Fear Set

I’ve started to learn the Dvorak Keyboard. I’m learning it quickly. I need to make time to work on it.

My products have come in from China for Invictus Beard. I was worried about the quality of it. I was worried about how it would get through customs. I was worried the products may get sent back because I forgot to include “Made in China” anywhere on the label. Luckily all my worries were unwarranted. Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” I like that quote because I tend to worry about the future and be anxious.

I think about this quote often. Anytime I think of scenarios that may happen I pause and remind myself that it’s all hypothetical until it happens. That is, if it happens. I’ve been doing the Stress Pack as part of my guided meditation through Headspace the past 13 days. It has helped tremendously. I was feeling stressed before buying the house. Many things were changing. There were also some family matters that were really stressing me out and I began grinding my teeth at night again.

Today, the teacher on Headspace explained how we allow thoughts to take over our mind due to habit. He said when we get angry we don’t focus on the thing that makes us angry. Instead our minds think of other things that make us mad and it begins to snowball. This happens to me often. It used to happen more frequently before I began to meditate. Now, I can sit with the thing that made me feel stressed or angry. I can pause in that space and simply watch the thought. This has a many benefits for me.

I strongly believe everyone should do some sort of meditation every day. In Tools of Titans there is a suggestion to take one mindful breath a day. That’s it. Just one breathe where you follow it and become fully immersed in that moment. I think it’s a great exercise because it grounds me in that moment.

Now that my products are here I’m getting worried again. There are no excuses left. I’ve already spent the money and brought the products in. I have things that need to get done. I will take high quality pictures of the products. Create an Amazon page and begin selling. There are many things that go into the process. I’m procrastinating. I’m afraid of the outcome. Acceptance is the first step.

I’m afraid I may do things wrong and get locked out of Amazon’s seller list. I’m afraid I won’t be able to create an intuitive website. I’m afraid I’ll sink money into marketing and it won’t pay off. I’m afraid I’ll spend weeks, even months, on this and be felt with nothing but a bunch of beard oil in my house and all that money will be lost.

In 4 Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris, there is an exercise called Fear Setting. For nearly a week I’ve had “Fear Setting” on my To-Do list and haven’t done it. What is fear setting? I’m glad you ask.

Fear setting is where you write out the worst-case scenario before making a decision that may have negative implications. Basically, once you write it out you will realize that the worst-case scenario is not nearly as scary as the best-case scenario is rewarding. I did this exercise before I started the online store. That was a few months ago and I think I need to do it again as a reminder so here goes…

The worst-case scenario, if I set up the site and can’t sell anything, is that I’ll spend hours putting together a website. In addition to the few thousand that I’ve already put into it, I’ll sink in a few thousand dollars more for advertising. I will not sell a single beard oil and I’ll have all this merchandise in my house. I will feel like I failed. I will have wasted many hours on learning how to put together a website and putting together Facebook ads.

That’s it. That’s it? Really? Is this why I’ve been procrastinating?

That is not bad at all. I can always recoup that money in one way or another. I hear Uber drivers make decent money. I would have picked up a new skill by learning how to design a website and Facebook ads. I’ll have access to 500 bottles of beard oil and that only means I have Christmas, birthdays, weddings and graduation presents covered for years.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being extremely worrisome, this worst-case scenario is a 1. The worst-case here is easily adjustable.

On the other hand, if things go according to plan is the reward worth it? Well, if I can sell these bottles and begin to establish a brand, I will make some extra income without spending too much time on the business. There are many ways to automate the process and work from anywhere. I can continue to grow the business and offer other products for men. I will continually improve my website and build a client base. The extra income I make from Invictus Beard will grant me some financial freedom. For the reward portion, on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s a 10.

It will be extremely rewarding to make this a success. In fact, now that I think about it, even if I fail miserably, it will be rewarding. At least I can say I tried something. When I first told my friends about my plans, one of them said “Fail, Don’t Quit.” That’s making more sense to me now. I came across another quote I really liked, Dr. Suess said, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” I really like it because if people are going to judge me for trying something and failing then they’re probably not in my circle. Thing is, those people will judge me even if I succeed. Why should I waste my time thinking about people that don’t matter? The people that matter to me in my life are already proud of me for trying. That’s enough for me for the time being.

Most the time the fears we have are only in our own head.

My advice at the end of this is to try fear setting. It doesn’t take much time. Thinking about switching careers? Want to quit and travel for a year? Afraid to ask for a raise? Been meaning to have an intimate discussion with your partner? Fear set. Write out the worst-case scenario and the best-case scenario. Then rate it 1 to 10.

I think we all fear things because it is in our head. We’ve grown in a society where fear is ingrained into our minds. Just as when I get angry my mind races away and thinks about other angry thoughts, fear works the same way. Stop asking yourself “What if I can’t do it” and answer it. Then answer what if you can. Most the time the fears we have are only in our own head. The worst-case scenario is typically not irreversible. You can always pick up where you left off. Fear set. Take a risk. Life’s more fun this way.

I’d love to hear your experience with this when you complete the exercise. Comment or message me to let me know how it goes.

Work towards happiness.





Author: Mehmet Akcagliyan

I am the Master of my Fate. I am the Captain of my Soul.

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