Cover photo

The Bear Market Blows

Nurture Your Intrinsic Motivation to Keep Your Flame Alight

Article and Cover Art by Trewkat | Edited by Hiro Kennelly


Consistency of motivation is not usually an easy find; it’s more of a ‘two steps forward, one step back’ experience for many people. That’s because life has a way of delivering obstacles, distractions, opportunities, and commitments on a regular basis. Keeping your flame going without so much as a flicker might be too much to ask, but what’s a web3 fan to do when the bear market threatens to blow out your flame entirely?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that during a bear market DAOs see a decline in contributor enthusiasm as people become less motivated by the financial rewards on offer. Much is said about those who are left being the ‘true builders’; the narrative is both stoic and heroic. It’s also exhausting, and sometimes downright depressing, so if you’re a serious web3 stayer, you’ll need this roadmap and an occasional road nap too.

When it comes to motivation, psychologists describe a spectrum between extrinsic (external), and intrinsic (internal) factors. Extrinsic motivation is that which is driven by factors outside of ourselves; prime examples are public recognition, incentives, or salaries offered by employers, but it can just as easily be seen in the avoidance of negative social or financial consequences. In contrast, intrinsic motivation is that internal drive to do (or avoid) something purely in pursuit or service of a sense of personal satisfaction, pride, or self worth.

While extrinsic motivation can be sufficient to direct an individual’s behaviour, and may even help the development of intrinsic motivation over time, it’s often the case that when the external factor such as reward or deterrent is removed, motivation suffers. That is why it’s important to nurture the sources of your intrinsic motivation; it’s yours alone and no one can take it away from you.

Figure Out Your ‘Why’ (Diamond Hands)

In crypto, the term ‘diamond hands’ refers to an investor who will hold (hodl) an asset for the long term, regardless of market movements. It’s this kind of hardened reserve that is needed when the bear bites and morale in the web3 community drops. Knowing the reason you’re involved in web3 or DeFi or NFTs is crucial. It’s that belief in a long-term vision that will guide you, inspire you, and orient you when times get tough.

Find Ways To Have Fun (Wen Utility?)

When associated with a governance token or NFT, utility refers to the additional benefits conferred on the holder — that might simply be voting rights or could extend to membership of a community with special discounts, exclusive access to opportunities, or tailored events. Such things are extrinsic motivations but could prove to be important when you’re feeling the pinch. Likewise, seeking out situations where you can laugh and feel light-hearted in a shared environment is a sure way to renew your perspective and increase the value of your experience.

Work With People Who Inspire You (Buy the Dip)

‘Buying the Dip’ means investing in an asset as it drops in value, due to the belief that it will ‘bounce back’ and eventually increase, thus returning a profit when sold. This approach can loosely be applied to people as well. Nurture the relationships that you truly believe hold inherent value for the long term. While financial returns come and go, authentic friendships and productive working relationships are essential to longevity in web3, and will pay dividends to your wellbeing for years to come.

Go Outside (Keep Your Liquidity)

Liquidity refers to how easily one asset can be converted to another asset, but you can think of it as your ready reserves. This is so important. To stay grounded, stay connected with family, friends, pets, and nature, and keep up with your life admin. You need to be whole in order to be able to draw on your reserves. Spending time outside in green space has been shown to boost mental health, but even just unplugging from the technology for a little while will help you recharge your innermost power source — your intrinsic motivation.

Touching grass: view of the Port Hacking River from Reids Flat picnic area (Trewkat via Wikimedia)

Bringing your best self to web3 in a bear market is a challenge, but by focusing on the basics you’ll develop a much stronger will. Don’t let that bear blow out your candle; you’ll need it to light the way when the bull returns.


This article was published in collaboration with the BanklessDAO Writers Cohort.


Author/Designer Bio

Trewkat is a writer, editor, and designer at BanklessDAO. She’s interested in learning about crypto and NFTs, with a particular focus on how best to communicate this knowledge to others.

Editor Bio

Hiro Kennelly is a writer, editor, and coordinator at BanklessDAO, an Associate at Bankless Consulting, and is still a DAOpunk.


BanklessDAO is an education and media engine dedicated to helping individuals achieve financial independence.


This post does not contain financial advice, only educational information. By reading this article, you agree and affirm the above, as well as that you are not being solicited to make a financial decision, and that you in no way are receiving any fiduciary projection, promise, or tacit inference of your ability to achieve financial gains.


Bankless Publishing is always accepting submissions for publication. We’d love to read your work, so please submit your article here!


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