I recently came across this quote from George Addair.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is sitting on the other side of fear.” It’s such a brilliant quote because it captures so much about what keeps us trapped. Fear is a powerful emotion. It often masquerades as a cloak of protection, keeping us from doing things that cause us harm. And fear has enjoyed a huge societal and genetic advantage throughout human history. We are surrounded by it since birth. It’s a key evolutionary strategy for surviving in a world that is full of physical danger and uncertainty.
But most of don’t live in that world anymore. We don’t have much physical danger in our lives. We are not surrounded by animals that have more legs and teeth than us. We have fridges and home delivery. So, if fear is not so necessary to help keep us alive, what is it doing in our lives?
Fear is often an immediate response to perceived danger, which means it’s trying to keep me alive right now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not in 20 years. The lion in front me is the one I need to worry about – nothing else matters right now; my survival depends on it. But we live in a world where our survival requires us to make considered, long-term decisions. And fear traps us in the present. It blocks us from other, and possibly better, futures.
Fear of rejection stops us asking.
Fear of looking ridiculous stops us trying.
Fear of making a mistake keeps us stuck.
Fear of what we might find stops us looking.
Fear of losing keeps us small.
If you’re scared of your finances, that fear makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective. But it won’t fix them. It won’t help you find the savings that could be used to pay off debt or build an emergency fund. It won’t help you find better deals for your utilities and insurance. It won’t help you find a way forward and it won’t make the future better. It traps you in anxiety and you can’t plan for your future if right now is a difficult place to be.
We create fear or transcend fear depending on what story we tell ourselves. So, one way to stop being trapped is to change our money stories.