Rehearsing the fear of death would be the “worst case-scenario,” but we can’t inoculate ourselves from death and any planned rehearsing would require risks. Contemplating our own death to stay motivated helps. Having a sense of how short our lives are and being conscious of how little time we have left. There is no reason to believe we will be given a second chance, at least not on this earth. So it’s important to put all the petty things in life that we worry about into perspective. I’m not advocating we walk around thinking about our own demise all the time. But use fear rehearsing benefits as a motivational tool to reflect on the things that often scare us the most.
Fear rehearsing, can be regularly micro-dosing ourselves with the “worst-case scenario” as an inoculation. It’s planned exposure to the “bad” realizing the bad isn’t so bad, we can make it less so with repeated exposure. One of the life skills that is good to practice, is learning how little we actually need to live on. Not just in a survival mode, but in a contented mode. This gives us the confidence to take a risk, because you ask the question, “what’s the worst that can happen.” Well the worst that can happen is, that we end up with a backpack, sleeping bag, and eat porridge every day. Not cold porridge either as we have our “jet boil” to heat it up.
Fear rehearsing practices.
Remember it’s not just about survival, it’s about getting by with less. Allowing this to help us conquer the fear of our comfortable life being disrupted and having to live a simpler life by necessity. “Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare. With coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while. Is this the condition that I feared?“ Seneca. What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do. It’s a fear of unknown outcomes and uncomfortable conversations we may have with ourselves. Some periodic fear rehearsing we might do to simulate and inoculate ourselves from losing all our money.
This could be a period of 3 to 14 days or longer. 1 Sleeping in our sleeping bag (yes you can use your lightweight sleeping mat) this can be on the floor anywhere, but not in your bedroom. Also sleeping outside in your tent if your backyards big enough ( a hiking tent is only small ) 2 Wearing one pair of jeans and cheap tee-shirts, for the duration. 3 Eating only very basic food, porridge as I mentioned before, rice and beans. 4 All cooking on the portable camp stove. 5 Drinking only water and cheap instant coffee or tea ( remember clean drinking water is a luxury) 6 Fasting for a day and only drinking water. 7 This is the toughest part, no internet, only at libraries.
Fear rehearsing benefits.
Oddly, we are likely to feel happier after we experiment with these concepts. It takes a monthly or quarterly reminder of how independent our well being can be, when we distance ourselves from the outcome of money. There is freedom to be gained from practicing a frugal lifestyle, even for a short while. It sharpens our senses as we realize how much less we can live on, also more grateful for the things we do have. It’s working backwards from our greatest fear, realizing the chances of that happening are most of the time, unrealistic. When we grasp the idea that even if our worst fear did materialize we would be still be alright. Then it’s easier to rank and push through our lesser fears.
Life can be tough and struggling with money is a large part of that, it’s all about perspective and the situation we each find ourselves in. It’s pretty easy to live on what is just enough, but that’s not what life is about. It’s equally important to measure the atrocious cost of inaction, if you don’t pursue the things that excite you now. How will you feel 5 or 10 years from now if your living with disappointment and regret in not doing the things, fear held you back from. Your inaction could be the greatest risk of all.