The Upside and Downside of Fear by Kim Kiyosaki

The Upside and Downside of Fear

Don’t let this four-letter word hold you back from reaching financial independence

Whether you’re afraid of heights or terrified of public speaking, we’ve all experienced fear at some point in our lives. Perhaps it’s prevented you from trying a fun activity like zip-lining or kept you from making a presentation that would have resulted in a promotion. And when it comes to finances — specifically investing — fear can really impact our decision-making abilities.

A lot of first-time investors ask me for tips on overcoming their fear. And guess what? It’s normal to be scared to death when it comes time to buy that first rental property or to invest in that first business. Anytime you commit your hard-earned money to an investment it can be scary!

But is fear an asset or a liability? Let’s examine both sides of this emotion:

The Best Things About Fear: Fear exists within us for a reason — it alerts us to possible life-threatening situations, like hearing a strange noise late at night or while walking alone in an unsafe neighborhood. Fear could very well save your life because it makes you alert and makes you more cautious. Fear can also motivate us to take one extra look at the numbers on that rental property or to tune in to the special TV report about the industry in which we just bought stocks. As such, a touch of fear can help us avoid costly mistakes. A certain amount of fear can serve us well.

The Worst Things About Fear: If you’re not careful, fear can have a destructive side as well. It can kill your dreams, opportunities, personal growth, passion, and your ability to live your life to its absolute fullest. The harmful face of fear is when it paralyzes us. When we’re immobilized into doing nothing. When we say “no” to the opportunity automatically, without even thinking. Fear makes it far too easy to fixate on all of the reasons why the investment is a bad, risky and unwise venture to undertake. Fear can also turn into an excuse that prevents you from doing something unknown or outside your comfort zone. When the fear of making mistakes, of losing money, of embarrassment or of personal disappointment wins, you lose.

Fear is How We Grow

Fear can be the greatest asset we have. Every time fear comes up, and you’re clear it’s not life-threatening, that means you have an opportunity to grow and to expand yourself. In fact, it’s often through this type of agitated process that we grow the most. And when you come through the other side, it’s incredibly exhilarating! You are not the same person you were before the process. Instead of dreading fear, look it straight in the eye and know you’ve just uncovered your next level of growth — if you so choose to seize it!

Perhaps Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”

How to Overcome Your Fear

When it comes to investing, we’ve often stepping into the unknown. For many of us, we are doing something we’ve never done before — we have no experience and we don’t have all the answers, so no wonder the fear sets in.

One of the easiest ways to reduce fear is through education and experience. The more you learn and know about a certain investment, the more confident you’ll be in your decisions. The more investments you own, the more self-assured and knowledgeable you’ll become. Therefore, fear will play a smaller role with every investment. I’d suggest starting by reading my book, Rich Woman, if you’re ready to learn how to become financially independent. You can also sign up for some of Rich Dad’s free workshops and free online webinars.

I was completely terrified through ever step of my first investment — and I made mistakes that cost me money. But it got me off the starting blocks and paved the way for future investments. Slowly but surely, I gained more knowledge and look where I am today! Investing is truly a process that you have to take one step at a time. And remember, it’s OK to fail. But it’s never OK to let your fear prevent you from achieving your financial dreams.

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