Fear is Good
4 min read
Have you ever been in a situation where you fear something bad may happen? What did that emotion evoke from you? I've made several decisions borne out of fear, and not entirely all of them went bust. Fear is a state of mind triggered most times by external factors. The factors could be cues from your environment, mostly from your interaction with family members, neighbours, business colleagues or even random strangers.
Understandably, fear is a form of emotion that many dismiss as a poor choice to resort to when sound decisions need to be made. For instance, while watching House of Cards, a popular Netflix Series, I heard a character say that
Decisions based on emotions aren’t decisions at all. They’re instincts, which can be of value. The rational and the irrational complement each other. Individually they’re far less powerful.
The emphases in the quote above are not only that they can be of value but also that they’re far less powerful. No doubt, impulsive decision making is bad. But we must also know that not all decisions made out of fear are impulsive (based on instincts). For me especially, I don't usually respond immediately by taking action if I feel fear. I often sit them out, thinking deeper and reflecting on the many results of what that could turn out to be.
Let me paint you a context. As recently as January of 2021, I committed most of my trading funds to acquire a shop space for a new offline venture I conceived. The shop's strategic location for the kind of business I was venturing into made me decide to clear my trading account. But really, what was the stronger motive behind my decision? It was FEAR! Quite frankly, I am not a high volume trader, and the market doesn't guarantee traders a profit. So I thought to myself, I could always trade crypto without any guarantee of a positive outcome, and I can still manage an offline business. I was still a bit more sure of how the bolt and lever works. In Nigerian parlance, we say, "Problem no dey finish", so a constant is that the bills would always be there to pay, but will the funds be available to match the obligations?
After clearing my account, what happened to the market? The singular word I can think of right now is bonkers! I saw the market grow from just about $800 billion market cap to above $2 trillion. In a nutshell, I barely participated in the bull run that saw the whole world gyrating about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. But you know what, that isn't my yardstick of measuring a good decision. My major reason for taking up that shop and paying hugely for it was that I needed to secure my income through an offline venture. If you're someone who understands crypto or even an investment savvy fellow, you'd have easily come across the most popular maxim of financial investment - Only invest absolutely what you can afford to lose. That fear was a strong motivator for me seeking a corresponding offline venture. What more than a good spot could be the first thing to acquire for that?
Although I am yet to inject good enough capital into the offline business, the physical space I secured in that juicy spot is still very much within my control. Had I delayed a few days more from paying for it, another person would have taken it up. I know this for a fact as the realtor showed me proof of people ready to take the space up.
Sometimes we need fear to push us out of our comfort zone and make us act. And what is life without risks? The fact that you're not certain about future events' outcomes should be a good enough reason for you to act quickly sometimes, even if you're not sure what the results will be. Fear should keep you on your toes. It is better to act and fail but learn than sticking your head in the sand and hoping that somehow that very certain problem will pass over you. If you fail because you acted out of fear, then fail fast and move on.
Allow the little ounce of good in fear to keep you proactive always. Take risks, fail fast! May the odds be in your favour.