I’ve been reading “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss.
It is a step-by-step guide to living the life of your dreams. It’s about escaping the 9-5, living anywhere and being rich. It got my attention!
In his chapter on dodging bullets, Tim provides an antidote to the fear of the unknown, which I’d like to share with you.
When I was searching for my first profitable renovation deal, I was crippled by fear of the unknown. I didn’t acknowledge that it was fear. I called it analysis paralysis. I just kept on analysing and justifying – and not DOING.
I’ve since realised that fear (in its many disguises) is a common complaint suffered by property investors and entrepreneurs everywhere. If you have ever felt like you should know what you need to do but something is holding you back, then this is for you.
I’m sharing my modified version of Tim’s antidote, in the hope that it will provide the breakthrough you need to conquer your fear. And take action.
This is what you need to do.
A little technique known as brain vomiting
What is it that you really want to do but have been avoiding? Is it purchasing your first investment property? Perhaps finding a joint venture partner? Or maybe it’s simply finishing that course you bought.
With this in mind, write down your answers to the following questions.
Do not think. Just write anything and everything that crosses your mind – and do not edit. Aim for volume. Spend a few minutes on each answer.
1. Define your nightmare
What is the absolute worst that can happen?
What doubt, fears and “what-ifs” pop up as you consider what you need to do. Envisage them in painstaking detail. Would it be the end of your life? What would be the permanent impact, if any, on a scale of 1-10? Are these things really permanent? How likely do you think it is that they would actually happen?
2. What steps could you take to repair the damage or get things back on track?
Chances are, it’s easier than you imagine. How could you get things back under control?
3. What are the outcomes or benefits of the more probable scenarios?
Now that you’ve defined your nightmare, what are the more probable or definite positive outcomes, whether internal (confidence, self-esteem) or external? What would the impact of these more-likely outcomes be on a scale of 1-10?
How likely is it that you could produce at least a moderately good outcome? Have less intelligent people done this before and pulled it off?
4. If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to get things under financial control?
Imagine this scenario and run through questions 1-3 above. If you quit your job to follow your property investment dreams, how could you later get back on the same career track if you absolutely had to?
5. What are you putting off out of fear?
Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most NEED to do. That phone call, that conversation, whatever the action might be – it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do.
Define the worst case, accept it and do it.
6. What is it costing you – financially, emotionally ad physically – to postpone action?
Warning: You might find this confronting. Please hang in there.
If you don’t pursue your dreams and the things that excite you, where will you be in one year, five years and ten years?
How will you feel having allowed circumstance to impose itself upon you and having allowed ten more years of your finite life to pass doing what you know will not fulfil you?
If you telescope out ten years and know with 100% certainty that it is a path of disappointment and regret, then inaction is the greatest risk of all.
7. What are you waiting for?
There’s a good chance you’re afraid, just like the rest of the world.
Measure the cost of inaction and realise that most of your feared scenarios are either unlikely or can be fixed.
Develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.
A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.
Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.
I have come up with quite a list of conversations I need to have so that I can be where I want to be. What about you?