The Fear of Loss
In my experience, almost every fear reduces down to the fear of losing something. Fear of failure includes a fear we will lose it all. Fear of success is often about fear of losing privacy or anonymity.
Even the fear that we won’t be loved — which some say is the greatest fear — is a fear of loss. We fear losing connection, love, and belonging.
I’m no stranger to the fear of loss. It shows up for me and my clients all the time. The fear of losing “optionality” is what keeps many people stuck in making decisions.
To decide literally means to cut off. It’s automatic that you will lose options.
Sellers fear losing money and losing the home they love. What if they can’t find another one as great as this one?
In a slow real estate market — what some call a “buyer’s market” — buyers are actually more hesitant to buy because they fear losing out on an even better opportunity that might come up tomorrow. In a fast market — a typical “seller’s market” — the fear of losing a home they love motivates buyers to make offers.
Our fears of judgment and criticism are rooted in fears of loss. We fear the loss of respect or admiration from someone we love or care about.
Ask yourself: do you really fear the judgment of people you don’t know?
At least for me, the fear is about people I do know. I don’t care about judgments from internet trolls.
Play Offense, Not Defense
You cannot play life trying to hold on to what you have. The minute you fear a loss, you start to play defense, not offense. The best teams play to win.
Defense may win championships on the field, but offense wins life.
The halls of entrepreneurship are filled with people who made it big when their backs were against the wall, when they were on their last dollar, or when they were almost out of time. There’s a reason for this: they had nothing to lose.
The only way to play is to play as if you have nothing to lose. No matter what the situation, you’ve got to be willing to let go.
What are you protecting? What’s really at stake? How can you let it go?
When you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to fear.
Play to win.