Don’t Let Fear Get the Best of You

When we told everyone we were moving into an RV, we were surprised by the amount of support we received. For the most part, people were intrigued. Hour long Q&A conversations with friends and family were common. But while most were excited about our journey, others were skeptical. Along with the skeptics came doubt, worry, and fear. If you’re in the planning stages of full-time RVing, there will be pushback. Don’t let fear get the best of you.

Many of those who give you advice will have nothing to base their advice on. Don’t let it deter you. Don’t let fear get in your way. Things won’t work out exactly as you plan. There will be challenges. But if you’re determined to make it work and you’re willing to push through the challenges and learn from your mistakes, it’ll work.

Fear is a horrible decision maker.  Until you’re able to identify emotions or behaviors that are driven by fear, you are incapable of weighing options objectively and making reasonable decisions. More times than not, our major life decisions are based on fear and we don’t even realize it. We’re scared to speak up at the office, scared to lose financial stability, scared of parental disapproval, scared of being judged, scared of failing, losing, or even trying. We’re scared of being scared!

Fear is irrational. Fear tells you to sell your investment asset after your presidential candidate wasn’t elected, or to delete a passionate Facebook post after you realize people may take it the wrong way. Fear may even keep you from pursuing your passion and living the life of adventure that you’ve always yearned for. Fear cares about failing, being judged, and “keeping up with the Jones’s”.

There is a thin line that separates fear from emotion. Emotions can be put in check with reason by appropriately weighing options proportionate to realistic consequences. Fear cannot be put in check. It takes over your emotions by progressively magnifying consequences until eventually, you’re only option is “fight or flight”. And because we often choose the least path of resistance, the latter is often the road we go down.  

Vision is clouded by fear. Opportunities die with fear. And potential is lost with fear.

When I started my business, people told me “you’re too young”, “you don’t have enough experience”, “you won’t attract the kind of client you need to be profitable”, “just get a job and start a company when you’re in your 40’s like everyone else”. Why weren’t people quick to support me like I thought they’d be? Because they were scared it wouldn’t work for my family and they genuinely cared about our well-being.

But I refused to let someone else’s concerns turn into my fears.

There were a million things that could’ve gone wrong and many of those things did go wrong, but I decided to start my business for two primary reasons: 1) I wanted the freedom to make my own schedule and spend time with my family when I wanted. And 2) I knew I could start a business that was better than many of the company’s I had previously interviewed for.

I dumped 20k into my company before I started looking for clients. I’ve probably spent another 30k on a virtual back office, marketing, and software over the past 16 months or so. We exhausted our retirement accounts and decided to cut costs via full-time RVing. We’ve sold both our houses and we’ve made a bunch of painful financial decisions in the process. The only assets we have left are proceeds from the sale of our rental house. At one point, we could have been on track for early retirement. Now, we’re looking at a delayed retirement.

Everything has a way of working out. Did it hurt? Yes. Does it still hurt? Yes. Will it continue to hurt? Yes. Was/Is it worth it? Absolutely. The ride along the way has been a priceless journey filled with lessons that have lead to opportunities that didn’t exist until we moved into our RV. And they would have never existed had we not started this journey.

Financial failure lead us to the full-time RV lifestyle. The full-time RV lifestyle opened our minds up to another world of opportunities. Realizing those opportunities lead us to blogging. Blogging attracted readers who have reached out to tell us that we’ve inspired them to live differently (that fact alone is worth the financial hardships we’ve endured). And even though I’ve never advertised or marketed my company on my blog, readers are inquiring about my company’s services.

Had I listened to everyone and postponed starting my business, it would’ve been a decision based on fear. And we would’ve missed out on priceless experiences, invaluable lessons, traveling, and the opportunity to help and inspire thousands of others who have read and continue to follow our story. The funny thing is, business inquiries, which were once a top priority, are now just a bonus.

Don’t let others deter you from chasing your dreams. If you have a passion, do your homework and make it happen. When things don’t work out as planned, create another plan. When that plan doesn’t work, do it again. Failing often and frequently only means you’re that much closer to achieving your goals and turning your dreams into a reality. Learn to be resilient and keep pushing forward.

If you truly believe in something, whether it be the RV lifestyle, starting a business, or whatever, then you’ll do everything in your power to make it happen. It won’t always be easy but it IS possible. There is ALWAYS a solution that will allow you to live the way you want and do what you love to do.

Others will question you, they will doubt you, look down at you, and they will talk about you behind your back. But who cares? There’s a world filled with like-minded people who you’ll meet along your journey. They’ll support your vision, they’ll be inspired by you, and y’all will change each other’s lives.

And as far as the non-supporters go, just know that they have your best interest at heart. Don’t blame them for not understanding; most won’t and that’s ok! Just smile, tell them thanks for the advice, walk away, and continue fighting.

When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

…Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” 

 

Steve Jobs

  • Yes!! Each day we face our fears. That’s part of our lives. We are challenging ourselves to face and overcome these fears. It has lead down some really amazing paths! Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  • Heather Ledeboer

    “Fear is a horrible decision maker.” Well said! I’ve been processing this myself. Our family is currently wintering in Florida (we full-time as well) and previously I didn’t want to come to this state based on a previous trip from my teen years. Facing my fears has been worth it, I would have missed out on so much!

  • Logan Vilas

    Well said Derek. One of my biggest hopes with all this it to show my son he doesn’t have to stay in that box of society. But it’s so hard to teach them to grow up and be respectful while outside of the standard profile.