Saturday, June 20, 2009

Acting Emotionally

For the last couple of posts we have been discussing the concept of living in the present.
Our future and our past, our dreams and our experiences are tied together by this “present” moment and the mastering of “here” & “now” is the mastering of one’s destiny.
Pretty much it all boils down to the fact that we can only act in the moment of “now”

Well, it is all fine and dandy, but as some of you have pointed out even after understanding these basic concepts we still have problems applying them in the real life.
We are paralyzed by our emotions and unable to act.
So what is this anxiety, this fear that is stopping us from acting and what can we do about it?

In our quest for action we have two basic fears:
The fear of failure and the fear of success.
First let’s see how we can recognize them.

The fear of failure manifests itself by the inability to start a project.
People that are afraid of failure will act only when the pain of not acting is greater than the pain of failure.
Failure looms big in the beginning but as we progress in our endeavor we reach a critical point where we can see the looming success around the corner.
At this point acting becomes easier and easier as we are more and more convinced of our impending success.

The fear of success manifests itself by the inability to finish a project.
If you are in this group you have no problems starting a project or even multiple projects at the same time.
As success is very far from you in the beginning, your acting is very easy, but as the project advances to the tipping point where success looms around the corner your fear kicks in and you start sabotaging the project.
You will find excuses for not continuing or even stop without any excuse until the project fails.

So what can we do about this?
The very fact that you are aware about your emotional state it will be of great help but even then you might need to outsmart your emotions.
Here is how you can trick yourself in accomplishing a task.
(Remember you are dealing with your emotions so these tactics make no logical sense whatsoever :)

Dealing with the fear of failure:
Start your project with the end - postpone as much as possible the beginning of the project
Let’s say that you want to open a business.
Do not open the business, instead do the other things like finding a distributor or a vendor, secure capital, find a place for your business or the equipment you’ll need.
In other words do as much as possible to reach the tipping point before you actually open the business!
(Remember do not try to make any sense out of this – it is purely emotional :)

Dealing with the fear of success:
Start right at the beginning – postpone the end of your project as much as possible.
Let’s say you start a restaurant business.
Before reaching the tipping point and success is not yet in sight, change the end of your project.
Go for a franchise of your business – take your business nationally.
When you are about to succeed in that, change the ending again – go internationally!
(Remember do not try to make any sense out of this – it is purely emotional :)

Another thing to remember is that your fears might be different for different actions.
You might be afraid of success in your business but at the same time you might be afraid of failure in your relationships – which is what most people are :)
So evaluate each situation separately and come up with the best plan to bypass your emotions.


Anonymous said...

This is what I need to read in order to finish this project of mine. I usually have this fear of failure but then again it's better to try and do nothing at all. Thanks for sharing this

Anonymous said...

We have to con our emotions into overcoming them? That's a rather unique concept. I'll give it a try - although I expect to be super-confused by the end of it.

lookalikejgarcia said...

Great food for thought, from Furry Freak Bro

Talon said...

Well, this gives me something to ponder :)

Buddha said...

@ Charles - Not doing anything to me is a greater failure than attempting something and not succeeding.
In my life – and I am an old fart – I do not regret the stupid things I have done as much as I regret the things I did not do!

@ Aggie – They started first!
I’ve been conned long enough by my emotions.
It’s pay back time :)

@ Lookalike JGarcia – Thank you for stopping by!

@ Talon – Don’t ponder too much :)