Humans have an innate ability to focus on some things and ignore others for survival. This ability to compartmentalize can be both very healthy and not so healthy. In situations that strike fear in your soul, it can be healthy to focus elsewhere. And, conversely, it can be unhealthy if you are actively ignoring an issue that needs your attention. We have all been guilty of that at one time in our lives.
My latest experience with extreme focus came recently as I faced a fear that has been increasing as I have aged: heights. As a youngster, if I disappeared my family could always find me in the highest tree near our house. It was my own private place and the height never bothered me because I was invincible! Now that I know better, looking straight down from a high perch sends my stomach on a ride. I still ride roller coasters and fly almost every week for work without issues, but looking straight down is a fear. This summer, I could not shift my focus on a ropes course and I am just happy it was not caught on film since I set a new standard for shaky knees! So this weekend when my family went zip-lining in the mountains, I was mentally ready to focus on the beauty and on not looking down. And it worked! I enjoyed the time tremendously and only one “zip” got me shaky but no one noticed (the photo here was taken on that zip, 200 feet above the valley). Focusing on channeling the inner bird worked!
Now, what about those parts of my life where I should be looking down a bit more? One includes the recent changes on the scale in the morning and there are others I won’t go into on this blog. One positive “looking at fear moment” was our recent re-evaluation of our insurance coverage and our increased coverage now helps me sleep better at night. Another area that we successfully handled a decade ago was in living beyond our means. It was through focus and prioritizing that we shifted to living quite a bit under our means. On that point, a recent American Banker survey showed that 19% of Americans spend more money than they make. If anyone reading this blog has that issue to focus on – there are a number of resources to help.
What are the financial fears you need to face?