Hey, you. You have big dreams, don’t you? That business idea that will make you a household name. That investment that will help secure your future. That email you’re about to send your boss explaining you’re quitting your job to save the rainforest.
What’s that I hear? The timing isn’t right? Maybe it’s not, or maybe you’re scared. Scared it won’t work out, scared people won’t like your idea, scared of being vulnerable.
The truth is, humans have only two innate fears: falling and loud sounds. Think about that for a moment; every fear, every anxiety, every obsessive compulsion you have is taught. You should find that fact liberating; what you’re taught, in theory, can be untaught. I’d argue that what stops many of us from overcoming our fears is our inability to separate emotion from reason. Residential property, by virtue of its tangibility and familiarity to Australians, is particularly susceptible to emotion, an emotion that too often results in fear. I’ve discussed the facts behind the fear before, so for a recap click here or here.
Now, go grab a pen and paper. On the left-hand side of the page, draw a box and label it ‘goals’. On the right-hand side, draw another box and label it ‘taking action’. In the middle of the page make a list of everything that’s standing in your way and label it ‘roadblocks’. I’d wager your roadblocks include the fear of:
What we typically do is we pick a roadblock and hide behind it. Too often those roadblocks are creations of our mind (vulnerability or embarrassment) rather than rooted in reality. As we hid from the monster under the bed as children, so we hide from fear as adults. An unfortunate result of hiding is that the longer we do it, the scarier that monster gets. He’ll grow sharper teeth, get louder and increase in stature to the point of being unrecognisable from his original form. Philosopher William James was not understating the impact of fear induced procrastination when he said, ‘Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an unfulfilled goal.’ Once you start hiding, it’s hard to stop.
If fear is the roadblock to your investment aspirations, then education is the detour that will get you to your destination. I know that I’d rather look back on life and say, ‘I can’t believe I had the courage to do that’ than ‘I wish I’d done that’. How about you?