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The [other] Four-Letter “F” Word…

Glenn Schworm
3 min read

There have been entire books and seminars devoted to this subject… this “F” word. Since this is an article and not a book or seminar, I will get right to the heart of the matter. Let me clarify, I am NOT a psychiatrist, but I sort of play one on BiggerPockets. 🙂

What’s the “F” word I’m talking about?


It’s one of the worst four letter words in our language! Fear holds us back from so many things that could be great in our lives. Fear makes us procrastinate. Fear makes us physically sick. Fear holds us back from great business decisions, great relationships, hobbies, and so much more! Wow, I’m sorry to be so harsh, but let’s tell it like it is … Fear SUCKS! There are certainly times that fear can be a useful protective mechanism, but for the purpose of this article, I am talking about the fear of taking steps towards decisions in our business.

So many people read, study, go to seminars, and basically know all there is to know about investing in Real Estate. They may even participate regularly on BiggerPockets, go to local REIA’s, and have every intention of investing, but they have never done one deal! Why? You guessed it, FEAR! Fear of the unknown, fear of being successful (yes this is a real one!), fear of failing, fear of being embarrassed, fear of sounding dumb, fear of going broke, fear of earning so much that you have to pay additional income tax, (yes, another real one!), fear of living in a box if it doesn’t work out, and on and on. When we are scared, we make many excuses to avoid doing the things we fear. The ironic part is that most times our fears are unwarranted. On the other side of those fears are the very things we desire in life. We just need to begin.

Related: How to Lose a Million Dollars from Real Estate: A Step by Step Path

Basic Steps for Overcoming Fear

Ask yourself: what is the actual fear holding me back from?
Getting clear helps you know exactly what fear(s) you need to overcome.

Ask yourself: Is my fear real and truly warranted?
What’s the worst that can happen? Will my life be over if I proceed? Probably not!

Write out an action plan to reach your goal.

Many of us do much better with a written plan. It will relieve your anxiety. Try it!

Take small baby steps every day.
Make a call, look at properties, place an ad looking for houses or investors, or better yet, make an offer!!

Trap yourself.
This method has worked the best for me. Go make offers until one gets accepted. Now you’re trapped! Watch how being trapped forces you to go through the steps! If your offer is accepted, the pressure is on to get funding, an exit plan, closing, etc, etc. It’s a fun journey, you won’t have time to be scared, you’re too busy being pushed through the steps because the pressure is on!

Be accountable to someone else.
Find someone who you trust that will be hold you accountable to make sure you keep moving forward, EVEN IF YOU’RE SCARED!

Related: The ONLY Step You Need to Get Moving in Your Real Estate Investing

Taking Action Will Make Your Fear Disappear

It’s amazing how our minds work. We play old records (or iTunes downloads for you younger readers!) in our heads that make fears seem real, when in reality most fears NEVER come true. We worry for nothing! What a waste of mental energy!! We only learn this AFTER we take action and the fear literally disappears. Once we start moving in the direction of our goals and dreams (by taking action) we look back to realize that the fear we had was not real, and our perspective on that fear changes forever!

My challenge for you today is to look inside yourself and see what fears may be holding you back. What records or downloads are you playing in your head? Pay attention for a day, you may be shocked! What are you procrastinating on that you know would be great if you would only just begin with the first step? Take the time to go through the above simple steps and see what results you get in the next week. I dare you!! I know from a lot of personal experience, you will be amazed at the results if you simply decide to take action. Good Luck and Godspeed!

Photo: kelsey_lovefusionphoto

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.