CHARACTER MOTIVATION THESAURUS

OVERCOMING A DEBILITATING FEAR



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HELPFUL TIP:

To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, take time to understand their personality and moral compass using the positive and negative trait thesauri. Also, dig into their backstory to find an unresolved emotional wound. Past trauma is disruptive and can generate unmet needs that, if strong enough, will motivate your character to chase a specific goal to satisfy this need.
NOTES:
There are a limitless number of things people can be afraid of: spiders, the dark, rejection, intimacy, etc. And while some of these can be minor, any of them can develop into a debilitating fear—one that impacts a character on a daily basis, crippling them and keeping them from being able to live life to the fullest. This entry will focus on these major phobias and fears, such as the ones listed below.

FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
Intimacy
Vulnerability
Sex
Trusting others
Failure
Letting loved ones down
Leaving one's home
Crowds
Losing a loved one
Rejection
Abandonment
Betrayal
Not being in control
Responsibility
Being alone
Certain kinds of people (those who have a specific physical characters, people in authority or positions of power, people of a certain race, religion, gender, etc.)
Death
Victimization
Specific phobias (birds, germs, clowns, public speaking, small spaces, flying, dentists, dogs, etc.)

HUMAN NEED DRIVING THE GOAL (INNER MOTIVATION):
There are five basic human needs that, when missing from a character's life, could motivate them to pursue this goal. The following needs are all possibilities, but only one of them should be the primary driver for any given character. For more information on the relationship between human needs and outer motivations, please see this Character Motivation tutorial.

Self-Actualization: Everyone has dreams and goals. When a character realizes that a fear is keeping them from doing or being who they truly want, they could become motivated to deal with it.
Esteem and Recognition: Most people don't want to be afraid. Each time fear holds them back, they feel badly about themselves, doubting their ability to succeed in other areas. When a person's self-esteem becomes so strongly affected, they may be driven to face their fear.
Love and Belonging: A person's fears can keep them from having meaningful and deep relationships with others. Their need to connect may become a driving factor toward overcoming that fear.
Safety and Security: If the fear is crippling enough to impact the character's safety (or the safety of loved ones), they may choose to pursue this goal.
Physiological Needs: In severe cases, the character's very life may be threatened by their fears. This could drive them toward overcoming them.

HOW THE CHARACTER MAY PREPARE FOR THIS GOAL:
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POSSIBLE SACRIFICES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS GOAL:
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ROADBLOCKS WHICH COULD PREVENT THIS GOAL FROM BEING ACHIEVED:
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TALENTS & SKILLS THAT WILL HELP THE CHARACTER ACHIEVE THIS GOAL:
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WHAT'S AT STAKE IF THIS GOAL ISN'T MET?
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