I once heard Brooke Castillo state on a podcast episode that one reason for her success is her willingness to face unpleasant emotions. To feel any feeling.
My immediate reaction was something like What? What a load of BS. Seriously?!
But I couldn’t stop thinking about that statement. And over the next few days I just started to observe myself more. How I dealt with things. How I coped. How I reacted.
And, well, I discovered that I did not in fact want to feel anything uncomfortable. I actively avoided it. I ran from them, instead of running at them and facing them head on. I wanted to do anything but front up.
Embracing discomfort is not something that comes naturally to the human mind. One place this shows up a lot for me is fear.
Financial fear is a big one. Living in a state of constant tension and low-level panic SUCKS and takes a toll. Fear of losing an income source, of some financial disaster striking, of the unknown in general… Feeling afraid about money on the regular is no fun.
That’s why dissecting and combating fears is part of the last module (Fuel the Future) in my course, Money Groove.
Some people don’t like to imagine the worst-case scenario, but I’m the kind who needs to confront my worst fears rather than hide from them. Naming and voicing them has a magical shrinking power. Out in the cleansing light of day, they lose their shadowy strength.
This is true for most fears, I’ve found. When we do, then we can start to ask questions like “Has it happened before? What are the odds of it happening? What would I do then?”
In lots of cases, the catastrophes we’ve conjured up in our lizard brains are over-exaggerated. They’ve never occurred. Nor are they likely to. Sure, anything CAN happen. But that doesn’t mean they will.
And yes, it’s good to prepare. To have contingency plans.
And then, we need to release. To let go. To relax.
Our hypotheses are often way off. We can’t predict things. We’re wired to focus on the negatives. To anticipate risks. To stay wary, watchful, on guard. Which doesn’t necessarily serve us well in today’s world when danger is less mortal and more perceived; less about tigers and tsunamis out there and more about the spinning out inside our heads.
We have to recognise we’ve done all we can, and trust. Otherwise, all the fun quickly drains out of life.