It’s Thursday, 8 PM. I’m relaxing at home, doing normal things, and scrolling social media. Tomorrow is a big day. There are lots of things to do with moving pieces of furniture because I’m moving to another city. On top of that, a repairman is coming to my house at 8AM, so I’ll have to get up early.

I plan to relax, buy some chips, and watch Netflix. After all, there’s lots to be done tomorrow. When scrolling social media, I notice a post from a girl I used to date back in time. The post contained her having a great time with a boy, who seemed to be her new boyfriend.

Suddenly, I didn’t feel like buying snacks and watching Netflix. I felt an exciting feeling of both motivation and melancholy. This caused me to set an alarm at 5:40 on the next morning, and storm through different tasks. This phenomenon is something I call “dark motivation”. Today, I’d like to explain what it is, and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is dark motivation?

Dark motivation is a form of motivation that is based on a certain urge to complete tasks and improve yourself in any way possible. It’s caused by different feelings that are negative, but very powerful. It’s natural for a human being to feel jealousy, insecurity, and the urge to compare. Although it’s good to let go of those feelings, they can sometimes be a great resource.

When I saw that post, I felt like I wanted to make progress. My subconscious wanted me to feel good because seeing that girl with another boy caused some negative emotions. And one of the best ways for me to feel good is to improve myself somehow. 

Dark motivation is a very powerful way to motivate you to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself towards your goals. The pain of sitting at home and doing nothing urged me to exit that situation by taking action. Even when I ended up getting too little sleep.

“We Generate Fears While We Sit. We Overcome Them By Action.” – Dr. Henry Link

Examples of dark motivation

Dark motivation can be caused by pretty much any negative emotion. These emotions include jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, discomfort, and anything like that.

When you see someone you dislike being in incredible shape, you’ll probably feel motivated to work out. When you get fired from a job, you’ll feel motivated to seek a high-paying job and advance in your career. Or you may be motivated to improve your social skills after a break-up.

Dark motivation relies entirely on negative emotions. Some people could even say they’re immature and childish. However, they’re natural for us and you can definitely use them to your advantage.

See, when you improve your career after getting fired, some part of your mind wants to get revenge on your boss and make them regret their decision. When you date people after a break-up, some part of your mind wants to make your ex jealous and prove that you’re better without them.

These forms of motivation are usually more powerful than motivation in normal situations. An urge to move away from pain is way stronger than a desire to move towards pleasure.

How to use dark motivation to your advantage

Spicing up your motivation with these feelings is like adding a strong supplement to your workout routine. It will be very effective, but it can be harmful if you use it too much. See, if you constantly compare yourself and let jealousy and insecurity take over, you’ll probably face problems with your mental health.

My advice is this. Remember that you don’t need to compare yourself to other people, and achievements don’t make anyone a better human being. True confidence comes from inside, and you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.

However, dark motivation is very beneficial if you use it every now and then. When you know there’s something you should do but you don’t feel like doing it, try to add some dark motivation and see how you feel.

Next time you know you should work out or complete a task, dig deep into your mind. See if there’s a certain feeling of insecurity or jealousness that can motivate you. And once you’ve completed the task, let it go. It may feel uncomfortable for a while, but nothing great in life comes without effort.

We all have some insecurities and underlying emotions that can be used as dark motivation, so why not use them to your advantage? Learn to control them in a way that they don’t bother you in your everyday life, but you can expose them when you need to. This is the best way to use dark motivation to your advantage.

This was my guide about dark motivation. It’s possible that you know this phenomenon by a different name, but the principles are the same. With a little bit of practice, you can channel your negative emotions into bursts of motivation and eventually be grateful for having them!

Use dark motivation with caution though. I guess you want to be a happy person in general. Apply it in a way that doesn’t harm the overall quality of your life, but is just enough to keep you improving yourself constantly!

Source: Success