Fear or Growth?

I spent a good part of the maniac’s hours on Sunday morning catching up with one of my favorite bloggers, James Altucher.  He poised an interesting thought that I believe really splits us as human beings into different factions. He asked, “Do you make decisions out of fear or based on growth.?  Pretty simple and straightforward right?

It immediately made me go personal and think about my own failed marriage and what was at the crux of our demise.  Without a doubt is was a battle between fear and growth.      My ex-wife is reserved, and she is easily spooked and doesn’t want to take chances. It wasn’t a problem at first when we dated or even got married…there weren’t a lot of any “big” decisions to make.  I had already built my dream house on the ocean and I know had we embarked on that venture together, the outcome would have been a disaster.  I am a person, who is not afraid, nor am I foolish when it comes to risk tolerance. I am wired to make decisions and live my life looking for constant growth, expansion and challenge.

Think about yourself for a moment?  Look back on all the major decisions you have made in your lifetime.  Do you make your decisions based on fear or are you a growth based decision maker?  I feel James Altucher brings up a great point that should be used in therapy, and all sorts of counseling.  When I was getting divorced, our marriage counselor labelled me as ‘concrete’ and my soon to be ex-wife as ‘abstract.’  I tried reinventing myself based on this paridgm, yet after all the work I did to improve myself, I come across Altucher’s fear versus growth question and realized most of the world just doesn’t get it.

I am a huge fan of the movie series, Divergent, based upon the various factions of people.  I personally subscribe to some sort of faction system, based only that there are distinct types of people, who can be grouped together.  No I am not suggesting by any means we build our society living among factions.  However, even greater than factions is the concept of fear versus growth. I think so many relationships, both personal and professional fail becasuse people do not share the same innate  values whe it comes to fear and growth.

I do not think one approach is better or more superior, okay so I lied, its just my humble opinion, so don’t give it a second thought.  I believe we are dominated by either fear or growth, however it’s not so rigid that a growth based person would never make a fear-based decision if necessary.

Going back to my failed marriage, once there were major decisions that my ex-wife and I had to reach agreement on, it became almost unbareable to engage with her….we got to the point where one of us would just give up the decision to the other person, to avoid the frustration of the conflict stemming from deep within our circuitry. I personally felt held back, like I was being told “no” all the time.  I had worked a very unusually successful career at a young age and NEVER would have made it to where I ended up without my growth based persona.  I think back to some investment opportunities, and one particular housing decision that we ended up losing out on because of my ex-wife’s fear.

To be honest, I don’t think fear for the most part is rational….I agree a healthy dose of it is always necessary, but I still can’t make peace with lost oppunities that I missed out on because of a difference of opinion.  I think back to one of the last squelches of my growth attitude.  Back in 2009, when the housing market was in flames, my parents were selling their beautiful, fully-furnished house at a fire sale price on the ocean on a barrier island.  They offered it to us, which would have kept the realator’s fees out, but my ex-wife said no.  Although she wanted it, and loved the area, it was beyond her comfort zone.  Her point, and the only one she could make is that we already owned two homes, and three seemed over the top. If I had bought my parents house at the fire sale price in 2009, and sold it in 2015, I would have profited $750,000.  It pains me to my core.

However, I have made this growth and fear decision post based mostly if not entirely on money related issues, and that is not a fair appraisal of these two forces working against one another. Big issues like, divorce, children, education, quitting a job, or relocating, to name a few, are also relient on fear versus growth decisions.

Do some deep reflection on yourself and try to figure out what drives you more, fear or growth?  Then look at the people, the important people in your life, are they of the same make up?  I believe our personal lives would be greatly enhanced if we aligned with a person with whom we shared common fear or growth ideals. I think almost any form of relationship between two parties would be greatly enhanced if we knew for ourselves whether we approached issues and decisions out of fear or growth. Obviously, it goes without saying I don’t take the word “no” very well…..perhaps someday I will change, but I doubt it, I love the thrill, and never once have I made a decision that cost me loss or wasn’t right.  Lucky? No, just chasing dreams one after another…






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s