Bigger Picture, Financial Planning

Overcoming Fear (Continuation Of Friday’s Episode Of The Pursuit)

On the latest episode of The Pursuit I discussed how the feeling of fear holds many of us back from reaching our goals or pursuing the life we really want. Once you’ve identified your feelings are the culprit, you can begin to break down the “thing” you are afraid of and move past it.

At the risk of sounding like a list of a “top CEO habits”, here are a few exercises and actions to take that can help you move that fear from an obstacle in front of you to a push from behind, as Jimmy Iovine suggests (see the post for this week’s Pursuit for the full quote).

Meditation. I’ve been practicing meditation for over a year now and have seen tremendous progress in focus, productivity, remaining in the moment, and even better patience at home with the boys. Meditation has a number of benefits, one of which is being aware and managing your thoughts. By beginning to meditate, you can work on identifying the thoughts that present themselves just before the feeling of fear takes over and in time you may be able to recognize the feeling of fear, redirect those thoughts, and put yourself in a better state of mind to use your fear as a tailwind pushing you forward.

If meditation intimidates you, I highly recommend the book 10% Happier (this is one of the books we give as a welcome gift to new RLS Wealth clients)—it’s a great introduction written for skeptics of meditation. Meditation is not necessarily the Zen-like image we all imagine—it can be, but meditation can also occur during a walk in nature. Practicing meditation is not as intimidating as it seems once you understand the its true purpose.

Journaling. A nice complement to meditation is journaling. Putting thoughts down on paper has a unique effect allowing you to process them differently than when they live in your head. If the goal is work on overcoming your feeling of fear, spend time journaling every emotion and thought that you can remember whenever you find your fear getting the best of you. As you reflect on your entries you might find some underlying triggers that can be mitigated once they have been discovered—ultimately allowing you to overcome the fear.

FWIW, journaling is beneficial beyond overcoming fears. I highly encourage you to take some time each day and write down your thoughts. Don’t overcomplicate things—just write whatever was on your mind for the day. Or, you can find a journal with prompts to help you get your writing started.

Therapy (doesn’t necessarily have to be with a therapist). Sometimes you just need someone else’s perspective. You may be able to find the help you need by discussing your fear with a friend or loved one or you might find yourself needing the help of a professional who can not only assist with uncovering the negative events and thoughts leading to the fear but also help with moving forward.

Give into it. My least favorite solution, but it is an option. You don’t have to overcome the feeling of fear holding you hostage. But, that might mean you are not able to pursue your passion, make the change, or take control of your life to find the happiness you seek (and deserve).

As a financial advisor, my goal is to encourage and help people build the lives they want—the life they may have been afraid to pursue in the past. While meditation, journaling, and therapy don’t show up in the CFP® curriculum, I believe they do play a part in a financial life plan. Most financial advisors aren’t going to talk about fear and how to overcome it, but I’ve never wanted to be like most financial advisors.

If you know where you want to go or what you want to do but the feeling of fear is holding you back, I hope you give these suggestions (except the last one) a try and find yourself on your way to the life you are seeking.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.