In the last month, what have you bought because you were afraid? If you’re like me, your knee-jerk reaction is to say, “Nothing! I don’t buy things because I’m afraid.” You probably believe that all your choices and actions are based on well-founded logic, and that your emotions don’t drive your actions.
But what about being afraid that other people won’t like you?
What about being afraid that you won’t meet a goal?
How about being afraid that you can’t make the changes you want to make?
What about the fear of being stuck where you are and never getting out?
All these fears are sold to us on a daily basis. Mark Manson writes, “A capitalist system markets to everyone constantly, therefore it promotes a society where people constantly feel inadequate, and inferior.” We are told that we’re unhappy because we don’t own this product. Or we are sold the idea that we can’t succeed at our goals without this special item.
The number one reason people abandon diets and budgets is not because they can’t reach their goal. People give up when they make a mistake, that mistake leads to a fear of failure, and that fear leads to the decision to give up.
People don’t give up on goals because they can’t achieve them, but because they are afraid they won’t be able to achieve them. Fear is what prevents people from improving their lives. And yet we are sold fear by marketing agencies and even our government.
How would our country, our cities, our families, and even our individual lives be different if we took the time to build up and encourage ourselves and others, and to break the cycle of fear? How would our need to buy change if advertisers were forced to use absolute truth in their commercials?
What if marketers had to admit that, by the time you got home, you would already know that what you bought wasn’t able to make you permanently happy?
What if people could stop speeding to work out of fear of a job loss, because they had no debt and had money in savings?
Where would we be as a society if, instead of telling people to acknowledge and fear other races, our government stopped mentioning race altogether, but simply served all its people?
Would you treat others differently if they treated you like a friend instead of an adversary? Would they treat you differently if you did likewise?
How would your life be different if you held onto the truth that the life you have is already beautiful, without the constant purchase of gimmicks and status items?
Take 60 seconds today to think about one thing in your life for which you are grateful. If you struggle to think of something, then take a minute to stand outside and look at a tree, the sky, running water, or a flower, and appreciate the beauty we still have in the world.
“The antidote to fear is gratitude.” Tony Robbins