What if – We made decisions as if fear didn’t exist

Posted on April 8, 2010


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I recently listened to an interview of Maren Kate of escaping the 9 to 5.  The interview was about how Maren built her internet business and her advice to people seeking to go entrepreneur.

One of the things I admire about Maren Kate is the way she leaps into the unknown and then OWNS it.  She says she no longer knows where the boundaries of her comfort zone are because she has stepped outside of them so many times.  Maren acts AS IF she does not fear.  I love reading Maren’s blog because it makes me question conventional wisdom and safe decisions.  It makes me wonder ‘What if?’

One of the hardest things to do in life is to make important decisions based on our VALUES rather than based on FEAR.

VALUES-based decisions:

  • promote personal growth
  • encourage risk-taking
  • feel good in the LONG term
  • recognize that the pie is as big as we make it
  • consider the big picture

FEAR-based decisions:

  • protect what’s mine
  • require a Plan B.  There’s always a Plan B
  • feel good in the short term
  • regard the pie as limited in size
  • consider the immediate and microscopic picture

It’s hard to make values-based decisions.  It’s a big world out there, and most of it is NOT under my control.  Most of the world does NOT put my interests first – so the only one who’s going to make sure I come out ahead is me.  When I am pressed for time, it’s easy to choose the ‘safe’ route.  When I do have time, it’s easy to use research for the ‘best’ option as an excuse to defer taking action – sometimes indefinitely.  When I don’t know what the outcome will be, I’m tempted to stick with what I know – even if what I know is stale, boring, and repetitive.

WHAT IF I made all those decisions – large or small – as if fear didn’t exist?

WHAT IF I assumed the pie was big enough for everyone – would I share – my ideas?  my stuff?  my time?

WHAT IF I assumed I could find a way or make one – regardless of whether I chose the familiar career path or the completely new one?

WHAT IF I assumed that any damage my kids could do – to themselves, to others, to property – would be temporary and reparable – how would that change how I parented and what I let them do?

How about you?  Have you made decisions because of fear – or in spite of fear?  How did it turn out?  Please share in the comments.

thanks, Ami

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