We’ve all experienced it at various points – the fight or flight response born from a chemical reaction in our brains that’s triggered by an emotion: fear.
We’re taught from a young age to associate fear with negative occurrences. It indicates a situation that poses potential danger to our physical, mental, emotional and/or financial wellbeing and hence, makes us anxious.
You can see how all of this snowballs into a self-perpetuating cycle of negativity and yes…more fear. Fear feeds on itself and on our negative inner voice.
We associate something with a fear response and then whenever we face that same thing again, we immediately start up a baseless inner dialogue and begin to feel fear. Irrational? Perhaps. But that’s emotions for you!
What if we learnt to have a different perspective of the things we once considered ‘scary’ though? Could changing our perception, change the emotional response?
Consider investing. As with anything, building a property portfolio has a degree of risk attached, and risk is generally something that makes us ‘fearful’, because risk generally represents the ‘unknown quantity’; the thing that could go wrong and entirely derail your Plan A.
But what if you had a Plan B?
Moreover, what if you had done such a comprehensive analysis of your profile as an investor and come up with such a well thought out strategy that much of the associated risk would be mitigated?
In this sense, fear can be a great motivator. Rather than allowing it to immobilize you, let that adrenaline surge spur you into action.
Instead of running away when you feel a bit vulnerable, keep putting one foot steadily in front of the other until you reach your destination.
Maintain control of your journey by trusting your own instincts enough to know when you should ask for help or advice from the appropriate experts and when you should go with your gut as an educated investor in your own right.
Acknowledge the fear and then make it work for you by inspiring positive action.
Fear tells us when opportunity is knocking. Think about how much more anxious you feel when the stakes of any given situation are high.
A work presentation that your dream promotion hinges on will incite more of an adrenaline rush, than say a chat around the water cooler with your colleagues on Monday morning.
Without this chemical kick that makes our palms sweaty, our heart beat faster and sets our analytical mind into overdrive seeking out the best chance for survival, we may not recognise those often life changing opportunities.
We might also forget, without fear reminding us, that we’re alive and breathing in this very moment.
Even though we’re taught a healthy respect for fear, we still seek it out actively at times.
We take (albeit relatively calculated) risks in the form of roller coaster thrill rides or bungee jumping, and love that rush you get when skirting around the safety barriersof ‘acceptable behaviour’.
Fear and the adrenaline that comes with it breaks up what can easily become a daily monotony of work, rest and work. Emotions like fear and love – those that incite a more overt response, remind us why we’re alive.
Face your fears head on today, by taking calculated investment risks and who knows? You might be facing your fears head on in retirement by jumping out of an airplane, over a Hawaiian volcano!
The point is, you can either use fear to your advantage as an investor, or allow it to overcome and paralyse you into inaction. It’s all about perspective and choice.