What I Do When I’m Afraid
This blog post was originally a personal email I sent to my subscribers. I never received such letters of support as I did with this one. (I guess I’m not the only one who struggles with fears and doubts sometimes)
And if you ever feel like your fears stop you from doing what you really want to do – then this will help.
It Starts With A Story.
Take a look at the image below:
I always wanted to run a marathon.
(Now, at first, this might seem unrelated to your property career. But don’t worry. It has everything to do with you, and very little to do with running. It will ALL come together and connect in just a moment. So let’s carry on.)
As I was saying, I’ve been wanting to run a marathon for years now. And this year I decided: “it’s now or never.”
I laid out some milestones and created a “perfect plan” for myself.
I would complete a 14.5km trail run in February. Then, run two half marathons. One in April, and another in August. And finally, run the Medibank Melbourne Marathon in October.
Perfect Plans Don’t Pan Out Very Often!
February was a little busy with us moving to France and all, so right off the bat I missed the first milestone. Which is what usually happens with any new year resolution, right?
Sometimes things don’t pan out the way you expect them to. Most times, actually. I was bummed about it.
But I figured (and this is important) – that just because I missed my two-month milestone, doesn’t mean I need to wait another year for a second chance!
You Just Have To Re-Adjust Your Plan
So once we got to France I decided not to do the 21km run I planned, but at least do the 12km fun run (Le Pomme Poire). That was something I knew I could do (I’ve done it before). And it would put me back on course for achieving my bigger goal (of running a full marathon.)
In other words, I didn’t give up on the big hairy goal. I just updated the milestones to getting there. OK. Onwards with the story (we’re almost there!)
Two days before the event I drove to town to pick up my bib number, tracking device and free t-shirt. As I unwrapped the package, I discovered the universe had played a sinister trick on me…
And If Re-Adjustment Fails?
There was a mistake on my registration form. I wasn’t allocated to the fun run I asked for. But instead, the organisers put me in the 21km half marathon run!
I won’t lie. I was freaking out.
Do You Bail? Do You Go For It?
My panic must have been pretty obvious, because the organiser immediately offered to rectify the mistake and place me on the 12km run instead.
Do you ever get a gut feeling that some things are just “meant to be“? That’s how I felt. So, on the spot, I decided to bite the bullet and go with it!
But I Wasn’t Ready!
Now, at this point, I’d only been running 7km stints a couple of times a week. This was not nearly enough for this type of event… but I had no choice.
In 36 hours, ready or not (definitely not in my case), I’ll be standing on that starting line.
Physically, there wasn’t much I could do.
I bought a bunch of energy gels I’d take with me in case of an emergency – and that was it. The rest of my preparation time would have to be mental.
So here’s what I did for the next 24 hrs:
- 3 massages from my beautiful, supportive wife (thanks, sweet cheeks!)
- A big bowl of chicken carbonara with extra pasta
- A good night’s sleep
- Prepared a Spotify playlist and loaded onto my phone (click here to hear the songs that got me over the line)
Then before I knew it, the starting gun went off.
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Despite a few grueling hills along the way, I got the job done in 2:02:13!
Maybe it was the jogging past 500 year-old chateaus in perfect weather. Maybe it was the encouragement from locals, calling out “Bonne Courage!” and “Allez Australian!”
Or maybe it was because although I didn’t know I was ready… I actually was!
You see, for years I’ve run in 10 and 12 km ‘fun runs’. But I never stepped up to a longer running event because I never thought I was ready.
But Here’s The Interesting Thing
Nothing in life is ever perfect.
We’re never really fully prepared for anything. There’s always more we wish we could do. Which is why it’s so important to
Just Go At It… Give It A Crack!!!
Have a go… just once in a while, throw caution to the wind and act before you overthink yourself out of it. (Not all the time. Sometimes you need to calculate the risk… But still!)
If you’re still wondering what this story has to do with your property career, let me unpack the lessons I learned from this experience:
1) To rise for a big challenge, you need support. We all need someone to believe in us and cheer us on – while we get the job done.
2) There’s never enough time to do all the preparation you’d like. The “perfect opportunity” is the one that presents itself to you! It will often be disguised as a negative – just like the muddle up with my event registration.
But if you can push beyond the initial panic – you can do amazing things.
3) You see, you can always do more than you think you can. There’s research that proves it. Most people only operate at 40% of their real potential.
4) So when something scares you, ask yourself: “Is there an opportunity for me here?”
Then Something Unexpected Happens
As my left shoe hit the ground on the 13th kilometre mark, I felt an amazing sensation of joy. “This is it, Matt.” I thought to myself. “This is the furthest you have ever run in your life!”
Every step from this point was breaking new ground for me. I found my rhythm. And was comfortable running my own race.
So what happens when you leave your comfort zone? A feeling of no boundaries. And no expectations. For me, that meant the pressure was gone. From that moment on – I could just enjoy the run.
How To Win In Property (And Life)
Running long distances is mostly a mental game. So is property. Or anything else that challenges you. So how do you win?
I believe there is only one way. By accepting your fears. Embracing them. Acknowledging them. And still having a go!
Remember the old saying. “The deal of the century comes along every two weeks”. That is perfectly true… for those who let themselves believe it!
You see, we’re all afraid. The secret is not to get rid of the fear. But to accept that it’s there. Find your “13km mark” – and then take one more step forward. Amazing things happen at the edge of your comfort zone.
I bid you “Bonne Courage!”, and wish you a wonderful weekend!
P.S. If you found this blog post helpful, could you let me know? And if you know someone who could use the inspiration, would you share it with them?
9 thoughts on "What I Do When I’m Afraid"
Love your work Matty!!
Awesome post and very relevant.
Thanks Clayton. Looking forward to catching up on our return mate. Cheers, Matt
What an inspirational message
Thanks Vivienne… enjoy your upcoming France trip!
Great story Matt! Everything about it – the 13km mark, the support, the opportunity wrapped in an unexpected covering. This property game really is like a marathon – you have to step outside of your comfort zone and persist!
Exactly Linda. In fact, it’s one big life lesson. Embrace it all!
Very inspiring Matt. Hope you can help many more people reach their property investing goals
Thanks Kailash. We all have the opportunity to inspire.. go for it mate!
This is really inspiring story. Love it!