Self-reliance means having the will and the courage to do things alone and to be alone rather than relying on others. This is a very powerful tool because it means that you can never feel completely alone or lost. You are the one person who will always be with you – and if that is enough, then it will make a big difference and put you in a much stronger position. If you are self-reliant, then there is nothing that can be taken away from you that will leave you completely destroyed.
As mentioned, true self-reliance takes courage. The ability to be alone, to take risks without a safety net and to cut ties when it best serves your interests is one that requires a certain fearlessness that not everyone possesses naturally. So for many, the first step towards self-reliance will be in acquiring that courage that makes everything else possible. And one tool for doing this is ‘fear setting’.
What is Fear Setting?
Fear setting is an idea that was made popular by Tim Ferriss in his book ‘The Four Hour Workweek’. Interestingly though, the concept really takes its cues from an aspect of ‘cognitive behavioral therapy’ known as ‘thought challenging’.
For most of us, our fears come from beliefs we hold about things that could go wrong or that might happen. In the case of self-reliance, we might be afraid that everyone is going to leave us and we’ll go crazy from loneliness. Or maybe we worry that if we cut ties with our current career, we’ll end up with none to come back to.
These fears are what limit us from taking risks often and what prevent us from living to our full potential. Thus they are also a huge obstacle when it comes to achieving real self-reliance.
Fear setting is about taking these beliefs then and making them less scary. You do this by writing them down and by assessing how likely they are to come to fruition. What’s more, you will also come up with contingency plans for how you would cope if they should ever happen. So for instance, if you’re worried you might end up without your job if you take time off, fear setting would then be the process of thinking how you might cope. Would you be destitute? Or might you find it was relatively easy to find work? Do you have enough in savings to survive for a few weeks?
Use fear setting and your fears don’t seem so big – and that’s how you gain the courage to be fully self-reliant.
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