Let’s face it, when you first start out in any endeavour there is always an element of FEAR.
Normally when we start out in anything there is that period of time when we are just like a baby learning to walk. We stumble, we fall down, make mistakes…
It is what comes next that is the crucial part of our progression.
It seems that as we get older, our willingness to keep trying fades, but WHY? If you watch a baby learning to walk they don’t quit trying, they fall down and just get back up and keep trying until they succeed.
Over the past 25 years, as I have studied successful investors and business people, it is this next phase that completely separates the successful from those that fail.
Fear – How to Take the Next Step
To get an understanding of this phase, it is first important to take a step back and have a look at what determines how we take the next step. This is a concept that I learned from T.Harv Eker.
Firstly, look at your thoughts and feelings. Do they form part of your inner world or the outer world? If you said ‘Inner World’ you would be correct.
Now, look at your results. Are they part of your inner world or the outer world? As an outcome, they are of course part of your outer world. How do we get from thoughts and feelings to results? ACTION.
If you have followed me for any length of time, you will know that ACTION is one of my 5 steps to financial freedom.
To achieve results we have identified that ACTION is important, so what prevents you from taking the action that you know you need to take to achieve your goals?
Action Despite Fear
Yep, it’s FEAR! Fear, doubt, and worry are the greatest obstacles to your success and happiness. As I mentioned earlier, in studying successful investors and business people, the most obvious characteristic that they all possess is that they take action in spite of fear.
Fear manifests in our desire not to fail, and our focus on ‘I’. That is, we focus too much on how we reflect in the world and how we will be judged, rather than on what is the right course of action for our goals.
I have a favourite quote that has been claimed by many people, but the origin has been traced back to an article in 1937 and attributed to Olin Miller, it is “You probably…would not worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do!”
The ‘I’ mentality is becoming so ingrained in society and it is killing your ability to succeed.
As Tim Harford suggests in his excellent book ‘Adapt’, when faced with a mistake or a loss, the right response is to acknowledge the setback and change direction.
Yet our instinctive reaction is denial. That is why ‘learn from your mistakes’ is wise advice that is painfully hard to take.
We deny failure for fear of being judged…
The Importance of Acknowledging Fear
When starting out as an investor, or when looking to improve your results, it is crucial that you acknowledge this FEAR, understand where it comes from, that is, your inner world, and determine the correct action required to overcome it and continue in the pursuit of your dreams and goals.
FEAR has been described as ‘False Evidence Appearing Real’. Based on this realisation, and the knowledge that FEAR comes from our inner world, we learn that the management of fear is completely within our control.
It’s also crucial to realise that it’s not necessary to try to eliminate fear in order to succeed. Rich and successful people have fear, doubts, and worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.
Because we are creatures of habit, we need to practice acting in spite of fear, doubt, worry, inconvenience, and discomfort, and even practice acting when we’re not in the mood. Once again, it is ACTION that enables us to progress.
It’s simple. Either you’re a person who will be stopped, or you’re a person who won’t be stopped. You choose.
If you want to create wealth or any other kind of success, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes! Acknowledge your fear and act anyway. I often find that fear comes from the knowledge gap, so close the gap, get the knowledge, and move forward.
Let me know what your fears have been, and what holds you back from being a successful investor.