Mandy Kloppers

What is it that drives us?


Do you ever wonder what it is that motivates people? Some would say love and others would say money is behind our driving force in life. I don’t believe that it is love or money, the issue goes deeper than this. Our underlying urges and drives go way back and are closely linked to a revolution. Yep – we are all driven by a need to feel safe and secure. The mad fact in this situation is that no matter what we do, we can’t ever really be truly safe. It’s not all negative…there are a lot of positives to the statement and I will elaborate here:

Safety behaviours

During my observations as a psychologist, I have come across many examples where we inadvertently engage in behaviours in order to make ourselves feel safe. We look for relationships-a partner that will be there when the going gets tough. Someone who will sit by your bedside when you are unwell. Being in a relationship brings a feeling of security to many and ultimately we all want to feel safe, we just have different ways of trying to achieve this.

The insurance industry is thriving. We dutifully pay our insurance premiums in the hope that these payments will somehow keep us safe from trouble. We comfort ourselves by telling ourselves that even if an accident occurs, we will somehow have more protection and paying our insurance lulls us into a false sense of security.

We do our utmost to eat healthily and exercise regularly to keep our bodies fit and ready. this soothes our mind and promotes a feeling of security and safety. We contribute to a pension, we put savings in the bank and we want to buy a house instead of rent. Buying a house offers a sense of security for many.

There are no guarantees – learn to tolerate uncertainty

I hate to burst people’s bubbles, but most of our attempts to secure safety are fruitless. Many of the ways we try to feel safe and secure are man-made processes. This may leave you feeling aghast, but it doesn’t need to be that way.

When you realise how little real safety there is in the world, the more you can relax and stop giving in to fear. The more we seek to feel safe, the more we maintain our fears. We engage in safety behaviours that maintain our dysfunctional thinking about the world. See life as an adventure-the end result is the same for all of us and there are just some things that we cannot control. Acceptance of the precarious nature of life can be a huge mental release. You will find that you begin to appreciate every day and become more mindful of your immediate surroundings. You stop fighting and resisting and become more in tune with the rhythms of life.

Face your fears

I regularly tell myself that I will deal with whatever comes my way, almost with a daredevil attitude to life. So, compliment a stranger without worrying about how they might perceive you, take that trip around the world that you’ve been dreaming about or wear those funky shoes that make a huge statement. When we step out of our comfort zones we no longer feel safe but the more we do this, the more our comfort zone expands. Stop ‘diluting’ yourself in order to feel safe and fit in with the world. Understand that time here is finite and make the most of each day. Be wacky, be strange and above all-be yourself. Make your mark instead of existing on the ‘sidelines’.

Mandy X