Conquer the Fear


It’s common to hear people complain that they have no time. Do they have fewer hours in the day than you or me? Nope. It’s a decision. We’ve talked about this before. Now it’s time to talk more about what’s at the root of the problem. No time management tips in the world will help you if you can’t conquer the fear.

“I’m not afraid”

No? I’m not sure that’s true. Fear comes from many forces. It also affects us differently depending on the source.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) doesn’t feel like fear for your safety. FOMO might cause you to feel sad, disappointed, or maybe even mild anxiety. Fear for your safety, well, you probably know that one in your gut.

Fear of being judged might feel like shame.

Fear of saying no might feel like FOMO or it might feel closer to fear for your safety. That depends on your tolerance for confrontation.

Fear of consequences feels like the least common denominator to me. It all boils down to being unsure of what might happen (or not) if we push back against a demand on our time. And uncertainty is nearly always related to one of those fears.

Bottom line?

What can you do about it? First, you can name it. Spend some time sitting with it. Look at a commitment in your calendar you don’t want to keep. What comes up in your gut? What prevents you from saying no?

Second, play out the worst- and best-case scenarios. If you choose the option you want, what is the worst thing that can happen? No, literally. And what’s the best thing that can happen? Now go the other way. If you choose the option you don’t want, what is the worst thing that can happen? How about the best?

Finally, decide. Which option will you choose? I hope you choose to conquer the fear and do what’s best for you.

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