Although not directly related to Real Estate Investing, this article of Margie’s is one of my favorites.
Battling Fear by Margie Hartwig
We al have fear. It is a normal part of life. But when has fear served you? When has fear enabled you to accomplish something? Fear immobilizes us and causes us to cease any action. This is ok when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, but most of the time our fear is of the irrational type…. The type that is exaggerated in our minds. And our logical rational mind is seized up.
There is a secret to battling fear. Like most secrets its elegance lies in its simplicity. I am going to share with you my experience that caused me to learn this simple technique.
When I was in the horse business, breaking a Stallion has its moments of challenge and difficulty that made me second-guess my abilities. I found myself putting of this challenge. I realized that I was procrastinating since I didn’t want to face the fear that accompanied the challenges of breaking a large male horse. I heard my inner dialog telling me that it was too dangerous and I should really have sent this particular animal to someone else. “I can’t do it. I will get hurt” I thought. You see Fear comes with many companions. I have already talked of fear’s companion Procrastination. Self Doubt is another friend of his, and the final laggard of the group is Justification.
For me, self-doubt came after procrastination. self doubt was the one who helped me to remember all of the horror stories of older wiser and stronger people than myself getting hurt doing the same thing I was trying to do. Self-doubt helped me to remember all of the other failures I had. Self-doubt is a real friend of fear. He works by steering your thoughts and using you memories of bad experiences and misfortunes against you.
Justification is the final one who shows up to help us feel better about inaction due to accepting our fear. He was the one who helps us to tell ourselves that we were right to let fear take over and to not do the thing we maybe should have done.
Before justification set his ugly maw into the meat of my self respect that day, I decided to ask myself what I was afraid of. I reasoned to myself; Surely there were other trainers less experienced and with less strength than myself who were breaking Stallions all the time. Why am I letting this one horse get the best of me?
It was at that moment that I realized when I ask myself a question regarding my fear that I almost immediately answer it. I realized that my fear was that of getting hurt. My fear was that of the animal running me over. Now that I had asked the initial question, the second question came to mind without conscience thought: What can I do to prevent this from happening?
I realized that due to the strength of this animal, I would probably have more success taking the time to do more groundwork before I approached him with higher level training like putting reigns on him or even getting him used to the weight of a saddle. The other thing I realized is that I would need to make sure to wear clothing that would be more protective than normal, and to keep a helmet on. I will agree that the helmet may have looked a little silly to onlookers, but it offered me the protection I felt I needed.
After this experience I understood that information is what we need to use to combat our fears.
I had found the strength to battle fear in the use of a question. I give this question to you to use. Whenever you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or fearful. Just ask yourself:
What don’t I know that is making me afraid of the situation at hand?
Then second question is usually one of two forms that comes without thinking:
What can I do to change that? OR How can I find that out?
In our business there are many potential place for us to experience fear, but what we need to realize most is that the place in our business where fear is most prevalent is in the mind of a potential prospect or client. It’s most common form: Skepticism.
Skepticism is a normal and natural knee jerk reaction to something that sounds appealing, but is also unknown or foreign to us. While I say it is normal, we need to understand it’s true face, We need to remember that in out potential client or prospects minds, the unknown becomes fearful and pushed rational logical thoughts from their minds.
It is our job to identify when this is happening. It is our job to help them with the question they need to ask themselves, which is “What don’t I know that is making me feel skeptical?” This gets to the root of the problem, which is ultimately some chunk of information they do not know.
Take care and take control of all your fears!
Margie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org