Getting over Fear

Confession: I haven’t worked out for the past three days. Nothing, nada, zip. Not only have I not worked out, but I’ve been eating a lot of junk.

I’m at a point in my life where I am facing some unpleasant decisions which will have a big impact on my future. I’ve been in limbo for the past four months – trying to avoid making these decisions until I had ‘more time’ and ‘more data.’

The specifics of the situation don’t matter. What does matter is that a lot of my mental energy is getting used up right now on “what ifs.” I have a pretty strong Type A personality, and “what ifs” have ruled a great deal of my life. “What if X happens, what if Y happens…” and so forth and so forth

I was doing some introspecting today and realized that what this boils down to is that most of my major life decisions have been influenced by fear. I typically go through all of the unpleasant “what ifs” in my head, and pick the least scary option. The safe option.

Now I’m certainly not advocating an abandonment of reasoning and rationing. I’m a person who likes to think of the pros and cons and look at all of my possible courses of action. That’s perfectly fine. But what isn’t fine is when I settle for the safe option because I’m scared of the unknown.

I’m not saying that all of my major life decisions have been bad ones. Not at all. I’m pleased as punch by a lot of things. But when I look back at the handful of decisions I regret, those decisions were some of the most heavily motivated by fear.

I know, I know, there’s a lot of corny motivational sayings floating around Pinterest. But today I saw this Mark Twain quote:

Right then and there I decided that no matter what, I am not going to let fear guide my decision making anymore. I’m not saying that I’m going to make completely foolish, irrational decisions. But I am going to be more conscious of when I’m being rational and when I’m being fearful.

I guess those Pinterest cheesy quotes are good for something after all?

Do you think about “what ifs” a lot? Do you think there is a difference between fearful and rational when it comes to decision-making?

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7 thoughts on “Getting over Fear

  1. As another type A, I’m also really bad at over-thinking decisions and making them too difficult. I often talk myself out of opportunities, and that’s going to come back and bite me in the butt. Life needs to be a little fun and a little risky!

  2. I do tend to overthink and list the what ifs.. But I also took some pretty big risks (immigrating twice anyone?). And they paid off! I always go with the decision that I know will challenge me but also help me grow more šŸ™‚
    And going for a run or a bike ride might help you clear your head and make your decision

  3. Oh, yes… I can relate to overthinking and considering all the worst case “what if” scenarios… good for you for realizing the fear factor, and determining not to let it hold you back. Hope you come to peace with a decision quickly!

  4. I’m not working out for the next two weeks. It’s too much for me with the school holidays and all. Can’t quite manage any time to myself. You’ll be fine taking a few days off! It only matters greatly if you’re a super-model! xx

  5. Pingback: Stand up to your fear of abandonment | Todd's Perspective

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