“True or false: Fear and doubt are our most powerful motivators?”

For OCD Awareness Week in 2018, The Mighty invited Jeff to share his OCD story. The letter he wrote is reprinted below. 

True or false: Fear and doubt are our most powerful motivators?

If you answered True, you’re in good company. Countless people with OCD find themselves driven by fear to perform all kinds of compulsions in hopes of mitigating some obsessive doubt or another. I know; for much of my life, I was one of them.

What I’ve learned through my OCD recovery, though, is that there are two other motivators that can trump fear and doubt every time — if given the chance. They are purpose and service, and they are always available to us.

For me, purpose and service are the twin components of what I’ve come to call “Greater Good motivation,” and it strikes me that OCD Awareness Week is the perfect time to showcase their value. Throughout this week, under the leadership of the International OCD Foundation, we are afforded all kinds of opportunities to be of service to others, while enhancing our own sense of purpose.

My challenge to you — and I hope you’ll take it — is to try discovering for yourself just how motivating OCD advocacy can be. Get involved with the IOCDF. Share your story with The Mighty. Leave a message of hope through Project Hope Exchange. Become an Ally of The Adversity 2 Advocacy Alliance. The options are endless.

And here’s one more Greater Good motivation tip you can apply anytime, anywhere. When OCD fears and doubts compel you to perform a compulsion, ask yourself this: “In what ways can I be of service to someone else and/or enhance my own sense of purpose by not doing this compulsion?” I think you’ll be surprised by just how empowering the answers can be.

Oh, and If all this resonates with you, I encourage you to sign up for KeyWords, a free daily motivational email I produce with my Beyond The Doubt partner, Shala Nicely. We’re building a community of individuals committed to putting purpose and service above fear and doubt, and we’d love for you to join us.

Here’s wishing you great success choosing Greater Good!


Jeff Bell