Making fear your friend to change your lifestyle

Making lifestyle changes is not easy, right? There are many reasons why this is true, but one key factor is that they provoke fear in us. I invite you to have a quick look at this excellent post on Instagram by  @Stealthyrich. He explains with humor how fear has impacted him during his life, and he also includes this quote.

Is fear our worst enemy in a lifestyle change?

Will Smith’s statement makes us stop and think.  Will is saying that probably our most powerful primal emotion is not real…….🤔. I’m not sure I agree with Will’s perception of whether fear is real, but I do believe that fear is a choice.  I’m not saying either that it is easy but we can all chose how we react to fear.  I’m convinced that we can transform fear from our worst enemy to a worthy ally.

The impact of fear during a lifestyle change transition

Fear stops us from moving forward and making changes in our lives.  We constantly ask ourselves the question, What If? – always attached to the worst scenarios possible, and so inevitably most people never make half the changes they would like to.  This, of course, can lead to regret and ever-deepening unhappiness in the lives we lead as we never realize the dreams we have.  If, however, we are able to use fear motivate us to make the changes we dream of, then rather than being a powerful blocker, fear can be a powerful motivator.

Instead of asking ourselves the ‘What If’ question attached to the worst scenarios possible like:

  • What if my new company does not do well?
  • What if my wife or family get sick?
  • What if the rental investment or stock markets took a dive?

We should ask ourselves the ‘What If’ question challenging our current situation, such as:

  • What if I don’t make a change and I get made redundant from my current job?
  • I’m ‘surviving’ at work but what if I end up in burnout if I don’t change and it affects my health?
  • When if I look back at my life in retirement & specifically at this moment, will I be proud of myself?

The idea is to try and have a more forward-thinking mindset.

The interesting thing here is that face a lifestyle change we often worry about things that could happen even if we made no change at all.  We naturally accept these risks as we are ‘used to’ our current situation and they don’t scare us.

Changing our perception of fear

The reason I liked so much the Instagram post from mentioned above is that it demonstrates so well a transition we can make in the way we experience fear.  Fear to have not done enough

I also like very much the example of Tanja Hester and Mark Bunge from Our Next Life. Their example shows that the fear of not making a lifestyle change became more powerful than their fear of changing from their ‘financially comfortable’ but typically ‘Rat Race’ previous lifestyles.

There are many examples like these around us every day.  Often just taking the time to see them is all that is needed to inspire ourselves.

Using fear to drive lifestyle changes

When I started my own personal journey to change my lifestyle, there were many motivations and thoughts going through my mind (including many scary ones).  I built the EFILYM application (not realizing it at the time) that the structure and formalism of testing all my ideas and hypotheses I was looking for, was, in fact, my way to manage my fear.  The more I tested and digested and ripened our plan, the more I was able to accept certain elements of it.  Each element that becomes accepted become a brick in the foundation of my mental acceptance.

As I progressed through my personal acceptance, I started to put some small actions in place to move in the direction I wanted to go, and before I knew it, I’d already moved quite a long way along the path I wanted to lead. At some moment Id passed the turning point where I realized that if I didn’t make my lifestyle change, the fear of doing nothing became more and more powerful.  From that day on, there was no turning back.  This is the true value that I want to bring to others who are contemplating their own lifestyle change.  I’ve made it my personal mission to help others make the transition from having fear working against them, to use it as a driving force behind their lifestyle change plans.

Fear will always be with us during our lifetimes so if we can use it to our advantage, then why not make the most of it. 😉

Credit Photo:  Photo by Jordan Donaldson on Unsplash

Making fear your friend to change your lifestyle

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