Sunday, May 26, 2013

Play Detective With Your Fears

Mister Fear
Mister Fear (Wikipedia)
by Kevin Kachin

What Do You Do When You Don't Understand Something You're Interested In?

If you're like most people you investigate it.

You begin to talk to your friends and family about it, ask questions, research the internet, read books, attend seminars, workshops, and maybe even sign up for coaching or mentorship to help you improve at it.

In other words, you begin to take the necessary steps to learn about your interest with the idea that one day you will eventually learn enough to choose to take action.

This isn't some outrageous revelation. Its simply the learning process that we all have gone through since we were kids.

So Why Don't You Go Through The Same Process With Your Fears?

Most people are afraid of their fear simply because they don't understand it. This lack of understanding quickly becomes problematic because fear is hands down the number one reason why people choose not to pursue their dreams - like investing in real estate.

Further, fear emerges in different ways for different people - some fear being embarrassed, some fear not knowing the answer, networking, negotiating, talking about money, losing money, getting an offer accepted, rejection, etc.

If fear often stops you from pursuing your interests - a relationship, a job, a real estate business, etc. - wouldn't it be beneficial to do what you do when you want to improve your ability to take action in other areas of your life and ...

Learn about your fear.

I'm not talking about learning how to "overcome," "master," or "face" your fears - all of which imply getting into conflict with your fear. I'm talking about simply learning what fear really is and why in certain circumstances its extremely beneficial while in others it becomes just another stressor.

A funny thing happens as you learn about fear. You become less afraid of it.

Why Do You Experience Fear?

You need fear because fear is an signal that keeps us from real danger. Its an evolutionary response that dates back to the time when your ancestors were competing with other animals for the same food.

Specifically, back then when a predator (e.g., a tiger) started to approach, your mind had to quickly make a decision whether to stick around, fight and potentially become Mr. Tiger's lunch or hightail it outta there immediately.

This fear response developed as a way for your mind to instantly tell your body, "Danger! The end is near unless you fight or run right now!"

Today this is called the "fight or flight" response. In situations where there is real danger (i.e., threat of physical harm), you absolutely need this fear response that signals your body to get ready to "fight" or "flee."

Notice that two phrases were emphasized: real danger and your mind.

Why were those two phrases emphasized?

Nowadays there is very little actual real danger that you experience on a daily basis. For the most part, the danger exists solely in your mind.

Most of the danger you experience today is simply perceived danger that develops from the thoughts in your mind whether you are aware of them or not. Thoughts like:

"I don't know what to say."
"I don't know what I'm doing."
"I don't have the money."
"I don't have the resources."

Those thoughts are really part of an if-then combination inside your mind that goes something like this:

"If I don't know what to say, then I'll be embarrassed and they won't deal with me again."
"If I don't know what I'm doing, then I will look dumb and nobody will work with me."
"If I don't have the money, then I can't do anything."
"If I don't have the resources, then nobody will work with me and I can't proceed."

The problem is that your brain doesn't know the difference between real danger and perceived danger. It just knows "Danger! The end is potentially near!" and therefore reacts the same way to both types of danger - with the "fear response" (fight or flight).

The dilemma is that the fear you experience now is of what "might happen." Understand that this is completely natural when you enter into an area that your mind has never experienced before and therefore has no point of reference to make decisions.

Its natural because its your mind's priority is to protect you from all possible danger. When you enter into a new situation, it automatically searches for the potential danger in order to keep you safe.

Given that you're no longer facing a potentially deadly predator (i.e., there isn't any real danger right in front of you), your brain immediately starts to go through its rolodex of ALL potential dangers that exist in whatever situation you are focused on at moment: making a phone call to a seller, networking, talking to another investor, negotiating, etc.

If you look closely, what you fear nowadays is not getting killed by the tiger ...
You fear being alone

Let's look at those phrases mentioned above because there is one more part to them that occurs in our mind. It goes something like this ...

"If I don't know what to say, then I'll be embarrassed and they won't deal with me again, and I'll be on my own."
"If I don't know what I'm doing, then I will look dumb and nobody will work with me, and I'll be on my own."
"If I don't have the money, then I can't do anything, and I'll be on my own."
"If I don't have the resources, then nobody will work with me and I can't proceed, and I'll be on my own."

How Does This Fear of Being Alone Stuff Relate To Real Estate?

After nourishment, the most basic of human needs is to form relationships. Real estate is not a business of properties, financing, contracts, or construction. It's a business of relationships.

Those other things result from relationships but without relationships, you simply don't have a real estate business.

This is where your fear works against you because you want to form those relationships, but you choose to allow your fear to stop you from doing so.

By choosing to allow your fear to inhibit you from forming relationships by avoiding them, you end up alone in this business. As a result, you have no business.

Even worse, you believe that you're the only person who has ever experienced these fears. Its an unnecessary cycle.

So What Do I Do Mr. Fear Expert?

You start to examine the evidence for your fears.

And How Do I Do That?

The next time you experience fear:

1) Acknowledge it out loud. For example: "I am afraid to talk the seller because ...".

2) Then state out loud the reasons why you are experiencing fear:
"Because I won't know what to say and they won't deal with me."
"Because I don't how to negotiate."
"Because they might get mad at me."

Note: stating your fears out loud may sound ridiculous but it serves a couple purposes: by stating something out loud it becomes real and, as a result, almost immediately become less intimidating.
These next to steps are extremely important:

3) Ask yourself what would happen if ALL of your concerns (perceived danger) came true. What if you got embarrassed? What if you didn't know what to say? And so on ...

4) If all of your concerns actually happened, what would that say about you? Would you be able to go on with your life or would that be the end?

Use these four steps to examine the evidence whenever you experience fear. You'll see that the more evidence that you look for to justify your fears, the less you'll find.

Thanks for your time.

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