fear http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3697/all en-US 24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-airplane-cabin-Dollarphotoclub_69162482.jpg" alt="businessman airplane cabin" title="businessman airplane cabin" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling on a plane around the holidays can be pretty stressful, especially if you're not a particular fan of flying as it is. If the bumps on your flight make you anxious &mdash; or worse, sick to your stomach &mdash; then follow a few simple tips that real flyers gave us on how to have a stress-free plane ride and travel experience in general. Try these tips and some <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Airport-Hacks-35723248" helpful="" airport="" a="">, and you may even end up looking forward to your flight!</a>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Airport-Hacks-35723248" helpful="" airport="" a="">RELATED: </a><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></p> <h2>For Anxiety:</h2> <h3>1. Be Prepared</h3> <p>Pack completely the night before so that you can get a good night's sleep without worrying about last-minute details. Get to the airport earlier so you aren't stressed out about time.</p> <h3>2. Know Your Facts</h3> <p>Read plane crash statistics and facts, because, statistically speaking, crashes are extremely rare. Remind yourself that it's safer to fly than to drive, and research <a href="http://qz.com/216999/the-complete-guide-to-getting-over-your-fear-of-air-turbulence/">why you shouldn't be afraid of turbulence</a>.</p> <h3>3. Get Comfortable</h3> <p>Once you board the plane, do your best to get comfortable immediately. Adjust the air conditioning, have a snack or some water, read a book or magazine, take deep breaths, and try to relax.</p> <h3>4. Sleep</h3> <p>Consider taking Dramamine or an antianxiety medicine that may help you sleep. If you're sleeping, you can't be nervous!</p> <h3>5. Fly During the Day</h3> <p>Sometimes flying during the day (when possible) is less stressful because it can lessen the feeling of being closed in, which tends to be worse in the blackness of night.</p> <h3>6. Make Friends</h3> <p>If you are a really nervous flyer, then try striking up a conversation with a stranger and let them know that you are nervous. This can be a good conversation starter and a useful distraction &mdash; especially during takeoff. Even if the plane hits turbulence during the flight, that person can help reassure you.</p> <h3>7. Use Your Imagination</h3> <p>Imagine the plane landing safely on the ground every time you're nervous.</p> <h3>8. Enjoy a Beverage</h3> <p>A preflight cocktail (and if necessary, a midflight cocktail) can be helpful.</p> <h3>9. Expect Issues</h3> <p>Especially when traveling over the holidays, always expect delays. That way, you aren't stressed out, upset, or surprised when they inevitably happen. In fact, when and if your flight takes off on time, it will feel like a pretty big victory.</p> <h3>10. Make a Playlist</h3> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Calming-Travel-Playlist-36216000">Listen to calming music</a> that will help you relax and sleep.</p> <h3>11. Distract Yourself</h3> <p>If takeoffs are what cause you the most anxiety, find a good podcast &mdash; something with a calming voice or something funny &mdash; and turn it up loud enough to drown out surrounding noise (but not loud enough to drive your neighbor nuts!), or play a game on your device that requires all of your attention (preferably with a timer) so that you can't look away and don't even notice the takeoff.</p> <h3>12. Block It All Out</h3> <p>Use noise-canceling headphones to block out noises and distract yourself with books, music, magazines, podcasts, movies, or TV shows.</p> <h3>13. Use Calming Techniques</h3> <p>Wear something around your wrist that you can jangle, pull, or snap, which can distract you just enough to get through the takeoff or turbulence.</p> <h3>14. Rationalize</h3> <p>Think about the fact that all the flight attendants in the plane fly nearly every day, and they are all perfectly fine.</p> <h2>For Motion Sickness:</h2> <h3>15. Ginger Is Key</h3> <p>If you are prone to motion sickness, drink ginger ale or eat ginger chews to soothe your stomach.</p> <h3>16. Eat Mints or Chew Gum</h3> <p>Sometimes the coolness and freshness of mints, mint gum, mint tea, or Tic Tacs can help relieve some nausea. Chewing gum can also help, but avoid sugarfree gum, which can upset your stomach. Cinnamon gum, like Big Red, is a good option.</p> <h3>17. Buy a Motion Sickness Band</h3> <p>A <a href="http://www.rei.com/product/783422/psi-bands-wristbands">motion sickness band</a> uses acupressure to stimulate your body's ability to fight off nausea.</p> <h3>18. Don't Read</h3> <p>Avoid any kind of reading, including any phone applications, when taking off and landing and during periods of turbulence.</p> <h3>19. Drink Water</h3> <p>Make sure to stay hydrated and avoid alcoholic beverages or coffee.</p> <h3>20. Take Dramamine</h3> <p>Try taking Dramamine about an hour before you will be on the plane.</p> <h3>21. Find a Fixed Point</h3> <p>If the takeoff, landing, or plane ride is bumpy, keep your eyes on the horizon so that you're focused on a fixed point.</p> <h3>22. Plan Ahead</h3> <p>For the 12 hours before you'll be traveling, stick to simple, easy-to-digest foods, avoiding lettuce, nuts, and any kind of dairy.</p> <h3>23. Breathe!</h3> <p>Try taking deep breaths, which will help to relax the muscles that tend to contract when you're feeling sick.</p> <h3>24. Bring a Fan</h3> <p>Pack a portable fan! Keeping yourself cool can do wonders for motion sickness.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> From drop-off at the curb to touchdown at your destination, flying is filled with stress inducers. Take the edge off with some simple relaxers. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-2015-Travel-Destinations-US-36256485#photo-36256485">The 10 Places in the US You Absolutely Have to Visit in 2015</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Travel-Instagram-Accounts-36774978#photo-36774978">Feed Your Wanderlust With These 10 Stunning Instagram Accounts</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Best-Things-Buy-Target-35385152">10 Things You Should Buy at Target</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class">5 Cheap Ways to Make Flying Coach Feel Like First Class</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Travel air travel fear flying stress Fri, 13 Feb 2015 10:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1286137 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Over These 5 Scary Things About Investing http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired-stock-trader-505697487-small.jpg" alt="tired stock trader" title="tired stock trader" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was never scared to invest.</p> <p>The moment I had discretionary income, I started investing. I paid no attention to market moves until <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Monday_(1987)">Black Monday, October 19, 1987</a>. At the time, my husband owned stock in his employer and we lost hundreds of dollars in one day. And after that? We kept investing. Though spooked by this major downturn, we persisted and today remain happily invested. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-basics-you-must-know-before-you-start-investing?ref=seealso">6 Basics You Must Know Before You Start Investing</a>)</p> <p>Don't let fear prevent financial success, and take a minute to think about whether you harbor and of these five common (but ultimately counterproductive) fears about investing.</p> <h2>1. You Can Lose Money Quickly</h2> <p>Even if you invest in market-index funds that track the market, you can lose money quickly if the entire market falls in value. Unlike the interest credited to your savings account, gains in the stock market are not linear with steady growth over time. Instead, your investments may decline before growing.</p> <p>No one can consistently predict when the stock market as a whole or individual shares of a company's stock will rise or fall. So, whether you are a beginning investor or a seasoned one, you will experience drops in the value of your investments, often dramatic ones in a short period of time.</p> <p><strong>Fight the fear</strong>: Invest to build wealth over the long term, not to make fast money in the short term. Never invest cash that you need to pay expenses.</p> <h2>2. You Have a Large Position in Your Company's Stock and the Share Price Plunges</h2> <p>One of the scariest investment scenarios is the sudden drop of your employer's stock when shares comprise the majority of your wealth.</p> <p>For example, retirees of Lucent Technologies went from millionaire status to nearly penniless when shares fell to $0.55 in 2002 from a high of $84 in the late 1990s. Similarly, employees who held Enron in their 401(k) plans and ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans) experienced major losses when the company declared bankruptcy.</p> <p><strong>Fight the fear</strong>: Realize that company stock is not inherently bad, just inherently risky as a major component of your wealth. After all, Microsoft and Google employees became wealthy after receiving company stock through <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/technology/12google.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">stock options</a> and profit-sharing programs. Just remember to diversify your holdings by investing 401(k) dollars in market-index or similar funds and making outside investments in other stocks.</p> <h2>3. You Will Invest in Something You Don't Understand</h2> <p>You may have heard that you should never invest in anything you don't understand. Even billionaire <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/2010/10/26/why-you-need-to-invest-in-what-you-know">Warren Buffett refused to invest in tech stocks</a> because he didn't grasp how technology companies made money.</p> <p>But understanding often <em>follows</em> action. So, if you are a beginning investor, you may purchase shares of a mutual fund that tracks the S&amp;P 500 without fully comprehending what you are buying. Later, you may notice that the fund value increases on the days that this index rises and decreases on the days that it falls. Eventually, you grasp the correlation; now you are (finally) putting money in investments you understand.</p> <p><strong>Fight the fear</strong>: Educate yourself about investing before making a move. Then, start by investing small amounts with a trusted brokerage firm until you feel comfortable with the process; pay attention to your investments to gain understanding. Stay away from investments that are portrayed as high return, low risk, complex, and/or available to an exclusive list of people as these are likely to be speculative investments at best or fraudulent schemes at worst.</p> <h2>4. You Will Make Mistakes</h2> <p>No one likes to make mistakes, particularly ones that involve losing money. But if you are an investor, you will misjudge market direction, buy overpriced shares, sell investments when they still have potential to grow, etc. You just will.</p> <p><strong>Fight the fear</strong>: Don't berate yourself if an investment doesn't behave as expected. Note your rationale for making a decision, track your results, pinpoint the sources of mistakes, learn from the experience, and move on. Also, realize that your goal is to build wealth, not perfectly time each transaction. Selling shares at a gain (even if the stock price continues to climb), for example, may be the right action to take, given your financial situation.</p> <h2>5. You Will Brag About an Investment, Which Then Slips</h2> <p>After you master investing basics, you will likely begin to feel more confident as an investor. So, you might start evaluating and then investing in individual stocks or actively-managed funds in addition to market-index funds.</p> <p>On a good day, week, or month, you may make hundreds or thousands of dollars and boast about your achievements to friends. Soon, though, the price of your picks may fall and you feel foolish for bragging. Being discovered as an average investor or a flawed one is scary.</p> <p><strong>Fight the fear</strong>: Realize that you will make mistakes and great stocks will slip, even when you buy shares at an excellent price. Discuss the economy, investment styles, and the performance of publicly-held companies with friends or coworkers. But avoid broadcasting specific investment moves.</p> <p>Do you still think investing is scary? Well, you could be safe and put money in a traditional savings account or certificate of deposit. Sadly, though, annual interest of 1% or less means that the buying power of your <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/05/22/184201335/instead-of-snoozing-in-savings-let-s-put-5-000-to-work">money is unlikely to keep pace with inflation</a>.</p> <p>But if you take risks, you have the opportunity to participate in the growth of the economy, which has historically yielded greater returns than safer investments. Sure, investing mistakes can be haunting. But staying on the investment sidelines and having little wealth when you retire is even scarier.</p> <p><em>How did you overcome your fear of investing? And if you are still afraid, what are you afraid of?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investors-with-better-returns-than-warren-buffett">5 Investors With Better Returns Than Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dumb-401k-mistakes-smart-people-make">5 Dumb 401(k) Mistakes Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-best-books-to-start-investing-today">The 3 Best Books to Start Investing Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exchange-traded-funds-the-low-fee-investment-option-you-dont-know-about">Exchange Traded Funds: The Low-Fee Investment Option You Don&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4000-8000-or-even-453500-in-5-years-a-low-risk-investment-plan">$4,000, $8,000, or Even $453,500 in 5 Years: A Low-Risk Investment Plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment fear investing investment losses Mon, 27 Oct 2014 13:00:06 +0000 Julie Rains 1242975 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways the Ebola Outbreak Could Hurt the Economy — And Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-panic-186181532-small.jpg" alt="panicking businessman" title="panicking businessman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that the Ebola virus probably is not a threat to our health &mdash; but what about our fiscal health? As this deadly global story comes to a boil, it's also taking its toll on our wallets. And while nothing could compare to the deadly effects of the disease, these financial concerns are worth keeping an eye on.</p> <h2>1. There Could Be a Global Financial Collapse</h2> <p>Analysts at Barclays are warning that the continued spread of the deadly Ebola virus beyond the confines of West Africa could have a <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/11148603/Ebola-Could-viruss-spread-cause-financial-market-turmoil.html">&quot;significant&quot; impact on the financial markets</a>. &quot;Ebola's likelihood of spreading to larger, more integrated economies has increased,&quot; Barclays' Marvin Barth told The Telegraph.</p> <p>Already the disease has sparked a sell-off of travel and airline stocks worldwide. &quot;If consumers and businesses retrench by <a href="http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/calculating-the-grim-costs-of-ebola/?_php=true&amp;_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">reducing flights on airplanes</a>, changing vacation plans, or altering business connections in a globally interdependent world, G.D.P. growth rates will fall farther,&quot; wrote David R. Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors. &quot;We do not know how much, at what speed, or for how long.&quot;</p> <p>In terms of its potential to wreak havoc on the markets, experts are comparing Ebola to Asia's outbreak of the airborne SARS virus in 2003. Not only did SARS rattle regional tourism and China's stock exchange, it also instigated a pronounced slump in retail sales.</p> <h2>2. The Price of Chocolate Could Skyrocket</h2> <p>Hold on to your chocolate bars! The <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11145266/What-chocolate-prices-tell-us-about-the-spread-of-Ebola.html">price of cocoa beans spiked</a> more than 10% last month due to fears that Ebola could spread to the Ivory Coast, the world's largest producer of chocolate's main ingredient. Ivory Coast shares a border with Guinea and Liberia, two of the three countries (the third being Sierra Leone) that are most affected by the virus. Not only is this West African region ground zero for Ebola, but it's also home of 70% of the world's cocoa supply. With Halloween just around the corner and the holiday season soon to follow, Nestle's chief executive has said <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/nestle-on-high-alert-over-ebola-1413450717">the company is on &quot;high alert.&quot;</a></p> <h2>3. Airline Stocks Could Take a Plunge</h2> <p><a href="http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/oct/08/ebola-fears-create-entry-point-for-airline-stocks/?businessdiary">Airline stocks are already down</a> about 7% due to fears of a global health crisis. And on the heels of news earlier this month that a medical worker contracted Ebola in Spain, shares in IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, as well as the cruise operator Carnival, dropped nearly 9% in two days, largely due to concerns about the potential for future travel bans. Meanwhile, the World Travel and Tourism Council that represents airlines, hotels, and other travel companies is reporting <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a8439bf4-4eb3-11e4-a1ef-00144feab7de.html">a 30% plunge in early bookings to Africa</a>, where the disease is deeply entrenched. But experts say the outlook for airline companies and their shareholders could likely get much, much worse.</p> <p>&quot;It certainly depends on how serious and how <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-could-hurt-u-s&mdash;economy-171944171.html">widespread the situation becomes</a>,&quot; Michelle Girard, chief economist at RBS, told a reporter for Yahoo! Finance. &quot;Of course, people talk about, 'What if it becomes airborne?' And then you have a scenario where the borders are shut and people are afraid to travel, not just internationally, but perhaps domestically. If there are concerns about&hellip; being trapped on an airplane with the potential for somebody to be spreading the virus. Those are all the things that people are worried about, and you can understand that forward-looking investors are beginning to at least price in. [They] feel the need to price in some probability or some sort of risk of that [happening], albeit small.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Travel Insurance Could Become a Must</h2> <p>Global health and safety events are among the top reasons why nearly half of all jetsetting Americans <a href="http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/allianz-travel-insurance-vacation-confidence-index-shows-summer-vacation-spending-will-1923901.htm">consider purchasing travel insurance</a> for international trips, according to data from Allianz Global Assistance USA. After Sept. 11, for example, there was a 10% bump in spending by Americans on airline travel insurance. But right now only about a third of Americans flying to foreign destinations actually follow through and buy the insurance. Experts say that's likely to change. As the Ebola virus continues on its cross-continental course, infecting numerous persons who either caught the virus or transported it via airplane, it's likely that more Americans will begin to view spending on airline travel insurance as a necessity.</p> <h2>5. The Health Care System Could Be Taken for a Ride</h2> <p>Nobody has yet to calculate the fallout of the Ebola virus on the health care system &mdash; neither here in North America nor abroad. But what's clear is that the money being poured into the fight against the disease (training, testing, treatment, waste disposal) &mdash; not to mention the money lost as hospital beds sit unused in isolation areas &mdash; will certainly affect the industry.</p> <p>&quot;One of the things I fear about Ebola is that it could spread more widely in Africa,&quot; Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told a congressional hearing. &quot;If this were to happen, it could become a threat to our health system and the healthcare we give for a long time to come.&quot;</p> <p><em>How fearful are you about Ebola?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-the-ebola-outbreak-could-hurt-the-economy-and-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-makes-you-the-expert">What Makes You the Expert?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-donate-a-blood-sucking-timeshare">Why You Should Donate a Blood Sucking Timeshare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-choosing-temporary-freedom">On choosing temporary freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bouncing-back-when-theres-no-bounce-left">Bouncing Back When There&#039;s No &quot;Bounce&quot; Left</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gettin-baptized-in-the-watahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-epiphany">The Gettin&#039;-Baptized-in-the-Watah Epiphany</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living disasters and money ebola fear personal finance sickness Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1241738 at http://www.wisebread.com Do You Have Any of These 4 Most Irrational Fears? http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-have-any-of-these-4-most-irrational-fears <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/do-you-have-any-of-these-4-most-irrational-fears" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scared-couple-theater-477884389-small.jpg" alt="scared couple" title="scared couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone's afraid of something &mdash; and rightfully so. Masked murderers, burning candles left unattended overnight, and rabid animals are all perfectly healthy things to fear, since they've been known to cause harm or death. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear?ref=seealso">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a>)</p> <p>But clowns? As far as we can tell, no one has ever been killed or badly injured by a stuffed clown doll. Not even the walking-talking kind found at the circus. Yet <em>coulrophobia</em>, as it's called, is real for many people. It's true: A series of clown sightings in an English town a year ago <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0919/Clown-terrorizes-town-Why-are-clowns-scary">set off widespread panic and heavy police involvement</a>. This incident alone speaks volumes about how widespread clown phobia really is.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top four real &mdash; yet completely irrational fears &mdash; that plague even the most level-headed among us.</p> <h2>1. Clowns</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="/files/fruganomics/u5123/scary-clown-185895257-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Clowns are supposed to make us laugh. But for many people, just the sight of one of these red-nosed tricksters conjures up the heebie-jeebies &mdash; if not catapulting them into all-out panic mode.</p> <p>While there are no statistics on just how many people suffer from an irrational fear of clowns, studies show it's probably more common than we think. British researchers found that <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/854f6609-bea7-52b6-d8b5f46b7618bf07/">wall-hung pictures of clowns in doctor's offices evoked negative feelings</a> ranging from mild dislike to intense hatred in all of the 255 children between the ages of 4 and 16 who were questioned about them.</p> <p>&quot;We found that clowns are universally disliked by children,&quot; said researcher Penny Curtis. &quot;Some found the clown images to be quite frightening.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Spiders</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="/files/fruganomics/u5123/spider-78744168-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Spiders have a way of sneaking up on us &mdash; often we don't notice them 'til they're far too close for comfort. Plus, the webs they weave are creepy. And they've got a lot of legs. These are the major reasons why more than 9 million Americans &mdash; or 3.5% of adults &mdash; are afraid of them.</p> <p>Okay, you probably could have figured that out on your own. But swallow this. Even many <em>entomologists</em> &mdash; the people who study spiders and insects for a living &mdash; experience <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/esoa-aew091113.php">a feeling of panic</a> when in close quarters with these eight-legged creatures. Sort of like an air traffic controller who's afraid of planes. Rather silly, don't you think? Especially when considering that the U.S. has only two spider types &mdash; black widows and brown recluses &mdash; that can be <a href="http://www.explorit.org/science/spider.html">harmful to humans</a>. Just a dozen of the <em>40,000</em> spider species worldwide are venomous. In fact, most spiders aren't even capable of piercing the skin.</p> <p>&quot;I've had 100 recluse spiders running up my arm, and I've never been bitten by one,&quot; retired arachnologist Rick Vetter told LiveScience.</p> <p><em>Arachnapobiacs</em> can typically trace their extreme fear of spiders to childhood, research shows. Yet unlike toddlers who live in fear of the the Bogey Man, arachnophobiacs haven't outgrown that feeling of dread.</p> <h2>3. Failure</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="/files/fruganomics/u5123/failure-frustration-100803465-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>The funny thing about failure is this: The more we dodge opportunities because we fear it, the less likely we are to succeed. Fear of failure makes us stagnant. <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2013/april-13/why-wait-the-science-behind-procrastination.html">It breeds procrastination</a>. Indeed, it is fear of failure that makes us fail because it greatly reduces our chances at success.</p> <p>If you're having misgivings about any of this, a famous line from Thomas Edison should squash all doubts: &quot;I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.&quot;</p> <p>Afterall, this is the man who invented the lightbulb &mdash; apparently on attempt number 10,001.</p> <h2>4. The Dark</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="/files/fruganomics/u5123/girl-dark-fear-477981931-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Walk into a windowless room. Now turn out the lights. Nothing has changed, save for your ability to see. And maybe something else: Do you feel something? A tremor of fear, perhaps?</p> <p>Studies show that <a href="http://www.indiana.edu/~oso/evolution/planning.htm">fear of darkness is actually fear of the unknown</a>. It's one of the reasons many of us dread spiders &mdash; the creepy crawlies have a way of sneaking up on us. It's startling at best. But for someone with a spider phobia, it's an all-out terror.</p> <p>Fear of the dark is quite similar. Many of us fear what we can't see, or what we can see only when it's already upon us. Humans are highly visual people. We depend on our sense of sight more than any of the other senses. And when it's impaired or eliminated, we tend to freak out.</p> <p><em>What are you afraid of that you know you probably shouldn't be? Please share in comments (where it's well-lit, there are no spiders nor clowns, and failure is not an option).</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-have-any-of-these-4-most-irrational-fears">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips fear fears frightened irrational fears Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1221086 at http://www.wisebread.com You're Blocking Your Own Success — Here's How to Stop http://www.wisebread.com/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/climb-4270162-small.jpg" alt="man" title="man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Much has been written about the concept of success&hellip; <em>oodles</em>, in fact, all claiming to deliver the proverbial key that will help you get from here to there.</p> <p>Proper planning is apparently crucial for example, as is unyielding determination. Setting goals that are measurable is also said to be important, as it allows you to monitor your progress and celebrate your milestones. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-your-weaknesses-and-build-on-your-strengths-to-find-success?ref=seealso">Build on Your Strengths to Succeed</a>)</p> <p>And all of this is good, sound advice; so good, in fact, that I've given it myself on more than one occasion. But sometimes, even the best laid plans and the most dedicated dispositions have trouble standing up to the obstacles we ourselves create.</p> <p>You heard me&hellip; sometimes, what keeps you from success is <em>you</em> &mdash; your beliefs, your fears, your inability to &quot;go with the flow.&quot;</p> <p>So, here's how to stop standing in your own way.</p> <h2>Let Go of Expectations</h2> <p>When we decided we wanted to move out of the city, we spent months looking for just the right house. The one we wanted &mdash; <em>the one we thought was perfect</em> &mdash; sat on three acres just twenty minutes outside of town.</p> <p>We submitted an offer, the seller accepted, and we thought we had found our new home.</p> <p>The Universe it seems didn't agree, because we encountered one obstacle after another. The roof would have to be replaced, the septic hadn't been properly installed, and, if you can believe it, our refrigerator was too big for the allotted space in the kitchen.</p> <p>And that was just the tip of the iceberg. Physical repairs aside, our mortgage company suddenly got cold feet. They wanted more inspections. They didn't like the zoning. Our previously approved application now needed more employment history and bank statements.</p> <p>We pushed and pushed to make the deal work but for every problem we solved, two more popped up in its place until we finally had to admit defeat. It was, I believed at the time, one of my biggest disappointments, <em>ever</em>.</p> <p>Until the next day, that is, when we found the house we're living in now.</p> <p>The roof and plumbing were all good, our refrigerator fit just fine, and we even had more land. Interestingly, there were no obstacles to buying this house, no delays, no roadblocks to our success. We submitted an offer and closed within 30 days.</p> <p>And I've been &quot;home&quot; ever since.</p> <p>The point is, we spend quite a bit of time deciding what we want, right down to the last detail. But sometimes, we need to let all those requirements go. Having such a rigid definition of success means that we're attached to a specific outcome. And if there's one constant in the Universe, it's that life is full of surprises. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/defining-what-financial-success-means-to-you?ref=seealso">What Financial Success Means to You</a>)</p> <p>So, while you're working diligently toward a particular goal by following your detailed plan of action, you risk missing a whole host of other opportunities that might actually be better than what you had in mind.</p> <p>Does this mean that you can't dream of a bigger salary or a flashy, red car or that perfect house in the country?</p> <p>Absolutely not&hellip; but don't be so quick to dismiss it as a failure when things don't go as planned. Instead, take a step back and get a more objective point of view. You might find something new and wonderful waiting around the corner.</p> <h2>Let Go of Entitlement</h2> <p>And while we're talking about things we want, let's go one step further and talk about the things we're owed. Why? Because we're preoccupied with those things and it's keeping us from becoming all that we can be.</p> <p>We went to college, therefore we should have a job. We worked hard, therefore we should get a raise. We tried our best, therefore our best should be good enough to get whatever it is we covet.</p> <p>But sometimes, it isn't. We don't always win, and we won't always get what we want. The sooner we can come to grips with that fact, the sooner we can start to move forward.</p> <p>Entitlement breeds anger. It fosters jealousy, contempt, and distrust. When we feel entitled, we also generally feel betrayed because we didn't get what was somehow rightfully ours. <em>We got screwed</em>&hellip; and someone, somewhere is to blame.</p> <p>The result is the world as we see it now: people obsessed with an endless game of &quot;mine&quot; and paranoid about who might be plotting to usurp them. We'll quickly join forces with others we believe share our desire to protect those entitlements, but only insofar as their right to something doesn't interfere with our own.</p> <p>In fact, if it comes down to a question of whose entitlement takes precedence, you can bet that the other guy is going to lose, and we become so consumed by what <em>should be ours</em>, that we lose sight of what <em>could be ours</em>.</p> <p>Bottom line: You'll never have what you want if your life is built around what you don't.</p> <h2>Let Go of the Need for Approval</h2> <p>When I left high school, I did so with the belief that I needed to go out and find a job that would pay well and offer me opportunities for advancement.</p> <p>I had this belief because that's what my mom did and that's what my counselors told me to do, and according to all my well-meaning relatives ready to offer advice, <em>that's what I was supposed to do</em>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/success-secrets-you-should-have-learned-in-high-school-but-didnt?ref=seealso">Success Secrets You Should&rsquo;ve Learned in High School</a>)</p> <p>And back then, I was all about gaining the approval of others.</p> <p>As a result, I went into respectable fields like insurance and banking. I wore power suits every day, so others would take me seriously, and I had myself convinced that I'd find the happiness I was looking for once I had climbed that corporate ladder.</p> <p>The funny thing is, my happiness wasn't on that ladder. I'm much happier now that I've permanently thrown away the pantyhose and started following a path that's more <em>me</em>, instead of doing what everyone else said I should do.</p> <p>And you should try doing the same.</p> <p>You have a choice. You've always had a choice. It's OK <em>not</em> to fit in. It's OK to follow your own path and see where it leads rather than arranging your life to fit someone else's concept of success.</p> <p>Figure that out, and you'll find the adventure you're looking for. Figure that out, and you'll find happiness.</p> <h2>Let Go of the Past</h2> <p>Author Steve Maraboli once wrote, &quot;Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny,&quot; and yet, as true as that is, letting go of the past is often one of the hardest things to do.</p> <p>As a result, we come with a lot of baggage. All those skeletons in our closet, all those preconceived beliefs about how the world works and what we can expect from the future. That's the baggage we've accumulated over the years, and we're determined to carry it around with us, no matter how much it weighs us down.</p> <p>The past holds all of our regrets, the things we didn't do and wish we had, the things we did do and wish we hadn't. It reminds us of our limitations, our shortcomings, and all the opportunities that we allowed to pass us by.</p> <p>Of course, clinging to this pool of disappointments only serves to limit us further, by reinforcing the idea that we &quot;can't&quot; do something or that we're doomed to &quot;bad luck,&quot; but we tote it around anyway because somewhere deep down inside, we're hoping to one day atone for those sins and perhaps even get a do-over. Eventually, however, we begin to build our reality around all of that baggage and it becomes our self-fulfilling prophecy. We can't because we believe we can't, and we believe we can't because we never have.</p> <p>So, break the cycle.</p> <p>Start by reminding yourself that the past does not define you or your future. You get to choose how you want to apply those lessons from the past to your current life and move on.</p> <p>My favorite mantra &mdash; <em>it is what it is</em> &mdash; works perfectly here. You can't change what happened, but you can decide what you take from the experience and more importantly, how you want to go forward. Getting to this place of acceptance allows you to weigh the pros and cons, determine your best course of action, and get on with your life. That alone will make you feel loads better.</p> <p>Perhaps that's the real mark of winning: acceptance. Taking the bad with the good, the happy as well as the sad and accepting it for what it is &mdash; <em>life</em>. It isn't perfect and it's not always easy. But it's yours.</p> <p>And you can choose to make it whatever you want it to be.</p> <h2>Let Go of Fear</h2> <p>Much of my life as a freelance writer is spent creating copy for other people. I write blogs and ebooks, sales pages and emails, web copy, marketing copy, and everything else in between. I've created entire courses for my clients &mdash; from scratch &mdash; and then marketed them with great success, making my clients a nice chunk of change in the process.</p> <p>You'd think then, wouldn't you, that I could do the same for me.</p> <p>But funny story&hellip; when I try to create my own products and services, all my creative juices just magically disappear. Oh, I have tons of ideas, complete with outlines and marketing plans, but they sit in my office, incomplete and collecting dust.</p> <p>And as much as I want to see them come to life, I have this sinking feeling that's where they'll stay.</p> <p>Why don't I finish one of those babies and retire as a self-made entrepreneur? Simple. I'm afraid.</p> <p>When I'm writing for someone else, when I'm brainstorming and marketing and analyzing, I have all the confidence in the world. I know my stuff, and I know that I know it.</p> <p>But when I try to branch out on my own, something strange happens. That unwavering confidence fades and is replaced with a whole host of nagging little voices telling me to revise, rethink, and regroup.</p> <p>I'm afraid of failing &mdash; and I'm afraid of succeeding. I'm afraid that people won't like what I write or someone will prove my idea wrong or, I don't know, that I'll make too much money and I won't know how to handle the taxes.</p> <p>Crazy, right?</p> <p>Which is why we need to let it go. Fear serves no purpose. It pins us down, it holds us back, but not because there's danger nearby. That kind of fear at least, would be useful, forcing us to proceed with caution lest we fall prey to something unfortunate or unsavory. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear?ref=seealso">Techniques to Conquer Any Fear</a>)</p> <p>But this kind of fear is different. This is the fear that keeps you from asking for a promotion. It stops you from speaking your mind, standing up against injustice, and saying hello to that cute guy or girl that lives down the hall.</p> <p>This kind of fear doesn't keep you safe. No, this kind of fear causes you to act irrationally, miss opportunities, and settle for something less than the life you want to live.</p> <p>This fear would have you believe that you don't deserve success, that you're not good enough, smart enough, strong enough to win, and that you'll never be anything more than you are now.</p> <p>But don't you believe it. You do, you are, and you will.</p> <h2>Let Go of Negative Thinking</h2> <p>Now, despite all that fear I'm lugging around, I'm also an eternal optimist, and it is that trait that allows me to keep trying to create that first million-dollar idea.</p> <p>Yes, I'm well aware that my fear may yet win out, and I might never achieve the goals that I've set. The minute I stop believing is the minute those possibilities disappear.</p> <p>In other words, what you think &mdash; <em>how you think</em> &mdash; has much to do with your success.</p> <p>Between feeling afraid of what might happen and feeling angry about what should have happened but didn't, there's a lot of negative thinking floating around out there, and it's quite likely that it's keeping you from where you want to go.</p> <p>In his book, &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401923127/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1401923127&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">The Biology of Belief</a>,&quot; cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton writes at length about the profound effects that thought has on our physical being. According to Dr. Lipton, it is not DNA that controls our body; instead, our DNA is controlled by signals <em>outside the cell</em>, including the energy that emanates from our thoughts.</p> <p>&quot;There is no doubt that human beings have a great capacity for sticking to false beliefs with a great passion and tenacity,&quot; he writes. And if that passion for false beliefs can affect our DNA at a cellular level, then what do you suppose it can do to your ability to succeed?</p> <p>So, shake the voice that says &quot;you can't&quot; and prove it wrong. You may not always get what you want. You might stumble, fall and fail more often than not, but you can always try again.</p> <p>And again. And again. Because giving up is worse than facing all your fears.</p> <p><em>Now, it's your turn to fess up. What's holding you back? What do you need to let go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-blocking-your-own-success-heres-how-to-stop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprisingly-simple-ways-to-motivate-yourself">6 Surprisingly Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development fear motivation optimism productivity Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:36:17 +0000 Kate Luther 1135854 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fear-4588206-small.jpg" alt="fear" title="fear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Babe Ruth once said, &quot;It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.&quot; To achieve our dreams, we have to be committed and determined. The twin fears of failure and rejection keep many people from pursuing what they want &mdash; dream careers, loving relationships, passion projects, and even moving to a new city. Fear is a powerful deterrent, although we can also turn it into an ally and motivator. Fear is just energy; it can either hold us back or propel us forward. Below are six ways to make it work for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you?ref=seealso">How to Do Things That Scare You</a>)</p> <h2>1. Take Small, Low-Risk Steps</h2> <p>Sometimes a big change can feel like an overwhelming risk. We run what-if scenarios over and over in our minds. Try breaking down your big goal into as many small pieces as possible. For example, let's assume you dream about making a move to a city far from where you live now, and you don't know anyone there. Some small steps might be to get a guidebook about the city, read local blogs authored by people who live there, connect with friends of friends who live there to get their perspective, and take a long weekend trip to visit. These small steps will give you information and experience, build excitement about the possibility of making the move, and reduce the risk you feel about taking such a big step.</p> <h2>2. Get Inspiration From Others</h2> <p>One of the best ways to reduce fear is to hear the stories of others who have done what you want to do, particularly if they went through rejection and challenging times to make it. Seek out books, inspirational blog posts and news articles, and people in your network who have done things you want to do. Learn from their experiences, and if possible, connect directly to find out how they kept up their courage while pursuing their dreams despite rejection. When you see someone who's made his or her dreams come true, it's easier to imagine yourself in that same position. Those inspirational stories will also keep you motivated and strong if your plans don't unfold exactly the way you want. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-erased-70000-of-debt-and-became-an-eventual-millionaire?ref=seealso">How I Erased $70,000 of Debt</a>)</p> <h2>3. Become Informed</h2> <p>Knowledge is power. It's also a surefire way to fight fear. Many times what we don't know is what scares us. If you're thinking about a new career path, take a beginner's class related to your dream job. Volunteer or get an internship with someone who can show you the ropes. Go to networking and other industry-related events where you can meet people who share your passion.</p> <p>For example, I started my career in theater, although most of my work was on the business and production side. When I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing an original full-length play, I connected with a dear friend of mine who is a theater professor and told him my idea. That was a frightening admission for me; the goal felt so big and I had never tried to write a play before. My friend coached me through the process and suggested playwrights that I should read to see how they structured their plays. I also did a lot of research on correct formatting, plot and character development, and the process of getting a play produced from scratch. Once my play was written, I then did another batch of research to discover what companies and contests I should approach to get my work read and possibly accepted for production. All of this research and information really helped me put aside my fear and accomplish this personal and professional goal.</p> <h2>4. Practice Rejection</h2> <p>Just like fear of the unknown, fear of rejection is scariest the first couple of times it happens. At this point, I've been rejected and disappointed so many times that it's honestly no big deal to me anymore. Over the years, I've submitted for many writing and consulting opportunities that never worked out. Many times I never even heard if my submission was received and reviewed. I see all of these rejections as part of the path to achieving my dreams. Just as we can practice our skills to improve them, we can also practice rejection. Imagine the worst-case scenario. What would you do if you tried something and it didn't work out the way you wanted? Sit with those emotions for a few minutes. Then, take a deep breath and imagine yourself moving on. Rejection may set you back, but it doesn't have to break you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough?ref=seealso">Staying Motivated When the Going Gets Tough</a>)</p> <h2>5. Create Your Success</h2> <p>We can create our own success rather than waiting for others to provide us with opportunities to be successful. This is especially true for writers and content creators. Traditional media used to own communication channels. Now with blogs, social media, and self-publishing, all of us are mini-media companies. We can quickly, easily, and cheaply get our writing, videos, and creative work in front of others and immediately get feedback. That feedback will teach us something and make us better if we give ourselves the chance to try. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-your-weaknesses-and-build-on-your-strengths-to-find-success?ref=seealso">Build on Your Strengths to Find Success</a>)</p> <h2>6. Give Your Disappointment Somewhere to Go</h2> <p>The worst part of rejection is the fear of how we'll feel if it happens. Rather than worrying about that, make a commitment about what you'll do if rejection comes your way. Have an outlet to help you get rid of your disappointment. This could be exercise or a support network of friends and family. When I was first starting out as a writer, I faced a lot of rejection. I decided that every time I got rejected, I would do something nice for someone. That could be sending a note to a friend I hadn't spoken to in a while to say I was thinking of him or her or taking the extra time to smile and ask the cashier at my local drugstore how their day is going. This way the rejection was transformed into a positive action and it made me feel good to do these nice things for people. I also would remind myself that getting a rejection put me one step closer to finding the right opportunity.</p> <p>Rejection, failure, and disappointment are natural parts of life. As the great Dolly Parton said, &quot;If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.&quot; Use these tips to manage your fear and then go get exactly the life you want.</p> <p><em>How do you deal with fear of rejection? Don't be afraid, share your experience in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-little-ways-to-feel-more-confident">17 Little Ways to Feel More Confident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/confident-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Confident People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want">How to Be Fearless and Do What You Want</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development confidence fear rejection Mon, 17 Mar 2014 10:24:46 +0000 Christa Avampato 1130642 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/obstacle-184236091.jpg" alt="obstacle" title="obstacle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>John Wayne, an American icon of fearlessness, famously said, &quot;Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.&quot; We're all afraid of something. What defines us is not that fear, but how we rise above it. Below are effective methods I've used to conquer my many fears and live a rich, fulfilling life in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you?ref=seealso">How to Do Things That Scare You</a>)</p> <h2>1. Breathe</h2> <p>When we're afraid of something, we hold our breath. It's a very natural reaction that signals to the body to brace itself for some kind of danger. If we can override that reaction and keep the breath flowing, we'll find our stress response (also known as &quot;fight or flight&quot;) drops, and we're able to think clearly and perform to the best of our abilities.</p> <h2>2. Remember What You've Already Been Through</h2> <p>Everyone I know has faced some kind of hardship and difficulty. In times when we feel afraid, it's important to remember that we've been afraid before, and we lived to tell the tale. Those old crises didn't kill us. They made us stronger and more resilient. Best of all, while the fear eventually subsides, the strength and resilience we cultivate when we overcome fears stay with us for our entire lives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/forget-your-weaknesses-and-build-on-your-strengths-to-find-success?ref=seealso">Build on Your Strengths to Find Success</a>)</p> <h2>3. Keep a Journal</h2> <p>To aid my memory of past fears and how I conquered them, I keep a regular journal in addition to my daily blog. Every day I record my roses and thorns. I write down what went right in my day and what didn't go right. Then I think about how these events will inform my day tomorrow. Many times, I find myself writing about my fears and worries. Having this record I can flip through helps me realize I've been here before, I'll be here again, and I'll always find a way to be okay.</p> <h2>4. Build Your Support Network</h2> <p>Nothing helps us conquer fear like a cheering squad. Be a good friend and rally around others when they're afraid. That positivity will help you build strong bonds to others who can support you when you need them and it can do wonders to help you bolster your own sense of fortitude. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h2>5. Fake It 'Til You Make It</h2> <p>When I'm most afraid, I tell myself the exact opposite message. I say to myself, &quot;I am strong, tough, and capable, and I can get through this.&quot; Even if I don't believe these things in the moment, actively saying them to myself begins to change my mind. Once I change my mind, I can change anything.</p> <h2>6. Keep an Inspirational Quotes Folder</h2> <p>I'm a sucker for inspirational quotes. Pinterest has made it easier than ever for me to keep track of all of my favorites. I have a board titled &quot;<a href="http://www.pinterest.com/christanyc/inspirational-words/">Inspirational Words</a>.&quot; When I'm afraid, lost, and uncertain, I open it up and read a few of the pins to get my mojo pumping.</p> <h2>7. Make Home Your Haven</h2> <p>It's natural to seek refuge when we're afraid. My (very small) apartment is comfortable and has things that make me happy. It's a retreat for my mind, body, and soul and a constant source of calm that serves me well when I'm frazzled and scared. Find a space, however small, in your home that helps you repair and restore during times of trouble. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-happiness-habits-7-ways-to-feel-better-now?ref=seealso">Happiness Habits to Feel Better Now</a>)</p> <h2>8. Knowledge Is Power</h2> <p>Uncertainty is frightening. When I'm faced with a new situation that scares me, I do everything possible to get informed and stay that way.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px;">No one in my family is a fan of the water, and&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">I never learned to swim as a child. &nbsp;At the ripe old age of 30, I registered for adult swimming classes. Though I'm still a bit nervous in deep open water, in a pool or shallow beach area I enjoy my time in the water after three decades of being afraid.</span></p> <h2>9. Break It Down</h2> <p>Many times just being overwhelmed by the enormity of a task can frighten us. When I was in college, one of my roommates gave me a one-inch picture frame. It still sits on my desk today and it reminds to take things one step at a time. My ability to break a large task down into many small manageable tasks has helped me accomplish more than I ever thought possible.</p> <p>Fear is a natural human response. It's meant to keep us safe. We all have fears, but fears don't have to have us, nor stop us from living the lives we want to live.</p> <p><em>How have you conquered your biggest fears? Don't be shy &mdash; share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-little-ways-to-feel-more-confident">17 Little Ways to Feel More Confident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/confident-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Confident People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want">How to Be Fearless and Do What You Want</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development confidence courage fear overcoming fear Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:48:42 +0000 Christa Avampato 1130237 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Be Fearless and Do What You Want http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-5028294-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="210" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before I started freelancing full time, I worked a regular job in a regular office. It wasn't a bad job as jobs go, but it definitely wasn't the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life.</p> <p>I had dreams of being a writer and had even enjoyed some success moonlighting as a freelance copywriter part-time. But doing it part-time was easy. I still had the security and steady paycheck that my regular job offered and if a writing job fell through or someone decided not to pay, it was no big deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario" target="_blank">How to Get a Life: Consider the Worst Case Scenario</a>)</p> <p>The problem was, I didn't want that regular job anymore. I wanted to write full-time, and no matter how hard I tried to ignore that fact, the reality was seriously weighing me down. I needed to make a choice. And it scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, I had friends and family who convinced me to just close my eyes and take the leap, and I'm now so glad that I did.</p> <p>But it also made me realize just how much &quot;life&quot; I had been missing because I was too afraid to let go of my safety net. Being fearless is having the confidence to believe that you can really succeed.</p> <p>Of course, just telling you to be fearless is easy &mdash; it's the actual doing that poses the challenge. Here's how to do it.</p> <h2>Take Baby Steps</h2> <p>Becoming fearless is like adopting any other trait or skill &mdash; it takes practice. And the more you succeed, the easier being fearless will become.</p> <p>Use this logic to your advantage by taking small steps. That is, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-there-the-power-of-vulnerability" target="_blank">exercise your fearless muscle</a> in small ways that push the envelope just a little, but not too much.</p> <p>If speaking in front of large groups is your weakness, for example, then make it a point to offer a suggestion at your next staff meeting or volunteer to speak at your kid's school on career day. It's not a huge move, but it does force you to step ever so slightly outside your comfort zone, and it gives you a solid success that you can build upon.</p> <h2>Exercise</h2> <p>Yes, really&nbsp;&mdash; exercise and stay fit. It's much easier to summon up some boldness when you feel strong and capable. Not so easy, on the other hand, when your body is sluggish or weak.</p> <p>As within, so without.</p> <p>Start (subject to your doctor's consent, of course) with 10 minutes of yoga in the morning or take a walk in the evening before you call it a day. Start a regimen of push-ups or sit-ups, and then relish the definition that develops in your abs and your arms.</p> <p>Encourage yourself to move faster, jump higher, and stretch farther, and give yourself major props for how much more fit you've become.</p> <p>And then use that strength to fuel your fearlessness.</p> <h2>Dress the Part</h2> <p>There is a reason that the experts tell you to wear a &quot;power suit&quot; or a red tie to an important meeting&nbsp;&mdash; certain clothing conveys success and power, to you as well as to those around you.</p> <p>Now, that doesn't mean that you always need to dress to the nines to find your fearless self. It does suggest that you pay a little more attention to the general state of your wardrobe. It's much easier to speak your mind, stand your ground, and charge forward if you're not tugging at your sweat pants or looking down at your scuffed shoes.</p> <p>Ironically, the more timid we feel, the more timid we tend to dress, if for no other reason than to ensure we don't draw any unnecessary attention. But being fearless means you don't mind being &quot;seen&quot; and that's a much easier pill to swallow if you're feeling good about the way you look.</p> <p>For me, it's a pair of black, strapless heels that make me feel invincible. They're comfortable, they're sexy, and I even got them on sale. I like them so much, in fact, that I have actually bought clothes for the sole purpose of showing off those shoes.</p> <p>Your &quot;power pieces&quot; might be something totally different, but the point is to have them and wear them often. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, as the saying goes. In this case, dress for the bold and fearless person you want to become.</p> <h2>Rehearse</h2> <p>One of the things I love about writing is that I get to think about what I want to say before I actually say it, allowing me the opportunity to convey my thoughts in the most powerful and polished way.</p> <p>Life, of course, doesn't always provide us with prep time, so we're frequently forced to think on our feet and in some cases, to do so under emotional stress.</p> <p>But just because you don't have all the details doesn't mean you can't do a little future casting and play out the possibilities.</p> <p>This concept of conscious planning is the reason that schools host regular fire drills and that self-defense courses coach you to &quot;think&quot; about what you'd do if you were attacked. The more prepared you are for the experience, the more likely you are to get through it.</p> <p>And you can do the same thing whenever you know you'll need a little extra fearlessness in advance.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-best-interview-advice" target="_blank">Walk yourself through the situation</a> and plan out a general response for each possibility. If it's a conversation you need to have, play it out in your head. Not just what you'll say, but also how he/she/they might react when you do. Imagine yourself facing the most likely scenarios and decide on the best way to deal with each of them.</p> <p>What you'll find is that if and when the situation does manifest, you'll feel much more prepared to face it. You'll know what to say and what to do to handle it with the grace and poise of your most fearless self.</p> <h2>Pretend</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ziglar.com/">Zig Ziglar</a> used to say that it was &quot;easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting,&quot; and that certainly applies here.</p> <p>Give yourself time to over think a situation, and you'll likely &quot;think&quot; yourself right out of action, finding an abundance of reasons that you &quot;can't&quot; or &quot;shouldn't&quot; do whatever it is you want to do. It's not the right time, you don't have enough money, you're not experienced enough, or you don't have the credentials or support to succeed.</p> <p>So, pretend that you do.</p> <p>If all else fails and you're just not feeling it, fake it. Pretend that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-thrive-in-uncertainty" target="_blank">you know exactly how to proceed</a> and have all the confidence in the world. Imagine that you can't fail and then decide how you'd behave if that were really true. What would you do? What would you say? What would be your next move if fearless was your middle name?</p> <p><em>Are you fearless? Have you always been fearless or did you push yourself to become fearless? Don't be shy, tell us all about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead">10 Ways Even Shy People Can Fake Confidence and Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to be Happy About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development confidence fear overcoming challenges Tue, 09 Jul 2013 09:36:47 +0000 Kate Luther 980305 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Do Things That Scare You http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4267311036_c82a4f1874_z.jpg" alt="woman biting nails" title="woman biting nails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are lots of famous quotes on the topic of facing your fears.</p> <p>Here's a good one. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, &quot;You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face&hellip; The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it... You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.&quot;</p> <p>Nice sentiment, for sure, but that's almost always easier said than done.</p> <p>So, then, how does one muster the courage to step out of their comfort zone to do the things that scare them?</p> <p>Instead of spitting out my sage advice (which you may not want to follow anyway because I'm deathly afraid of a lot of things), I've asked a few experts what they suggest when it comes to conquering fears. Here's what they had to say. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-do-things-youre-bad-at">Why&nbsp;You Should Do Things You're Bad At</a>)</p> <h2>Enlist Support</h2> <p>It always helps to have a friend to lean on when you're faced with something frightening. When I do something scary &mdash; like fly on an airplane &mdash; I prefer to have a companion traveler. They provide a hand to squeeze when the plane hits a rough patch of air, and it makes me feel better that if the jet goes down, at least I won't die alone.</p> <p>Although much less selfish than that personal assessment of my particular fear, Pheng Taing, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.facebook.com/ShouldntRead">author of &quot;The Book You Shouldn't Have Read,&quot;</a> agrees that having support when facing a fear is definitely helpful.</p> <p>&quot;The best advice on how to do things that scares you is to do it with someone who has already done it,&quot; she says. &quot;This way you can get your feet wet, see that it's not scary and know that you have someone there for support. Once you start and keep doing it, you won't be afraid of it anymore.&quot;</p> <p>Personally, while my travel buddy doesn't ease my anxiety about plummeting to the ground and crashing in a ball of fire, it certainly does feel better to have someone with me than when I fly alone. Lucky them.</p> <h2>Assess the Risk</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.sparksofattraction.com/">Social and dating coach Nick Sparks</a> says that one key to overcoming a fear is to assess the potential danger. Will facing this fear cause you harm? Is it illegal? Answering those initial questions (and deciding that the answers are no, hopefully!) can help ease your tension.</p> <p>&quot;If you look at others who have done this same activity,&quot; Sparks says, &quot;you can get an idea of how much real risk you're taking versus how much perceived risk you've imagined. This lets you start to distinguish between legitimate fears and illegitimate fears, respectively.&quot;</p> <h2>Start Small</h2> <p>Another one of Sparks' tips is to ease into facing your fear by leading up to it with less daunting tasks.</p> <p>For example, he says,</p> <blockquote><p>I work with a lot of individuals who are terrified of starting conversations with strangers. One exercise I use as a warm-up exercise is for them to speak loudly enough to passersby on the street in order to get acknowledgement, and then keep on walking without looking to follow up with conversation. This warm-up then usually makes it easier for them to initiate full conversations with strangers.</p> </blockquote> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.draudreycleary.com/">Licensed psychologist Dr. Audrey Cleary</a> thinks Sparks is spot-on with his advice. For those with a fear of heights, for instance, she suggests learning to tolerate being at gradually higher elevations. She mentions, however, &quot;people vary in terms of what scares them, so 'building up gradually' will look different to different people.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, how you work toward facing your fear should be on your terms, no one else's.</p> <h2>Avoid Regret</h2> <p>How many times have you been too scared to do something that in hindsight you regret not doing it? I know I have.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-frugality-avoid-the-fear-tax">Fear has a funny way of making you feel inferior</a>, and that's precisely why <a target="_blank" href="http://cakecoaching.com/">entrepreneur coach Jeff Hellenbrand</a> lives to face his fears head on, like joining a swim team despite a fear of water and learning how to drive a motorcycle.</p> <blockquote><p>What separates me from the people I know who play it safe is this: I am more afraid that I will look back on my life and think, 'well, that was disappointing.' To me, it's not about doing stupid things for the thrill, it's about getting over my fears to live the life I really want.</p> </blockquote> <p>I can fully respect that, although, like Eleanor Roosevelt's advice, Hellenbrand's is often easier said than done &mdash; but encouraging nonetheless.</p> <h2>Reward Yourself</h2> <p>If there was ever a time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">reward yourself</a> for a job well done, it's when you've faced and overcome a fear, says lifestyle expert Maryann Reid, who &mdash; similar to Hellenbrand &mdash; was afraid of swimming in deep water but registered to become a certified scuba instructor to overcome her fear.</p> <p>This is a particularly great tip because it creates an incentive for you to keep going when anxiety is at its highest (and when you're in the thick of it, it will be), and that reward may be just what you need to keep you from giving up.</p> <h2>Try Hypnosis</h2> <p>This method of fear conquering isn't for everyone, but plenty of people swear by it. I like to live by the motto, &quot;don't knock it until you've tried it,&quot; so I certainly don't have a negative opinion about hypnosis. I'm a skeptic, for sure, but I wouldn't count it out as a last-ditch effort.</p> <p><em>Have you conquered a major fear? How did you do it? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want">How to Be Fearless and Do What You Want</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead">10 Ways Even Shy People Can Fake Confidence and Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-feel-more-attractive-without-actually-changing-how-you-look">12 Ways to Feel More Attractive Without Actually Changing How You Look</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development acheiving goals confidence fear Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:36:33 +0000 Mikey Rox 967857 at http://www.wisebread.com The Key to Frugality: Avoid the Fear Tax http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-frugality-avoid-the-fear-tax <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-key-to-frugality-avoid-the-fear-tax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Fear%20Tax.jpg" alt="fear tax" title="fear tax" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever purchased something for one of the following reasons?</p> <ul> <li>If you didn't, you wouldn't look good enough.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you didn't, others might think less of you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you didn't, you weren't rewarding yourself like you should be.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you didn't, you would be missing out on something more in life.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you didn't, you weren't safe enough.</li> </ul> <p>We all have. And probably multiple times every week. And we probably didn't think about it at the time we handed over our hard-earned money, but we were paying a tax on our fears. And in doing so, we were playing right into the hands of marketers and advertisers. Damn! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/look-but-don%E2%80%99t-touch-avoiding-market-manipulation">Look, But Don&rsquo;t Touch: Avoid Marketing Manipulation</a>)</p> <h3>Almost every purchase has a fear tax option</h3> <p>Perhaps there are a few items out there still that don't have a fear tax on them, but in my little brainstorming session here, I'm having a hard time thinking of them. Sometimes these purchases are more expensive versions of necessities. Other times, they are the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-vs-what-you-want-and-how-to-tell-the-difference">things we don't need at all</a>. There are the obvious ones:</p> <ul> <li>You want to have a nice looking vehicle because anything less might be looked down upon by neighbors, co-workers, or the next hot date, no?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The shiniest, fastest, most advanced cell phone to stay on top of the latest trends.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your entertainment? HD and Blu-Ray is the wave of the future. You wouldn't want to get behind and miss out on the obvious upgrades.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>That custom tailored suit so that you can look the best in your next interview or business meeting.</li> </ul> <p>Then, there are some less obvious but incredibly costly purchases that you'll be taxed on:</p> <ul> <li>An MBA from a top 5 business school. Otherwise, why would the best employers want to bother with you?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The extra $300k on your spouse's life insurance beyond what you realistically need if they were to pass away.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>That lower deductible on your car insurance, because why the heck would I want to pay $2,500 if I got in a total wreck?</li> </ul> <p>And even the most basic of necessities have a fear tax associated with them.</p> <ul> <li>The organic dog food vs. the regular version because Fido will be healthier and live longer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The organic human food vs. the regular so that you can live longer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>That premium gasoline so that your vehicle's engine lasts longer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>And don't forget the 2-ply toilet paper, because one is never enough!</li> </ul> <h3>Is overcoming the fear tax the key to frugality?</h3> <p>Not 100%, but it sure is a huge part of it. There are smart frugal things you can do to shop for the lowest price, cut down your total consumption, reuse things, etc. &mdash; but even then, the fear tax is at least an influencer in all of those strategies.</p> <h3>So how do you become '&quot;fear tax exempt&quot;?</h3> <p>It takes years of training, goof-ups, and trial, but it all starts with one simple question you should ask yourself every time you are about to complete a transaction:</p> <p><em>&quot;Am I purchasing this (or paying too much) out of fear?&quot;</em></p> <p>If the answer is no, then congratulations.</p> <p>If the answer is yes, the follow-up question you may want to ask yourself is:</p> <p><em>&quot;Is it worth it?&quot;</em></p> <p>Overly simple? Yes. But it's a practice that many of us forgo all to often.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ge-miller">G.E. Miller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-frugality-avoid-the-fear-tax">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dissecting-gift-guilt-when-does-receiving-a-gift-make-you-feel-bad">Dissecting &quot;Gift Guilt&quot; - When Does Receiving a Gift Make You Feel Bad?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-six-figures-really-that-much">Is Six Figures Really That Much?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-saving-tricks-you-can-learn-from-same-sex-couples">7 Money-Saving Tricks You Can Learn From Same-Sex Couples</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle anxiety fear frugal tips Tue, 14 Sep 2010 12:00:17 +0000 G.E. Miller 235549 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get a Life: Consider the Worst Case Scenario http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Jump.jpg" alt="get a life" title="Joy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is something that drives everything we do.</p> <p>Some actions are driven by love. Others motivated by hate. Money can get most of us moving. Some act based on their religious beliefs.</p> <p><em>The Purpose Driven Life</em> reminds us that <strong>some are motivated by FEAR</strong>. And I believe it. As a minister, I've had the opportunity to peer into the psychological depths of many people. I've seen their raw emotions. When the masks are removed, fear controls much of what we do. Fear poisons us until we are too paralyzed to act.</p> <p><strong>You are paralyzed by fear when &hellip;</strong></p> <ul> <li>You won't pursue a small business idea because you're afraid that it might not succeed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Despite the encouragement of co-workers, you're afraid to apply for a new management position.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When you close your eyes, you dream about traveling the world, but you're afraid of what others will say.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You've always wanted to try out for the next dramatic production, but you're afraid you won't get the part.</li> </ul> <p>In life, we are often afraid to do truly courageous things because of what <em>might</em> happen.</p> <ul> <li>It might not go according to plan.</li> <li>I might not make money.</li> <li>I might lose my job.</li> <li>I might not get the job.</li> <li>My friends might not support me.</li> </ul> <p>Today, let's learn one simple life hack that will allow you to really, truly, <strong>start living life</strong>.</p> <p><strong>When making an important decision, ask yourself, <em>&quot;What is the worst case scenario?&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>Now, I'm not talking about psychological mumbo-jumbo where you try to convince yourself you can do things that you really can't. Nor am I talking about apocalyptic bad news where the worst case scenario is that aliens from another planet might come and eat you for dinner. Literally and logically, what is the worst case scenario that is likely to result from your actions?</p> <h2>Start Living Life Homework</h2> <ol> <li>Get a pen and paper and write one of your life goals or something you've always wanted to do at the top of the paper.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Then write this subtitle, <em>What's the worst case scenario?</em>, and list all the things that could possibly go wrong if you pursue that goal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Write a number from 1 to 10 beside each listed item. Write a '1' if the worst case scenario is not really likely at all to happen. Write a '10' if it is almost certain to happen.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Now imagine that everything ranked 3 and up actually did happen. Would you regret your decision? Would you do it again?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your answer is yes, then do it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your answer is no, start making whatever changes or adjustments are necessary so that you can soften the blow of a worst case scenario.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Case Study #1: Can mommy afford to stay home?</strong></p> <p>Sally and her husband, Greg, have a 6-month-old baby, and Sally really wants to stay home with junior. The problem is that they are afraid they won't be able to pay the bills if Sally stays home. If they were able to cut their spending and Sally could earn an extra $300-$500 per month, they would be fine. They have a reasonable financial cushion of $5,000 savings, but they are paralyzed by fear and afraid to do what they really want to do.</p> <p><em>What's the worst case scenario?</em></p> <p>Sally might not find a way to work from home. She might not like staying at home. The family might not be able to cut enough expenses.</p> <p>So? If she stays home for six months and doesn't find something she can do from home, then she can just go get another job.</p> <p><strong>Cast Study #2: Start your own small business.</strong></p> <p>Tom has been slowly developing a computer software program. The program is selling well and providing a reasonable profit. He'd love to quit his full-time job and focus on building the business, but he's afraid. What if business doesn't pick up?</p> <p>So, what's the worst case scenario? The business doesn't pick up and Tom is forced to go back to work and finding a part-time job.</p> <h2>Fear As Positive Motivation</h2> <p>For those who face this kind of fear, perhaps you can use your fear to your advantage. Take that fear and use it to help distance yourself from the perceived risk. Increase your emergency funds savings. Spend an extra three months working full-time and part-time to give more cushioning. Jumping off a cliff is very different from jumping off a curb. The less risk, the more likely you are to succeed.</p> <p>Still, far too many people are driven by fear and let the world pass them by while they watch from the sideline.</p> <p><strong>Throwing caution to the wind is not the advice here.</strong> Typically, those who are the most fearful are those who are most cautious. They don't need to be encouraged to retreat further into their shells, but to take a risk to do what they love. If the worst case scenario is truly frightful, then don't do what you're considering. So, if the worst case scenario means your best alternative is declaring bankruptcy in two months and you'll lose your family in the process &mdash; don't do it. But many times, even if the worst did happen, we'd still be glad we took the risk.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you think this is good advice or just likely to cause a bunch of people to crash and burn? Is there anything you've been wanting to do, but you know it's just fear that is holding you back?</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to be Happy About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development fear happiness risk management self-improvement Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:00:12 +0000 Craig Ford 223345 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial Fear Factors http://www.wisebread.com/financial-fear-factors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-fear-factors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3089166379_de4ef614f1_z.jpg" alt="fear" title="fear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you seen the latest headlines: &ldquo;market down on fears,&rdquo; &ldquo;fears stoke market decline,&rdquo; or &ldquo;fear pushes broader market down&rdquo;?</p> <p>Of course you have and in different forms, incessantly, constantly, for about the past three years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-with-recession-anxiety">How to Deal With Recession Anxiety</a>)</p> <p>Last year in a special report titled <a href="http://www.economist.com/research/articlesbysubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=348960&amp;story_id=E1_TNJVSSDJ">Greed and Fear: The Future of Finance</a>, <em>The Economist</em> attempted to examine what caused the global recession and presented greed and fear in a chicken and egg scenario. What it always comes back to though is fear &mdash; this is where greed comes from &mdash; mostly fear that there will never be enough of something, whether tangible or emotional.</p> <p>On a personal finance level, this fear has largely driven the collective consciousness into a manic-depressive cycle of frugality and then frugal fatigue, then exuberance and then recycle, repeat, rinse our fluctuating sensibilities.</p> <p>Most of this was and is driven by fear of uncertainty, of not having, of being on the bottom of the economic wrung as it were. And it is fear that, if we&rsquo;re not careful, will drive us out of our pragmatic middle ground when it comes to making financial decisions.</p> <p>Case in point, this past fiscal quarter there were lines long lines for iPads and there were also long lines just for the <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/video/newyorkcbs2-15751042/despite-rain-hundreds-camp-for-job-in-queens-19325369#video=19329160">chance</a> to apply for job &amp;mdash.</p> <p>There are not many stories about financial maintenance or careful planning, because this is not sexy enough and this is part and parcel to our overall attitudes as collective consumers. The latest housing numbers, the latest crash, the latest interest rate hike or decrease, the latest this, the latest that.</p> <p>Such now, now, now <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-attitudes-that-breed-financial-failure">attitudes</a> tend to foster more irrational fear and short-term euphoria than moves that will change thinking and subsequently, habits. Such is the juxtaposition of supply and demand and the gap between want and need in our still fragile economy.</p> <p>There are rising corporate earnings but individual wages are flat. In fact, most economic data suggests that despite adjustments for inflation real income has been declining since the 1970s. Not enough to create jobs and sustain growth yet we are in a so-called recovery, which many forecasters say will be stunted by&amp; many factors including, well, more fear.</p> <p>Their combined debt tops $40 billion and the U.S. Labor Department expects 40 states to be in debt to the federal government by year's end, underscoring the labor market's problems in the deepest recession since World War II.</p> <p>Yet Apple Inc. had a 90% gain in second-quarter profit and retailers have had a record 12-week rally in their share prices in anticipation of a recovering economy spurred by an increase in shoppers fearful about being caught without the latest trinket.</p> <p>Fear it seems, is now a <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/career-work/article/109320/businesses-built-on-fear">recession-proof</a> business.</p> <p>What juncture has all this fear of the unknown, fear of being destitute, fear of being ridiculed for not having brought us to when it comes to making our own financial decisions?</p> <p>Like what has gradually been happening to the middle class, the middle ground of financial planning and preparation is also slowly disappearing.</p> <p>What happened to the balance of hopes, expectations, and appreciation of possibilities with a realistic assessment of limitations? Were we ever at that point as a society? If we were, can we ever get there again?</p> <p>The truth is that we can&rsquo;t always <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-of-the-martini-is-instant-gratification-financially-responsible">defer gratification</a> but we can&rsquo;t always seize the moment. Yet our spending habits have us falling into these extremes, especially in these trying times.</p> <p>So how do we overcome this fear? Here are five quick ways.</p> <h3>Know what you&rsquo;re afraid of</h3> <p>Financial failure is often times an unavoidable if not an unpredictable thing but this does not make you a failure. What are you actually afraid of? Perceptions of others? Or loss of lifestyle? There&rsquo;s an old saying that if money can solve all your problems, you&rsquo;re doing fine. Thus, identify the source of your fear.</p> <h3>Know yourself</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s never too late to change your spending habits or attitudes toward money as money is not like time in the respect that it can always be borrowed, earned back, come in a windfall or be procured by rebuilding your life or through hard work. What are you willing to take with you from a burning house and how does that inform your money attitude?</p> <h3>Do something</h3> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t have to be money or work related, it doesn&rsquo;t have to generate income initially. But take action, do something you enjoy for free first, get the blood pumping and the mind going about solutions. Go for a walk or run, go hear some music, pick up a book around your house and read, do some house work, take in a blog about overcoming your fears (smile). If you find yourself stuck in thought, move forward by doing something, anything to carry yourself forward from the stasis of fear. After all, if you&rsquo;re behind on this bill or that bill and you don&rsquo;t have the money, what can you do about it right now except move forward somehow? That constructive movement may just bring you to a resolution.</p> <h3>Produce what you consume and vice versa</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re generating $3,000 a month and spending $5,000 it probably isn&rsquo;t that you&rsquo;re not bringing enough in but there is a deficit of both money and even-minded thinking. You, like a good percentage of people in the rest of the industrialized world, are living beyond your means and beyond. When budgeting, separate the must haves, the could haves, the needs and the wants. Try an experiment that matches up every dollar you make with every dollar you spend, one for one. It will be fun and you might learn something about yourself.</p> <h3>Start planning</h3> <p>Living in the now is always the hardest part of overcoming fear about anything, especially fear of the lack of money or fear of being destitute, or even those unwarranted fears about social setbacks that stem from not having. Plan for the worst and expect the best. What is your most pressing financial fear? If it&rsquo;s debt, shift your so-called &ldquo;disposal income&rdquo; to debt reduction or build a rainy day fund and don&rsquo;t touch it.</p> <p>Hope for the best and expect the worst. But being afraid isn't going to solve anything.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-fear-factors">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear">A Society of Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-this-single-income-family-found-financial-freedom-in-just-27-months">How This Single-Income Family Found Financial Freedom in Just 27 Months</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pieces-of-financial-wisdom-from-warren-buffett">The 5 Best Pieces of Financial Wisdom From Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance behavioral economics debt fear Thu, 27 May 2010 12:00:05 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 100633 at http://www.wisebread.com A Society of Fear http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-society-of-fear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/free-labor-will-win.jpg" alt="Worker in front of American Flag with the text &quot;Free Labor Will Win&quot;" title="Free Labor Will Win" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="346" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are people out there whose livelihoods depend on the fact that most people go every day to some job or another. Business owners, investors, retired folks &mdash; capitalists in general &mdash; pay their expenses with profits that would be threatened if there weren't plenty of workers trading their life for a paycheck.</p> <p>I don't mean to speak ill of capitalists &mdash; I'm one of them (in my own &quot;eking out a meager existence&quot; way). But as a group, they have a vested interest in most people choosing to get up and go to work every day. And, as a group, they're terrified that most people wouldn't do that unless they had to.</p> <p>I think that's why society has been organized to make the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">wage slave/debt slave trap</a> the default path for almost everyone.</p> <p>It's a gentle trap: borrow a bit to go to college, a bit more to buy a car, a bit more to buy a house... You earn plenty of money and enjoy a comfortable life &mdash; and all you lose is your freedom to do anything else besides get up everyday and go to work.</p> <p>When I wrote about it before, a lot of commenters chimed in to defend the wage slave/debt slave trap &mdash; on the grounds that it motivates people to &quot;work;&quot; that it teaches them how to &quot;manage money;&quot; that it keeps them &quot;honest.&quot;</p> <p>And I find that fascinating. Because, see, I can understand <strong>business owners</strong> feeling that way &mdash; their profits would drop if people managed to escape their debt traps, gaining options besides showing up at their job day after day. I can also understand <strong>managers</strong> feeling that way &mdash; their bonuses would be a lot smaller (and their jobs a lot harder) if their employees were in a position to choose the work that was the most fun or interesting or useful or important. I can understand the <strong>government</strong> feeling this way &mdash; income taxes could drop a lot if debt-free citizens could choose to earn less.</p> <p>But I'm mystified by <strong>ordinary people</strong> feeling this way. It's bad enough that people put themselves into the position of having to go to work every day &mdash; and worse, having to go with whatever job pays the most because it's the only way to get all the bills paid &mdash; rather than being able to choose work because it's interesting or because it helps people. But that's only the beginning of the madness. Everyone in the debt slave/wage slave trap has to worry that any little mistake could cost them all their worldly goods and their entire future.</p> <p>In a world where these sorts of debts are normal, an ordinary person with ordinary expenses has to be afraid all the time. An unexpected expense can put the whole household at risk &mdash; it means more debt, probably at a higher rate. Any little glitch in earnings can be ruinous &mdash; it means missed payments, late fees and penalty rates of interest.</p> <p>Imagine if things were different &mdash; if most people had a comfortable emergency fund and little or no debt. A lost job would mean belt tightening, but not foreclosure. A sudden spike in fuel costs would mean turning down the thermostat and wearing a sweater, but not pawning the wedding rings for enough gas to get to work one more week. It would mean not living in fear.</p> <p>As I said, there are a lot of people who think their livelihood depends on that fear. Those whose profits are higher and jobs are easier when there are plenty of frightened workers have a vested interest in things as they are. But I think we'd be better off if people were less afraid.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">Wage slave, debt slave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-an-employee-to-do-part-1">What&#039;s an employee to do? Part 1</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/retirement-on-the-installment-plan">Retirement on the installment plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income Debt Management capital capitalism debt debt slave debt slavery employee employment fear freedom unemployment wage slave wage slavery Wed, 28 Oct 2009 13:00:02 +0000 Philip Brewer 3760 at http://www.wisebread.com On choosing temporary freedom http://www.wisebread.com/on-choosing-temporary-freedom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/on-choosing-temporary-freedom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/park-gate.jpg" alt="Path with an open gate" title="Gate in Allerton Park" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="201" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On one side there's your typical job. It's clearer than ever that it doesn't offer the security it once did, but it still offers some, and it offers other things--predictable income, social position, a structure to your day. On the other side there's freedom. The way we've structured our society, it's hard to switch back and forth. Hard, but not impossible.</p> <h2>Why try to have it both ways?</h2> <p>Some people know which side of the divide they want to be on. Some people with regular jobs love their work and would never want to change. Some people who don't have regular jobs know that they'd never be happy with one. But other people would like to have the option to switch back and forth.</p> <p>Why? Well, for a lot of reasons.</p> <h3>To do or make something</h3> <p>Probably the biggest reason people want to live without a job for a while is because they want to accomplish something that they can't do while holding down a job.</p> <ul> <li>Travel</li> <li>Get a degree</li> <li>Finish a dissertation</li> <li>Raise children</li> <li>Build a house</li> </ul> <p>People leaving a regular job to do something like this are really just looking to free up a chunk of time long enough to finish something that's important to them.</p> <h3>To be part of something larger</h3> <p>Many people want to help others or make a contribution to society or to some cause they believe in:</p> <ul> <li>Missionary</li> <li>Aid worker</li> <li>Teacher</li> <li>Researcher</li> <li>Inventor</li> </ul> <p>There are jobs in which you can do these things, but many people feel called to do them outside the context of a job. Many people are supported by institutions that try to provide some of what a job would provide--money, a place to live, food, etc. But many people do these things entirely on their own, simply because it's what they want to do.</p> <h3>Because they hate the structure</h3> <p>Some people simply can't stand &quot;working for the man.&quot; In some cases it's just a personality quirk that they reject having a boss or can't bring themselves to follow rules. Some start their own business so that they can be the boss.</p> <p>Others really can't handle a regular job because of physical or mental problems. Besides trying to start a business, there are kinds of work where it's possible to fit the work into whatever constraints your body and mind require.</p> <p>I sometimes hear about writers and artists who were bipolar, suffered from depression, or had some other mental illness--with the suggestion that their problems were related to their creativity.&nbsp; I don't figure it that way. My take on it is that someone who can't hold a regular job--perhaps because they sometimes have bouts of depression that make them unproductive for weeks at a time--has to try to find work that can accommodate those constraints. Sometimes, being a writer or artist can be fit in around problems of this sort.</p> <h3>Because they have no choice</h3> <p>Some people would like nothing better than to have a regular job. But--as the economy going kablooie has made clear--sometimes they don't have a choice. Sometimes the great job that you love (where you're well-paid to do important work) just evaporates. That can happen with any job, any time--it's just that right now it's happening with lots of jobs that had seemed secure right up until they vanish.</p> <p>All too many people look up from their pink slip and see that not only has their job disappeared, their entire field has decamped for parts unknown taking their career along with it.</p> <p>Don't think it can't happen to you.</p> <h2>Why not?</h2> <p>Although there are plenty of people out there who don't <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-hate-my-job" title="&quot;I Hate My Job&quot; Guide">hate their jobs</a>, in my experience there's a solid majority of people who would like to take a few months or years off from working and do something else. In fact, though, most people don't--at least, they don't do it on purpose.&nbsp; The major reason is fear.</p> <p>Among the things people fear are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Lost income</strong> -- One loss is the money that's not earned during the period you spend without a job. On top of that, though is the reduction in future income that comes from being &quot;unemployed&quot; for a period of time--missing out on a raise, losing seniority, and simply falling off the radar of the people who are trying to move you up in the company.</li> <li><strong>Problems reentering</strong> -- Not many employers will keep your old job open for you, if you leave to &quot;follow your dream&quot; or &quot;do great things.&quot; Even if you can get a leave of absence, you can be sure that people who are absent will be the first to be let go if there's a layoff. Seeking a new job can also be tricky--there's the danger that having left the workforce for an extended period will mark you as a dissatisfied or unreliable worker</li> <li><strong>Becoming a different person</strong> -- A lot of people seem to worry that a sojourn away from a regular job longer than a short vacation might change them into someone who cannot be satisfied with a regular job. (I've heard this from more than one person and I always think it's sad--people choosing to leave their blinkers on out of fear that once they'd seen the wide world their old life would seem smaller and more constrained than they knew. It may well be true; that seems to be a poor reason to refuse to look.)</li> </ul> <h2>Ameliorating the risks</h2> <p>Let me say up front that these fears are valid. There's no point in just hoping that these things won't happen. But there are actions that you can take to mitigate them--or even turn them into positives.</p> <p>There are a few obvious things to do:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up in your field so that your skills are up-to-date</li> <li>Develop new skills</li> <li>Produce something that demonstrates your value to an employer</li> <li>Keep your network informed about the cool stuff you're doing</li> </ul> <p>One less-obvious thing you need, though, is a good story. You need a story in which you took time off to do something important, and accomplished it in a way that makes you a better fit for the workplace.</p> <p>The story is for at least two people. One is the person who might hire you for your next job. Your story can be a great hook to make you stand out from all the other people looking to get hired--how many of them vaccinated kids in Brazil or wrote a novel or sailed around the world? Almost no matter what it is, your accomplishment demonstrates many characteristics wanted in an employee--you're a self-starter, you can finish a large project, you're a can-do person who overcomes obstacles and gets things done.</p> <p>If you tell it right, your story can make it clear that you're not the sort of unreliable person who might take off and leave whenever you get a wild idea. Tell it so that it shows you to be a solid performer who makes commitments and sees them through.</p> <p>The other person the story is for is you. This is how you control the way in which your experience changes you. Make sure your story isn't one of a drone who briefly gloried in unlimited freedom only to return to the daily grind. Rather, make it the story of someone who felt a calling to do something great, accomplished it, and then sought a new challenge.</p> <h2>Ways and means</h2> <p>If this were a post about permanently leaving regular employment, this section would be about how you might earn enough money to support yourself, either by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-by-without-a-job-part-2-boost-income">working outside the framework of a regular job</a> or by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/join-the-rentier-class">investing for income</a>.</p> <p>This, though, is about a temporary departure from regular work. Although picking up a little money on the side can help, almost everyone does this either by saving up the money or else by living off someone else's income.</p> <p>There's not really much to say about saving up the money. Almost anyone can save up enough money to take a few months or a few years off. It's just a matter of wanting it badly enough that you're willing to cut your expenses and put money away.</p> <p>Couples (or, more generally, any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategies-for-households-with-more-than-one-adult">households with more than one adult</a>) have the option of allocating the &quot;earning an income&quot; task however they like. It's not unusual for one spouse to support the household while the other gets a degree--and getting a degree isn't the only thing the spouse without a regular job might do.</p> <p>Spouses can choose to take turns working regular jobs so that the other can do something awesome--or they can both work and save and then do something awesome together.</p> <p>I've long recommended that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-work-worth-doing">find work worth doing</a>--work that is so important to you that you'd never even want to ditch your job. But finding work worth doing is a process, not a goal. Sometimes the process includes ditching your job. Lots of people get stuck at that point, stopped by the fear that they're taking a perfectly good life and screwing it up in the search for something better. I won't say, &quot;Be fearless!&quot; because there are many scary things out there. Rather, I say, &quot;Make sure that settling for a 'perfectly good life' is on your list of things to be at least a little afraid of.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/on-choosing-temporary-freedom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-society-of-fear">A Society of Fear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wage-slave-debt-slave">Wage slave, debt slave</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-freedom-of-the-independent-yeoman">The Freedom of the Independent Yeoman</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living fear freedom job jobs mission story think big work Fri, 06 Mar 2009 23:01:55 +0000 Philip Brewer 2901 at http://www.wisebread.com Black Friday...black in more ways than one http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/857597_girl_on_stairs_0.jpg" alt="sad" title="sad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Today, November 23rd, is Black Friday. A day that as a Wisebread writer and bargain hunter I love. There are deals everywhere, we all get a chance to save a bit of dough before the Holidays, we all smile a bit more. At least, that&#39;s what I thought. But as I trudged around today in the sales, with lines of people looking more stressed than a factory farmed chicken, I realized that this day has increasingly become more of a black day on the calendar.</p> <p>Black Friday got it&#39;s name from a financial term. It was a day many retailers went from being &quot;in the red&quot; to going back &quot;in the black.&quot; Great, money-savings opportunities popped up everywhere and over the years it has become a momentous day for shopping. When I first arrived in the US I was staggered by the kind of deals you could get on Black Friday. It was a consumer&#39;s dream. But that dream has slowly become a nightmare, as I witnessed today.</p> <p>It&#39;s difficult to know what to make of us as a race when you see fellow human beings trampling all over each other in a mall to get their hands on a half-price sweater or portable DVD player. With the deals being advertised earlier and earlier before the big day, the hype is magnified. And this year, the hype was bigger than ever. Black Friday ads were leaked up to a month before today, and the general public has been drooling like Pavlov&#39;s dog for a great bargain.</p> <p>I, for one, was one of those drooling dogs last year. And the year before. I got up at 6am with my wife and sweet baby girl and dragged them all over Colorado to save $20 on a pack of re-writable DVDs and $30 on a DVD player. Nice saving, but a what cost to me and my family time? I&#39;ve noticed this trend in other people, the mania growing like a virus. But today I did a quick search to see if there were any security camera images of the hysteria. Here&#39;s one of the more impactful... </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vVvEChXulSs&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vVvEChXulSs&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>Saving a buck is great. But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, is it worth it, really? With the Internet most people can find very good deals, ones that rival or beat Black Friday deals, without having to step outside in the rowdy rabble. No need to punch and kick. No need to step on a fellow human to get that cashmere sweater for $80. I speak as someone who had what has only been described as a &quot;moment of clarity&quot; today. I&#39;m not saying don&#39;t enjoy the sales. I still love a deal, always will. But Black Friday, something I applauded as early as this morning in our Wisebread writers forum, has began to turn my stomach to reveal the true nature of us all, if we let money rule our heads instead of compassion and patience.</p> <p>I love a great deal. I&#39;ll never let one go. But I won&#39;t screw someone over just to save a few bucks on the latest &quot;must-have&quot; toy or gadget that eventually (sooner rather than later) becomes some $5 item in a garage sale.</p> <p>It&#39;s the day after Thanksgiving. A time we should still give thanks for what we have. Maybe we should remember that and spend a little more time with the ones we love, and a little less time with the retailers looking for a big, fat bottom line. </p> <p>Have a wonderful holiday folks. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-black-in-more-ways-than-one-0">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advertising-jargon-that-aims-to-mislead">Advertising Jargon That Aims to Mislead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-these-genuine-bargains-or-a-pile-of-garbage">Are these genuine bargains, or a pile of garbage?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gym-class-the-diy-difnf-thesis">GYM Class: THE DIY, DIFNF Thesis</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs bargains consumerism fear gluttony greed inhumanity insanity savings Sat, 24 Nov 2007 05:00:53 +0000 Paul Michael 1421 at http://www.wisebread.com