FEAR

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It is the cause of stress.

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Fear of being alone forever and ever and ever… (And having to look after 17 cats)

Fear of being embarrassed

Fear of flying

Fear of public speaking

Fear of rejection

Fear of change

Fear of failure

Fear of being broke

It is normal to be fearful of certain things. You are normal. However the successful people among us will stare it in the face and act despite it. Pushing emotions and feelings away will not remove them. They simply come back with a vengeance. Stress, fear and anger to name a few will always come back to bite you on the arse. So best to acknowledge them, dance with them, and figure out what hidden message they are trying to tell you.

But to first get through a fear, you must call a spade and spade and define that little stressor for what it actually is.

Tim Ferriss, who wrote “The Four Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”, discusses fear in the book and has a technique to moving past it. It is called Fear Setting.

The idea behind fear setting is to find what it is specifically that you are afraid of, and transform that into a worse-case scenario, thus demonstrating how inaccurate it really is.

What is it that you actually fear?

Step 1: Define what is the absolute worst thing that could happen?  

Call it out and write it down. Always write down what it is that FIRST comes to mind – regardless of how outlandish and weird it might initially seem. Those answers come from deep within the subconscious mind, and are spat out before our conscious mind can try to correct and manipulate it. Remember, we are 90% unconscious and 10% conscious so which one do you think is more important, valid and accurate?

Step 2: What can be done to repair the damage?

This is pretty easy to answer. What things can I do to reverse the move if needed? What will I have to do, in case it all goes down the toilet? What you will find most times is that there is a way to get around things. It might take working extra hours, or doing some things that aren’t exactly ideal, however the key lesson here is that there is a way back, if all hell breaks loose.

Step 3: What are the outcomes of more probable scenarios? How likely is it to produce a positive result?

What are the long term and short term benefits of taking the action? What is likely to happen? What was it that you wanted to achieve, before the fear got in the way?

Step 4: What is it costing you to postpone this action?

The cost of inaction is something that is rarely measured. Most times, the cost of inaction is more painful than the cost of action. So make sure whenever you are looking at fear, look at what it will cost you when you don’t take action.

Think of F.E.A.R as an acronym:

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

You can run but you can’t hide from what scares you. And eventually you get tired of running and it catches up to you. Then you realise it wasn’t nearly as bad as what you thought it was, and you just wasted all this energy running away from something that is merely trying to help you grow into the person you want to be.

What are you afraid of? Share in the comments below.

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