"Whatever you fear most has no power - it is your fear that has the power."
~ Oprah Winfrey
Fear can be a powerful force. Fear is natural. Our fearful instincts can help us avoid danger. But that doesn't mean we should let the fear be in charge. Fear may keep us alive, but it can also prevent us from truly living.
Fortunately, we have been blessed with the ability to take back control from our fear. We can do this by moving beyond what we think we fear and digging down to the underlying reason for our fear.
Here's an example:
"I'm afraid of investing."
"Because I'm afraid to lose money."
"Because I'm afraid that if I lose money I won't be able to provide for myself and my family and we will end up homeless and destitute."
Ah ha! Now we've arrived at the real underlying fear. And I think most people would agree it's a legitimate reason for concern.
So now the question is, how do we address the real fear so that this person feels safe to start investing so she can begin building her family's financial future? Here are some possibilities:
- She can set aside a nest egg that is for emergency purposes only - NOT investing or regular spending. It might be 3 months worth of living expenses, 6 months, a year - whatever makes her feel comfortable.
- She can secure (or maintain, if she already has one) a consistent stream of income from a job or other relatively reliable source that will provide for her family's income needs while she plants her passive income "seeds" for the future.
- She can manage her personal finances so that she brings in more money each month than she spends, so that she doesn't acquire the burden of bad debt.
- If she already has bad debt, she can set aside money each month to pay it down, using the simple method Robert and I used to eliminate over $1 million in debt.
- She can put aside a certain amount of money each month in a separate account that is just for investment purposes. She will think of this as "play money" or "gambling money" - in other words, money she can afford to lose. Her goal is to use this money to make more money (i.e., invest), but if she loses it it's not a big deal - she knows she can build the account up to try again, and can rest easy because her emergency nest egg is safe.
Take a few moments now to honestly ask yourself why you fear what you fear. Then ask yourself, "How can I move forward in spite of this fear? What steps can I take to protect myself while I pursue my goal?" Get creative, think outside the box, and seek the advice of people who truly want you to grow beyond the limitations of your fears.