emotion.
In simple terms, use dark feelings to fuel motivation.
Read More: Why Success Is Sum Of Small Efforts
Examples of Dark Motivation
Here is an example: you have something to do, yet you do not feel like it. You know you are supposed to take action, but you keep sitting around.
Then something triggers you.
The classmate you compete with aces a test; It is normal to feel jealous in a situation like that.
So you have only two options:
1) You can continue letting jealousy eat you from the inside without doing something about it
2) You can use that jealousy as a source of motivation to study harder for the upcoming test and rank higher than that classmate
This was a very simple example of using negative feelings to your advantage. But is it the only way you can benefit from it?
Let’s say the company you work for suddenly fires you. Terrible, isn’t it? Now, what can you do?
1) You can drown in the feeling of failure and frustration and struggle for a while
2) You can use the frustration and restlessness inside you to feel motivated enough to look for a better job
For almost every negative emotion, there is a situation when it can prove helpful.
What about fear? Can you use it to your benefit?
Let’s say your performance drops because you lack the energy and motivation to work hard. Your boss makes a few comments and shows disapproval of your current work condition.
The comments of your boss fuel a sense of fear in you. “What if he or she fires me? What if I lose this job? From where can I have my income, then?”
Hopefully, you might be able to rely on fear itself in these tough times. The dark side of motivation can help you use fear to generate motivation and get you to do your tasks.
With the right decision, you will start working hard again. You will do everything to change your boss’s mind and secure your place in the workspace.
Fear, which was considered a negative feeling, made you motivated enough to work harder and show a better performance.
Let me put it this way: Whenever you feel something negative, instead of waiting for it to disappear magically, find a way to accomplish something with its help and put an end to your negative thoughts.
Dark motivation means owning up to your dark emotions and keeping them under control instead of letting them control you.
If you try to use negative emotions at times of desperation, chances are you will be motivated enough to get your tasks done.
Dark Motivation Can Help you Stop Procrastination
Procrastination and wasting time is the enemy of success. If there is any way that you can fight putting off your tasks until the last minute, you should use it.
Here is a technique related to the dark side of motivation:
- Make a list of all the things that make you feel bad about yourself and your current situation.
- Mention everything that makes you feel insecure and all the weaknesses you have yet to overcome.
- Take a good look at the list. It will show you all the work you have to do in order to become a better person.
At first, writing may be hard; but after writing a few lines, you will find yourself adding one thing after another.
Human beings are rarely completely satisfied with themselves and their surroundings, so there is a high possibility that you would keep writing for a while.
When you finish the list, you are faced with everything that needs to be changed.
And when there are a lot of things you need to change, you have less time to waste because you realize that you really have to get to work.
A sense of stress, discomfort, and a feeling of being left behind take over you. If you are careful, you can use these emotions and get to work.
This is a way the dark type of motivation can prove effective. You looked for negative things and used them as a source of motivation to go on and get something done.
Read More: Why Is It Important To Aim High For Sucess
Benefit from Negativity and Destroy It in the Process
Here is another thing you might want to know. Although this type of motivation is based on negative feelings, in a way, it can also be a great way to stop them in itself.
Let’s say you have tons of undone tasks you have kept putting off to the last minute.
When you feel the insecurity or anxiety of being behind schedule and not doing your job, getting tasks done helps you get rid of these feelings.
The faster you get to work, the faster you can dismiss negative thoughts.
We can use this strategy for almost any feeling, but we will use stress as an example for now. The philosophy is quite simple:
- A problem stresses you out
- You use dark techniques of motivation to avoid that problem
- Your hard work resolves that problem
- You are not stressed anymore.
Just like that, you can ask for help from the dark side of motivation to see the bright side of life.
Beware of the Danger of Dark Motivation
You should know that using this strategy to work harder for every purpose can be as damaging as not working hard.
You are playing with your darkest feelings inside you. If you give them too much room as an excuse for motivation, these feelings might get too powerful and bring about unfortunate results.
Always using envy, anger, or anxiety as a driving force wears you out and creates problems for your mental state.
Remember that using negative feelings for a positive outcome still does not make them positive feelings, and dwelling on negative feelings for too long can be destructive.
There is one con of facing the dark side of motivation that, in the end, can overshadow all of its pros: It is addictive, which means it can make you addicted to using negative thoughts and emotions.
Only use this technique when you have used other positive techniques, but they have not worked. When you are sure that all you are left with are undone tasks and negative emotions, you can use those feelings and let them help you perform better.
That is why you should draw the line somewhere. Only get help from the dark side of motivation when you have absolutely no other way out.
Only ask for help from the darkness when you see no light.
Read More: The Dark Meaning Behind “Back To School Necklace” Phrase
In the end, we suggest you listen to this podcast which is about dark motivation and success:
Is it Wrong To Use Dark Motivation?
There may be arguments about how the dark technique of motivation can ruin your life.
It is clear where the confusion comes from. You are using emotions to your advantage that are considered forbidden.
Because, since we were a child, everyone has told us not to be jealous of what someone else has, not to compare ourselves to others.
Constantly comparing yourself to others and degrading yourself is not good. It messes with your mental health and affects your mood and life.
But if comparing yourself with someone can help you try harder to achieve what they have achieved, it is actually recommended.
Desiring what someone else has is what keeps the economy going, so it is not always bad.
The main point is that you think, “That person has gained something I want. I will try harder and gain what I want as well,” And not “That person has gained something I want. I am sad about it and I hope they lose what they have gained because I’m not going to take action and make myself feel better by trying for it”.
Reading daily motivational quotes and trying to stay positive may help you go on for a while. But the truth is, beautiful quotes and inspiring words do not have an everlasting power.
Words are powerful, but words are easily forgotten. So staying up and reading mottoes all day may mean nothing the next day.
Sometimes, you need to spice things up and look at problems from a different angle.
If thinking positive is only making you dreamy without fueling you to work, use whatever negative feeling that is bothering you to do that part.