Brain Change

Focus on life through a simplified mind

Challenge Your Fear

There is nothing to fear but fear itselfFranklin D. Roosevelt

I wanted to write a post on fear because lately I have been challenging my fears and the results have been very surprising. 

I want to be able to frame fear for you in the context it should be.  As a motivator to do fantastic things with your life.  Most commonly it permeates our lives by paralyzing our actions and clouding our thoughts with doubt. 

Seth Godin in his bestselling book Linchpin, details what he calls the “resistance”, or our “Lizard Brain”.  Our lizard brain is as Seth stated “hungry,scared,angry, and horny”.  These emotions are the only thing the lizard brain knows.  And evolution has done two things for us. 

1) Placed the lizard brain directly on top of the spine so every action we commit has to be filtered through the lizard brain. 

2) Ensuring our survival the lizard brain continually seeks to keep us in our “comfort zone”

Anything new, exciting, different and unknown will be promptly squished by the lizard brain.  It does not want us standing up and making a difference.  It wants us to stay quiet, sit down, go unnoticed so that the predators of life will not sniff us out and devour us.

So.. How then do we go about changing our lives from what they are now if our own psyche is trying so hard to keep doing the status quo?

Acknowledge the fear and then DIVE RIGHT IN.  You absolutely will not grow if you always seek whats comfortable.  You will never take a risk.  Everett Bogue in this Post said that risk is really fearing what you are going to lose.  And yes I am going to point to  minimalism and tell you this.  “If you have less things you will fear less things”.

Have you thought about all the stuff you would lose if you lost your job?  


Are you working for your growth?

Are you working because you have gifts to offer the world?

Or are you working so you don’t lose your shit?

If answered yes to the last statement it is time to get rid of some stuff.  And get rid of some fear

If each item in your life was compared to a single strand of spider silk curling around your body, trapping your arms to your side then having a few items would be no big deal.  You could easily break the strands of silk and start over. 

What if you then owned a hundred items? The strands then become more stable and you can start to feel pressure on your chest when you try to breathe.  How about we jump to a thousand items? or several thousand as most developed countries citizens have. 

You can barely breathe from the tightness of the rope and the Black Widow called  Consumerism has it’s fangs sunk deep into your flesh, bleeding you dry, taking the life force from you.

I hope as you read this post you reflect in your own life, what holds you back? what do you fear?  Consider the fear, observe it objectively, and confront it head on. 

Chances are if your Lizard brain is telling you “stop” and “lets play it safe”.  You are on the right path to discovering some great things.

Here are some fears that I recently overcame and the results of confronting them.

1) Posting this blog on Facebook

I was scared to death about putting this blog out to my FB friends, this blog was my dirty little secret.  I stressed about what people would think, what they would say.  I finally decided that it did not matter.  What I have to say is more important than petty worries of fitting into the mold and hit the post button.  The results?  Not much.. No negative comments.  A few good view days and a few really positive comments.  My work is out for the world to see and it feels great!

2) Going to a spinning class

Spinning is exercising on a stationary bike with a group of people set to music.  It is a sport dominated by women.  So what would people think if I am the only guy in a room full of chicks doing a chick thing?  Absolutely nothing.  Inside my head I could hear my old petty self calling me every pansy name in the book but you know what?  It’s a damn tough workout, it kicks my ass and gets me in better shape, and I feel Fantastic when im done.  I would challenge anyone thinking it is just for chicks to try it out.  Most likely… if you scoff and scowl… you probably wouldn’t make it through a workout.

3) Tossing out a lot of stuff

Yes I feared tossing out all my clothes, tossing out my CD’s, tossing out multiple pieces of furniture.  Tossing out pile after pile of useless junk.  The thoughts that were pervading my mind constantly were,  “Holy crap I paid a lot for that” or, “What if I need this item again“? The peace that has come with having more space, in my closet, in my house, and in my mind.  I cannot describe… You will have to experience it for yourself Everett Bogue again made another great post about not believing anything anyone says you have to experience it yourself.  I challenge you all to the same thing…

Don’t believe me go experience it for yourself…Challenge the status quo..face your fears.

Some of the fears I am currently working on overcoming currently are.

1) Interviewing an “A” list blogger

2) Guest posting on popular blogs

3) Helping my wife become a stay at home mother

4) Becoming location independent

5) Earning full time income online (clever way to phrase it eh?)

By the way here are a few people I love to read that have crossed the limitations in the traditional sense and are doing some really fantastic things.

Gianpaolo Pietri – Gianpaolo recently quit his day job and moved to New York currently supporting himself online running the site

Nina Yau – Nina runs the site where she recently handed in her notice and is leaving the corporate world on November 30th.

Everett Bogue – Who quit his job last year and supports himself with his Minimalist Business and The Art of Being Minimalist E-books.  Everett is the Jugarnaught of minimalism and runs the blog

Henri Juntilla – Who supports himself entirely online and has great free content on his site.  As well as selling the great e-book Passionate Living

Leo Babauta – Who wrote The simple guide to a minimalist life and blogs about simple living on at his site

The links to products are all affiliate

In conclusion I would leave you with this quote:

He has not learned the lesson of life who  every day does not surmount a fear~Ralph Waldo Emerson

what fears do you have?

What fears have you conquered?

I would love to hear your comments

(hint: leave a reply and press post comment button and lets start a discusion)

Please share this if you think it will help someone


November 17, 2010 Posted by | minimalism, motivation | , , , , | 4 Comments


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