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Writing Down Your Fears to Defeat Them

October 7, 2016 by  
Filed under blog

Last week my blog was all about our great brains and what they can do for us, almost automatically, if we take time to write down our thoughts, goals, and ambitions. It’s a way to tap into our subconscious so it will release and make known to us what we really need in our lives. It can then help us set course and push us to keep plodding along to reach our objectives. And we can do all this simply by using a pad and pencil.

The author of the book Write It Down, Make It Happen, Henriette Anne Klauser, goes deeper into this thing of writing down what you want, saying we need to write down everything including the bad stuff such as our fears and anxieties because “writing things down can make ‘feelings’ speed bumps not roadblocks.”

I’ve never read anyone suggesting that writing down the negative stuff can be a good thing but this author says exactly that.

She points out that it can be very liberating and beneficial to the human brain if in addition to writing down our dreams and goals we also write down our fears because as she says “writing is a good way to force negative emotional reactions into words and not stomach churning.” She used a friend’s apprehension about traveling to Europe which was overcome by writing her fears down, as an example. “Writing down your fears,” she explained, “takes negativity and anxiety out of the gut … she conquered her fears by writing them down.”

It reminds me of all that self-talk we do and how people who study the ‘chatter box’ in our head are always preaching and teaching us to push back and change the negative self-talk to positive chatter. Now we find that there is an additional way, and maybe a more powerful way, to do that simply by writing down our fears or basically having a place to park your worries.

She goes on to say “Writing separates the dream from the fear. Writing about your anxiety makes it an entity existing outside of your goal. Writing down your fears takes away their hold on you; writing out the reverse of your fears (and upping the ante, making the opposite statement not just the fear in reverse, but something even more attractive) empowers and energizes you to start thinking differently, to attract the kind of answers that, rather than keep you tied down, go with a worldview of solutions.”

Discovering this strategy of writing down the negative, the anxiety, the fearful thoughts really got to me and I’ve begun to put it to the test to see if it really works. My wife began planning for a trip to South Africa to do an African Safari. After setting it all up I began to worry about so many things that could go wrong–from catching a disease to getting stomped by an elephant to those small airplanes in a country that is not exactly into precision and safety checks. Plus, there were thoughts of getting mugged or robbed in some of the cities that are known for very high crime rates.

Writing down my fears and anxieties in addition to talking through my negative thinking with other people is beginning to make a difference. In fact, the very next day after I wrote down my fears and anxieties I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night with worry as I had been doing ever since we set up our African trip.

Wow … that was fast and it worked! It’s like taking worries out of your brain and putting them in a box. It really is that easy. Try it yourself!

 

Forging Past the Fear

October 9, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

Well I did it! I gave my one-hour presentation to the MBA students at Utah State University on ‘How to Make Millions by Wise Investing’. If you recall from last week’s post, this speech had caused me some fear and anxiety. But after 5 or 10 minutes the fear and anxiety that had been gripping me diminished and finally totally disappeared. The students were great, as was the professor. They asked some great questions and it all went quite well. Yay! I guess I acted out the title of Susan Jeffers great little book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

It’s fascinating to me that a huge percentage of people don’t step outside their comfort zone when it comes to investing as a direct result from that thing we know as fear. It might be fear of the unknown, fear of losing their money or sometimes just plain fear of taking any risks at all. I look back at my younger years (now called “my warrior years”) and remember how quite a few of my peers, people that were just as smart as me and sometimes a lot smarter, knew what I was doing and how I was doing it and, yes, knew that I was having some very big financial gains. However, they didn’t dare step up to do the same thing I was doing. I’m pretty sure the reason was primarily because of fear.

Looking back now I’m pretty sure I didn’t share with them that I had huge fears myself. The thing is, I forged ahead anyways and took the risks and it paid off. I wish I could go back in time and share those fears that I felt with those friends. I think if I had done that then many of those people might have taken a few more calculated risks, pushing past their fears and ending up with the kind of success that I experienced.

I think you would agree that many of our fears come from us thinking  things like “Oh, what if I fail? What will my friends and family think of me? What if I lose all my money?” But like I told the MBA’s, everyone fails from time to time! The key is to learn from your mistakes and be sure not to beat yourself up. It’s okay to fail. No human is immune to failure but if you pick yourself up and keep trying, your success, in investing to create your fortune or just about any part of your life, will far outweigh your failures.