FEAR…It’s one of the most powerful emotions we can experience. It’s something that has affected us all at one point or another. Fear can affect how we think, what we do, and even how we choose to live our lives.
But I’m here to tell you today that fear is an illusion. Its something that we perceive to be there, but it often isn’t. Be sure, that fear is a formidable opponent. After reading this today, you will be equipped with a powerful tool to help you face fear head on. Fear can be defeated. But the first step, is understanding your opponent.
Our beautiful, complex human brain has evolved over millions of years to help us avoid adverse situations. Situations that may do us harm. This trait came in real handy when there were Saber Tooth Tigers and Wooly Mammoths lurking around every corner.
So that anxiety that you feel from that big decision you have to make??….Yes, thats your ancient brain that has evolved to scare the bageezus out of you and keep you safe.
Often times what we think of as a “big deal” or frightening, is often not so bad. It’s just our pattern of thinking that tell us it is. And unless you interrupt the traditional pattern of thinking, you never realize the truth. You must intentionally break that pattern to get actually get clarity. This is where fear setting comes in.
Fear setting is an exercise to do when you are considering making a decision that scares you. Fear setting helps break that cycle, and put the decision in a clear perspective. It’s taking the time, with intent, to analyze your decision. Here’s how it goes…
- Acknowledge the Fear
- Write down the decision or action on the top of a piece of paper (Ex. lower on the page)
- Make 3 columns on the paper
- Make 1 column the “potential consequences” column, and make 2nd column “the potential benefits” column. Finally make the 3rd column the “how long to recover” column
- List, then rate the “potential consequences” column numerically using 1-10.
- List, then rate the “potential benefits” column using 1-10.
- Estimate how long it would take to recover from the negative consequences in “how long to recover” column
Thats it! What you’ll notice the potential negative consequences are usually trivial when compared to the potential benefits. You’ll also notice that the time to recover from any negative consequences is not really that long in the grand scheme of things.
For example, consider you are debating whether or not “backpack oversees for 6 months”. Obviously there a lot of potential consequences as a result of that decision. Unless you have a job that gives you 6 months PTO, then potential loss of income could be one of those. And how long would it take you to get back the money you lost?…6 months? A year?
Now whats compare that to the potential benefits?…A life time of memories, new relationships, new perspective on life, etc…And what is 6 months or a year when compared to a lifetime with those benefits?
Life is short. We must always remember that….As we get older and reflect back on our lives, it won’t be the money we lost or foolish mistakes we made that haunts us; it will be the opportunities we didn’t take. Don’t let fear control your life, and keep you on the sidelines. Face your opponent, and dominate life, on YOUR terms.