The human mind is weird. Say you are contemplating doing something but every time you start to think about it, it’s like your mind just slides off of it onto something easier and less fearful.
Paul Pitrowski‘s hit the nail on the head that fear is a filter that actually works without drawing attention to itself. Sorta like how you see through your eyes but how often do you think about your eyes? They’re filtering the world all the time, if by no other way than by simply limiting our vision to the “visible spectrum”. Fear works in the same way. It’s like invisible blinders. Fear prevents you from thinking about that great idea you have but don’t have the courage to follow through on. Fear can prevent you from even looking at the issues that you can easily overcome because you are an idea generating machine and fear stops that from working.
Here’s a tip I’ve picked up from Tim Ferriss‘ The 4-Hour Work Week: Figure out exactly what your worst fear would be. The absolute worst situation that you could find yourself in and accept those fears. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how most of the undefined fears we carry with us are actually very easy to overcome once they’ve been defined.
For example, I’ve been thinking about passive income and traveling and having a sense of dread about it. Once I got down to it and decided to fear-set, I realized that one of my fears was that I started to use this passive income on a monthly basis and became dependent on it and then it disappeared, leaving me in a lurch and without any money. I was scared of traveling because of that. Then I thought about it and realized that that’s not so bad. I have many options: including creating more sources of passive income, improving my current sources, I could even get a job for money, I could borrow money, I had many options and there would be no reason not to travel.
So, this is my strategy for overcoming fear:
1. Remember that courage is a muscle used to overcome fear.
2. If I feel scared, I do what makes me scared. Sometimes I don’t, but the constant trying builds my courage muscle.
3. Remember that sometimes it’s not fear I feel but a good kind of heightened awareness, called eustress which feels a lot like fear or nervousness but it’s a good thing. Like in 300, “It is not fear that grips him, but a heightened sense of things.”
4. Figure out the worst case scenario for this fear and I’ll usually feel the fear just dissolve and I’m left with an issue to deal with which I can usually do. As Ferriss says, “Defining fear = conquering fear.”
5. Do it!