We all have times in our lives where we encounter serious fear. It could be a true danger to our well-being or a situation where there is great uncertainty like the loss of a job or a business.
Fear comes in many forms and we all experience it. The key is how we handle it when we do.
Fear is real. It is part of the human psyche and it can have a great impact on our lives. Fear is one of the best motivators - it just may not be motivating us to do the right thing. It can also paralyze us and keep us from taking action or making decision. If left unchecked, it can take over our lives.
I experience times of fear like everyone else, but over the years I've learned a few secrets of dealing with it and getting to the best outcome.
First, when you encounter fear, see it for what it is and recognize it's reality. It's OK to be afraid.
Second, you must separate the emotional side of fear from the logical side. This is very hard to do, but if you want to create the best outcome, you must do so. The reason fear is such a great motivator, good and bad, is because it drives emotion. For most people, all sense of logic and reason leaves them when they are afraid and emotion runs everything. This leads to bad outcomes. Instead, take a timeout and if it helps, a pen to paper and ask yourself, "What am I afraid of here? What is the worst that can happen? What makes the most logical sense to deal with this? What are the steps I should take?" Doing this will help you to center yourself and cut through the emotion. It will also help you work through and find the right acitons to take.
Third, take action with a plan. Write down the steps you are going to take and then follow them. This helps to keep emotion in check and keep you from getting sidetracked. In my trading business, we have rules for our trading strategies. Trading is a very emotional business and when things don't go as planned, it is very easy to react emotionally and get yourself into even more trouble. That is where rules come in. Rules help me to set emotion aside and just follow the plan. Are there times where I could have bent the rules and made more money? Sure. But, over the years, I've found the majority of the time, when I don't follow my rules, I get into more trouble. It's just not worth it. I follow the rules and over time, they help me to succeed consistently.
It's the same for any other situation in life where fear takes hold. Recognize it for what it is, separate emotion from logic, and the write down a plan for the best outcome and follow it. If you do this, you will find it much easier to handle fear and succeed.
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