June 18, 2018

A family member recently asked me, “Isn’t it natural to operate from a place of fear?”

We tend to feel that way because fear is so deeply ingrained in us. And for a while, I let myself run on fear thinking it served me.

One big fear I carried: “I want to leave my job and run my business full time, but I’m afraid I’ll fail, which will result in massive debt and losing everyone I love.”

I’ve battled with the fear of losing my family for years, and, until recently, I didn’t know it was holding me back. I thought that if I just kept going, I’d make the progress I was seeking. I thought if I was fearful of a certain outcome, I’d be preparing myself for what could go wrong.

But the fear didn’t serve me—it only caused me to self-sabotage subconsciously. Rather than taking action and seeking opportunities, I only took actions that kept me “safe.”

I operated from a place of scarcity—seeing the not-so-great things that could happen if my fears came true—rather than a place of possibility, where I’d let myself be open to what good could come from new opportunities.

Why is it important to make decisions from a place of possibility, not scarcity?

Because possibility = potential. When we operate from a place of possibility, we’re keeping the door open for things to happen that we want to happen.

When we operate from a place of possibility, we’re keeping the door open for things to happen that we want to happen.

Creativity, innovation, and problem solving (key skills required to be successful in life and at work) happen when we keep an open mind to what’s possible.

Scarcity is an epidemic that closes the door on what’s really possible for us.

But imagine what would happen if we operated from a different perspective–if we made decisions based on love and possibility vs. fear and lack?

It takes practice to turn our scarcity mindset into one of possibility. Here, two ways you can start:

1. Play Devil's Advocate

After I realized the fear of losing my family was a deeply ingrained fear, I decided to play devil’s advocate with myself and ask a different question: “What’s possible if I leave my job and run my business full time?” It can take a few minutes to let the possibility seep in, but to make it easier, break down the question.

●︎ Who will my work serve?

●︎ What will I create?

●︎ Who will I become?

Now your turn. What’s your greatest fear, and how can you reframe it?

Maybe it’s asking for a raise. Before that conversation, our scarcity mindset often creeps in, saying, "I want to negotiate for a higher salary, but I’m afraid they’ll think I’m ungrateful.” But think: How would you approach the negotiation conversation if you felt it wasn’t about what you’d lose, but about what you’d gain?

The next time your fear pops up, ask yourself: What’s possible?

2. Break Down the Fear

We can often feel when we’re coming from a place of fear or a place of possibility. The next time your scarcity mindset creeps in, ask yourself: How do I feel? Does it feel good? Does it feel aligned with my intuition?

For example: Say you’re worried about throwing a dinner party for your friends and family. Think about how the fear is making you feel (maybe tense about the upcoming evening). Then, take a step back. Ask yourself: How realistic is the worst-case scenario I’ve created in my mind?

Challenge those fears, and try to bring more space and openness to your body. When you feel open, there’s the feeling of possibility—and that feeling can open so many more doors.

A version of this article originally appeared on workbigger.co


Read next: The Great Possibility of an Unstructured Day

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