Tim Ferris – Uncovering Fear Disguised As Optimism

It’s exactly what Bob Proctor has been saying for over 50 years, too.  That paradigm.  That mental barrier that controls everything about us.  Right when we’re getting ready to make that life-altering decision we say, “ahhhhh, I can go next year.  I’m happy with this car now.  Oh, I can save my money instead.  I can go next weekend.”

Most who avoid quitting their jobs entertain the thought that their course will improve with time or increases in income. This seems valid and is a tempting hallucination when a job is boring or uninspiring instead of pure hell. Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization.

That particular afternoon after my nap and going through absolute HELL with a bunch of ignorant specimen and a completely shambolic school, I said, “is money worth it? Is this measly 1000$ USD a month worth it? No.  I quit,”  Three days later, after getting my last salary, I disappeared.

There was no future, no visa, no work permit, endless lies, horrific students, bad-mouthing teachers who spoke Thai behind my back to make a mockery of me…..that breaking point was reached.  Once you do it the first time, it makes it a hell of a lot easier.

Do you really think it will improve or is it wishful thinking and an excuse for inaction?  Did I really think my job situation would improve? If you were confident in improvement, would you really be questioning things so? Generally not. This is fear of the unknown disguised as optimism.

Are you better off than you were one year ago, one month ago, or one week ago?”

Probably not.

Nine to five for your working lifetime of 40–50 years is a long-ass time if the rescue doesn’t come. About 500 months of solid work.
How many do you have to go? It’s probably time to cut your losses.

If you are nervous about making the jump or simply putting it off out of fear of the unknown, here is your antidote.  Write and do not edit—aim for volume. Spend a few minutes on each answer.

Tim Ferris’ Rules

1. Define your nightmare, the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you are considering. What doubt, fears, and “what-ifs” pop up as you consider the big changes you can—or need—to make? Envision them in painstaking detail. Would it be the end of your life? What would be the permanent impact, if any, on a scale of 1–10? Are these things really permanent? How likely do you think it is that they would actually happen?”

2. What steps could you take to repair the damage or get things back on the upswing, even if temporarily? Chances are, it’s easier than you imagine. How could you get things back under control?”

3. What are the outcomes or benefits, both temporary and permanent, of more probable scenarios? Now that you’ve defined the nightmare, what are the more probable or definite positive outcomes, whether internal (confidence, self-esteem, etc.) or external? What would the impact of these more-likely outcomes be on a scale of 1–10? How likely is it that you could produce at least a moderately good outcome? Have less intelligent people done this before and pulled it off?

4. If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to get things under financial control? Imagine this scenario and run through questions 1–3 above. If you quit your job to test other options, how could you later get back on the same career track if you absolutely had to?

5. What are you putting off out of fear? Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, that conversation, whatever the action might be—it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do. Define the worst case, accept it, and do it. I’ll repeat something you might consider tattooing on your forehead: What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. As I have heard said, a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear. I got into this habit by attempting to contact celebrities and famous businesspeople for advice.”

 

6. What is it costing you—financially, emotionally, and physically—to postpone action? Don’t only evaluate the potential downside of action. It is equally important to measure the atrocious cost of inaction. If you don’t pursue those things that excite you, where will you be in one year, five years, and ten years? How will you feel having allowed circumstance to impose itself upon you and having allowed ten more years of your finite life to pass doing what you know will not fulfill you? If you telescope out 10 years and know with 100% certainty that it is a path of disappointment and regret, and if we define risk as “the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome,” inaction is the greatest risk of all.

7. What are you waiting for? If you cannot answer this without resorting to the previously rejected concept of good timing, the answer is simple: You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world. Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: action.

My Podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10871359

 

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About thearseniobuckshow

An English teacher, entrepreneur, writer, and speaker living in Thailand. For those people who are looking into becoming entrepreneurs, personal development, food/health, and even students who are looking at taking test preparation courses - this blog and website (soon) will feature all of it!