Frozen by Fear

Jun 26, 2019

When someone has experienced significant tragedy or trauma in their life, they oftenare surprised by how long the fear lasts. 

 

C.S. Lewis wrote after he lost his wife how surprised he was to find that grief feels a lot like fear. And fear can literally freeze you. And if that’s the case for you, you may need both a plan and a person.

First, for anyone dealing with loss, trauma or tragedy, my heart goes out to you. Sometimes there is nothing more I can say but, “That must be really hard.” Because it is.

But there comes a time that you must move on and live your life. Moving on doesn’t mean your love for a lost one has decreased or that you are being disloyal to them. It just means that you are refusing to allow tragedy to claim another victim – you.

Let's not let the sadness or injustice of things in your past rob you of the joy that you might experience today or tomorrow. Often the reality is that it isn't really the thing you are afraid of (can you even name the thing?) that is your problem. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said years ago, “the only thing we have to fear is FEAR itself.”

Here are a few thoughts that might help you deal with you fear – financial or otherwise:

1. Find a supportive person to comfort you when you experience fear. We all need that person to whom we can be real, let down our guard and admit our deepest fears. This person serves to give you comfort, companionship and sympathy in your journey.

2. Find an objective person to you understand your fear. This person is very likely not the same person who fills the role of #1. You need someone who can help you identify what is real and what is just a phantom.

3. Collaborate on a plan to overcome your fear. You will likely need person #1 and person #2 to actually pull this off. If you have a financial advisor, consider if that person can help you with role #2.

The plan needs to identify the actions you need to take to move beyond your fear to the place you really want to be. For example, suppose you need to do some basic home repairs to get your home in working order so you can enjoy it. Part of your plan to overcome fear needs to include an analysis of whether you have the money to do this now, or if you need to put it off until later. And if later, exactly when.

The plan, along with your supportive person and your objective person, can help you get there.

When you get there – when you’ve experienced the joy of your plan for overcoming fearhaving worked – I want you to make me a promise. I want you to becomesomeone else’s supportive person. There’s no greater joy than being able to payforward something that’s been done for you. 

See you on the other side of your fear.

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