Fear

It’s early Sunday morning. I’ve barely had coffee, walked the dog, ate breakfast, took vitamins and here I sit thinking about FEAR. False evidence appearing real.

Fear is driven by the ego as you can see below.

Fear is just that, the ego trying to get you to live in the past or the future, not the present moment. We all have fears and the ego is running them like the Wizard from the Wizard of Oz with it’s fancy keyboard and monitor, dialing them up when decisions are made.

© Warner Brothers — Wizard of Oz

For the longest time, I have feared running out of money. Not sure why this is as back in 1984 I quit college to move in with my girlfriend. I took 2 jobs, Food-4-Less and Burger King. I had no car. I walked to work, 5 miles. (Yes it was 5 miles and I measured it, ha!) We didn’t have a lot of money, so that cannot be it.

In 1988, I started my computer programming career and my salary escalated rapidly. By the time I finished my IT career 25 years later I was making 125k a year. I always had money, so that can’t be it.

In 2011 I hired a life coach. One of the first things she asked me was about money. Oh my god did my fear kick in right about then. Fast forward to 2016, almost 2 years after my job got eliminated that fear is back.

I have money in savings and a 401k that I’ve not touched yet. I produced, with a lot of help, a very successful short film and several other films while in Los Angeles.

So all that said and yeah it is a lot, I still have that fear. One thing I learned while going through being jobless for 2 years how to curate ideas from Claudia Altucher and her book “How to Become an Idea Machine”. I have tons of ideas. I want to start several businesses. Even with all those ideas, written down, that fear is there.

Yet here I sit back in that fear that I’ll be living in a van down by the river. There are tons of inspirational quotes about fear. Blah. I even have amazing friends that are successful entrepreneurs in the social media space. One wrote a blog about making decisions and it hit home. This quote via Victoria Taylor hit home for me:

Isn’t it better to deal with the consequence of a decision made rather than agonising over the ‘what if’s’ of something that may never happen? — Victoria Taylor

I get to that point of agonizing and wonder am I throwing away money. I’m thinking it has to be a sure bet. Starting businesses is never a sure bet.

Speaking of a sure bet, rewind to when I was dating my ex-wife back in 1993. Her best friend was dating a buddy of mine that I worked with. Even then I had fear. Even then I wanted a sure bet so I was peppering him with questions like “does she like me” “does she want to marry me” all those crazy questions. I wanted a sure bet when I proposed. I did propose and it was a sure bet, but it was driven by fear.

Furthermore, rewind to anyone I’ve dated. I fear rejection. Easy for someone to tell me there are other fish in the sea, yet I get stuck in the mud far away from the sea.

As you can see fear can dictate decisions in life. I sit here frozen in fear in investing in my business ideas, some small, some big. Some I need no investors, some I do. Add to that even in the film business, crowdfunding or using my own money to make a film means making sure you give your donors (key word) something for their donation. A ROI (return on investment) is key for me when I start a business or film.

This is where fear kicks in and kicks me in the ass. I become dormant instead of being out there trying new stuff. I know I have tons of stuff I can do. I let fear and worry get in the way of that because you know, I may be living in a van down by the river.

In life there are no sure bets. I know I have to get over that. I’ve been telling my friend that you have to jump & build your wings on your way down. Sound advice for my own self.

About the only place I don’t have fear is in my writing. When I write I am fearless because I don’t care about outcomes, I just care about the process. If only that applied to all of my life, ha!

There are days where I want to move back to Houston, produce films as a hobby & have a nice place with all the amenities. But you know what that is? It’s a comfort zone. There it is again, the ego, wanting to be comfortable. Yes, there are tons of quotes about your comfort zone. Greatness exists outside of your comfort zone. Just as two years ago, I sold my house & moved Los Angeles like Jed Clampett but with less money. I faced that fear of relocating. It was not as bad as I’ve done it before. Here I sit ready to jump. But will I?

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