Fear Energy vs. Love Energy

by Amanda Linehan on January 23, 2010

in Best Of

Zen Water
Creative Commons License photo credit: darkpatator

When you feel motivated to do something, no matter what it is, that motivation comes with a burst of energy. That energetic feeling is what gets you going on whatever it is you are doing.

But, where does that little burst of energy come from?

There are two types of energetic bursts – Fear energy and Love energy – and both are very powerful.

Fear energy is, for instance, when you show up to your job at your appointed starting time every day, even though this causes you to wake up much earlier than you want to, so that you don’t get in trouble with your boss. You are afraid to get into trouble, and that motivates you to get there at 8am promptly every day.

Love energy is, for instance, when you work for hours a week on your blog – that doesn’t make you any money – simply because it excites you and you love to do it. Your primary motivator in this situation is love of writing, connecting and sharing.

In both of these situations, there is powerful motivation at work, but each type of energy has a different feel to it.

In Fear energy, you are avoiding something that you don’t want to happen, so Fear energy essentially moves you farther away from something you don’t want. It propels you forward, but away.

In Love energy, you are going towards something that you desire, so Love energy essentially moves you closer to something you want. It propels you forward, and towards.

What things do you do out of Fear and what things do you do out of Love? Have you ever thought about it?

What does your life feel like if you have a preponderance of one or the other?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Thanks!

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1 Susan Pogorzelski January 23, 2010 at 11:44 am

Great post, Amanda, and something I hadn’t really ever thought about! As someone with a lot of fear, I always thought there was something that kept me pushing through — I think maybe it’s a mixture of both. When I was afraid to go to college because of an anxiety disorder, I think both the fear and the love of learning pushed me to go. I was afraid to go on my own to France for a month, but not wanting fear to hold me back and a love for the country pushed me through.

I wonder if they aren’t somehow related — you have a fear, but you push through because of that fear, because you don’t want it to keep you from doing what you love and most want in the world.

Interesting thoughts — will definitely have to consider it more, as I definitely want more love energy in my life ;)

2 Meg at Demanding Joy January 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

This is such a timely post for me. I only realized recently that most of my actions were motivated by fear energy. I am intentionally shifting to love – of my family, of my work, of myself. I was afraid to quit my soul-sucking job, but I did it anyway to move to a more supportive environment. This transition is also why I started blogging – to keep me accountable for focusing on my true intentions. This post was a great reinforcement. Thanks!

3 Avani Mehta January 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Doing things out of fear come naturally. Doing things out of love requires some practice and focus. (Now I guess. As kids it was all about love, no fear).

Fear, even though it drives and pushes forward is very draining and not satisfying.

Love makes everything seem effortless.

4 Tess The Bold Life January 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

When I’m in the energy of fear I strive. When I’m in the energy of love I thrive.
There is a lot of power in the words you have written here. I want to live in love energy 24/7 yet don’t know if that’s possible.

5 Amanda Linehan January 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Hi Susan – I really like the idea that the two are related. I was thinking about NaNoWriMo – you write your novel because you would love to do so, but stay motivated by the time constraint out of fear (or something like that). Both help you to reach your goal.

Hi Meg – There have been times in my life where most of my motivation came from fear. Now, I feel it is more 50/50. I wonder what it would feel like to have most of my motivation come from love?

Hi Avani – That’s an interesting distinction. It certainly is challenging to act mostly out of love.

Hi Tess – Striving and thriving are really good words to describe what each energy feels like. I’m not sure if 100% love energy is totally possible either. Maybe it’s not even desirable?

6 Jonathan Figaro January 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm

We all need to put love i our goals rather than fear. Let go of fear ad embrace love. Our mind can only harbor one of the two, pick LOVE!

7 Chris Edgar January 30, 2010 at 12:49 am

Hi Amanda — one thing I’ve been reflecting on recently is that I need to experience the “valley” moments of my life — fear, sadness and so on — if I want to experience the “peak” moments — without the fear and emotions like that, I’m not sure I’d fully value feeling love or bliss.

8 Miche - Serenity Hacker January 31, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Hi Amanda, I’m fairly new here, great blog!

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking lately about the “Fear Energy” you’ve touched on here. Most often, it is something we resist, which makes our lives more unmanageable, small, and scary, actually. I don’t think we can really get rid of it, though. It has its biological and meaningful purposes which are built into our biology for our survival.

The problem is that instead of really understanding Fear, we resist it. Also, since we no longer need it daily to survive, we imagine scenarios that provoke fear in our minds, and these things torment us. For example, what’s behind the fear of being late for work? If we trace that to it’s logical conclusion, we might first see that we are afraid of being reprimanded, afraid of putting our jobs in jeopardy, and finally afraid of how we’d be able to survive without the job.

Perhaps if we work on the root fear (fear of being jobless and surviving), the smaller fears would cease to have such sway in our lives. Even though we may not have the “Love Energy” for our jobs that we might long for, if we could at least understand the root fear that makes our stomach tie in knots about being late, we may be able to help ourselves dispel the power that has on our lives, and the detrimental bearing it exerts on our overall, daily well-being.

Thanks for the great insights here. Looking forward to more!

Cheers,
Miche :)

9 Amanda Linehan January 31, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Hi Jonathan – I agree that if I had to pick one, it would definitely be love. :)

Hi Chris – I understand. Peaks do not exist without valleys.

Hi Miche – Glad you have been enjoying Look Far! We do tend to resist fear – and I agree – it usually just makes things worse. I like your idea of examining the root of the fear we feel. That will tell us something about ourselves and how we live, and is really valuable information.

10 Doug Hagens March 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hello Amanda

This topic has been on my brain all day. So I am glad this site is available to think about it with others.

It started this morning when it became apparent that both love and fear propagate the same way. They are both forms of energy. But when I think of it as energy, it’s like the weather. It’s not good or bad.

An awareness of some sort is emerging that these forms of energy we call fear and love are in fact something entirely different and wonderful. This has captured my imagination. If you or anyone would like to comment on this, I am all ears.

Doug

11 Kahlea July 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm

kind of scary to think about all of the decisions made, all of the energy put into avoiding something, rather than reaching towards something. living in fear is an awful place to live. but then again, beautiful things can come from fear-based actions; as well as really horrible things. as for love energy actions, has anything horrible happened because of love-energy based actions? can something horrible arise out of love-energy? i would think not.

12 Amanda Linehan July 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Hi Kahlea – thanks for your thoughts. :)

13 Stuart Beare November 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm

We either in live in Love or we live in Fear …. we all have a choice …. the wise choose from the Heart and the very wise choose from the Soul!

14 Amanda Linehan December 2, 2011 at 10:57 am

Hi Stuart – I really like the way you said that! Thanks for the comment.

15 Andrea Ferry March 17, 2012 at 5:14 am

I have been searching for sometime to read the words that describe my inner turmoil so precisely. I have not been able to describe with words why I behave and think in ways which are contrary to that which I love. I identify closely to the context of your writing. What you are labeling as ‘Fear Energy’ plagues my mind like a loud noise drowning the other. I experience intermittently what you describe as ‘Love Energy’, giving me hope that I can find a way out. Adopting this paradigm into my thoughts may be the first step out. Thank you.

16 Amanda Linehan March 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

Hi Andrea – Glad you found the post useful. I think this might be one of my favorites on this blog. :)

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