presents itself in every way possible. From doing little things to doing big things! Think about it. You’re afraid to give presentations, you’re afraid to start a new unusual job, you’re even afraid sometimes to ask the cashier at your favorite restaurant for more sauce!
The point is that fear is common. And its fear and doubt that limits us. P.T. Barnum said, “Comfort is the enemy of progress” and Napoleon Hill says, “Our only limitations are those we place on ourselves.” So, what do we do about it?
Often times we find ourselves looking for the right answer before we have the self-awareness to begin asking the right questions. That is why we take action only to later realize we are no more ahead in life or in happiness than we were before we took the seemingly right path.
Begin to ask the right questions and you’ll rock your own world. I touched on this briefly with my other blog posts but I’ll continue to mention it because it is possibly the easiest way to begin asking effective questions that make a difference.
Stop asking “what” and “how” questions about your life.
Instead, start by asking “why” questions about your life and your actions. These questions present to you the true underlying reasons for the actions you partake in. The answer to the question of “why?” should be your reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
These questions cut through the noise of the sub-conscious because it requires more than the surface-level skimming that “what” and “how” questions do.
It causes you to force yourself to become increasingly aware of your reaction patterns. Many of which contain the answer to “Why am I afraid?”.
How do we fight fear?
The answer? Small calculated steps over time paired with reward systems. Reward systems are important because it strengthens the resolve for the subconscious to associate actions with the rewards for survival, which are pain and pleasure.
Coincidentally, habits are also small seemingly inconsequential actions taken consistently over time (strengthened by neural-pathways), but we’ll get to the habits later. This only proves that habits are everything.
Tips and Tricks for Fighting Fear
1) First, determine if this fear is logical given the new day and age.
Fight the urge to create issues that aren’t truly present simply because your mind wants to remain comfortable in its position. Remember, your subconscious will make you afraid of any and all change only because you have shown it that your current actions are sustainable for survival. Whether or not you’re aware that this change is good or bad.
I call this the “self-efficacy of subconscious survival.”
Change these current actions and your subconscious will fight back saying things like “HEY we’re COMFORTABLE here why are you trying to die?!” don’t listen. On the flip side, I’m not saying your thought process should conclude with “Hmmmm, jumping off a cliff is scary, I’ll do that!”, you simply need to reflect whether the fear is truly dangerous to you and your well-being, if not, move to step 2!
ex. Most people are afraid of public speaking. This stems from the fear of ostracization (abandonment). Will you die in today’s day and age if the people you speak to dislike you? likely not.
2) Ask why.
This is the hard one. By asking “why” questions as to where you want to be in life, you should begin finding answers that weren’t apparent before. Most people miss this.
Asking the right questions is difficult unless you have the vision of how your life should be. The easiest way I can imagine doing this is by finding a person who you consider your “hero” and see what it is they do on a daily basis, not monthly or yearly. Remember, start small. Always choose an individual who actively performs what you have chosen your “why” to be. (see: The Own-It Principle to find yours)
For example, I envy the big business people who utilize their money for good and not evil. The people who create foundations and live fully for humanity and not for themselves. I took a look at what they do, and I came up with a few things.
They always read, now I always read.
They tend to wake up early, now I wake up at 4 am every day of the week.
They tend to give more than they receive, Now I have attempted to build experience giving presentations on these points to those who need them until I can raise capital to create a foundation of my own.
Emulate them and do not lose sight of the big picture because that big picture is your driving force and motivation for doing what you do. It takes a long time to see growth, but you will then be so far ahead you will wonder why you didn’t start sooner. Growth is exponential, but we’ll cover that in the finance posts!
Should you decide that your fear is misplaced and self-limiting by your subconscious, and you have specific daily actions to emulate, next comes the fun. ACT. Warning: a common mistake I see people make is that they utilize their act of preparation as an excuse to avoid the task of actually starting their work.
You now know exactly what to do and remember, “There is a fine line between perfectionism and procrastination” – (Jen Sincero: You Are a Badass at Making Money)