Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty

by Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical on September 28, 2010

Don’t Hide From Your Fears

When I look back on our decision to proceed with planning and implementing our 1 year sabbatical I had a lot of reservations and fears.  I mean seriously it’s a big decision to pick up stakes and move around the world with your kids.  I’ve got lots of questions and concerns spinning around in my head and despite 10 months to go before our departure the time seems really short to answer all of them.

To make matters even more stressful we’ve got pressure from family and friends that just don’t understand why we want to do something so reckless and crazy.  What about your job?  How are you going to save for retirement?  Where will the kids go to school?  You’re joking right?  I guess I can’t really blame them for not “getting” it.  When you are happy with your own situation often other situations seem off center.  Plus people who love you only want what they feel is best for you.

But there are plenty of people out there that do get it.  One of those is my good friend Sean Ogle of Location 180.  Sean was one of the first people I talked to about our plans for taking a sabbatical.  You see Sean has done it.  He’s been there.  He left his desk job, moved to Thailand and created a great life for himself.  It was the life he wanted all along.  He overcame the fear of uncertainty and decided to take a risk and go for and it seems to be paying off.

Last week Sean launched his “Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty” program.  Sean was gracious enough to let me preview what he put together and I have to say I was very impressed.  He’s got detailed worksheets to help you figure out what your fears really are and then moves you into defining your long term goals; the things you really want and then takes you step by step through outlining definitive action steps you can take today to overcome the fear and start realizing your true potential.

If you are like me and struggle with overcoming fear; if your insecurities and self-doubt have held you back from doing the things you really want to be doing then this program may be exactly what you need.  Here is what Sean included with this program:

  • 15,000 word guide with details on how to overcome your fear and take control of your life
  • Tools for crafting a remote work agreement
  • How to take advantage of geo-arbitrage
  • A 7,000 word guide to using the FREE Mint.com tools (this is worth the price right here). I have not used Mint.com yet but after reading this guide I can see how useful it can be in monitoring your finances, planning your budget and sticking with it.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog – one of the best things I did to help face my fears was to start a blog.  Somehow having public accountability for your goals makes a huge difference.  This guide tells you all the good stuff on how to do it.
  • Five awesome interviews with big names like Chris Guillebeau, best-selling author of “The Art of Non-Conformity”; Pam Slim, author of “Escape From Cubicle Nation”; digital nomad Cody McKibben; Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt; and outsourcing expert Dan Andrews.
  • And so much more…Sean has even more content to add over time and you’ll get access to all of it because you’ll receive free lifetime updates.

I want to be completely transparent here regarding this product.  This is the first product that I have reviewed on this site and I want to clearly point out that Sean is a friend of mine and I received a preview of this product.  I’m happy to plug this program because I like it and feel it made a difference for me personally in the way I address my fears.  There are absolutely no affiliate links in this post and I stand nothing to gain from this except the satisfaction of furthering Sean’s goals of helping people overcome their fears.  For me it was an extremely helpful program and I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of.  I believe that it could do the same for you.  So if it sounds intriguing head on over to “Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty” and check it out for yourself.  This program won’t make decisions for you but what it does do is give you the tools to think clearly about your fears and make rational decisions for yourself.

If this article didn’t float your boat no worries. I’ve got a great post lined up for Thursday that I think you’ll enjoy.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary R September 28, 2010 at 4:04 am

Hi Matt,
I’m sure there are lots of people out there who think it’s a crazy idea, but it’s also a very smart decision for your kids. I don’t know where you live now, but it’s an amazing eye-opening experience and education for them, which many of their peers will never know.

You’ll figure out how to make it work, and you know what? If it doesn’t, everything here is still waiting for you.

Don’t listen to the fearmongers. In my own case, the fearmongers were my own family, which makes it hard because I wanted their support, but you know what? They come around when they see your life doesn’t fall apart.
Mary R recently posted..Best Meals Around the World

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matt September 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

Thank you for those words Mary. That kind of support means a lot to me. There are times when the “doubt-mongers” really get into my head and start up the fear machine. I begin to question whether what I am doing is the right thing. I guess while it’s nice to have the support of everyone the truth is there is only one person that can make your path and that is you. I believe in what we are doing and I know it will be an incredible life experience for my kids, for all of us.

I like the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson who said “Always do what you are afraid to do.” Strong words of advice for living an exciting life.

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Sean September 28, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Thank you Matt for all the kind words! You are an excellent example of what can happen if you get past your feels and ask yourself honestly “what do you really want out of life?”

Can’t wait to see what the next year holds for you and your family!
Sean recently posted..The New York City Highline Pub Crawl

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matt September 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm

@Sean – Thanks man! You’ve been an inspiration to me and one of the catalysts toward making this whole sabbatical thing a reality. This next year is going to be exciting indeed.

@Ivan – Thanks my friend! Appreciate your support and encouraging words.

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Ivan September 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

You can do it Matt!!…I am rooting for you :)
Ivan recently posted..I Feel Good- How To Walk On Clouds

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Srinivas Rao September 29, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Matt,

I guess I’m not the only one living in a culture of expectations as I wrote about. I can only imagine the resistance that I’m going to get when I tell my parents “I’m taking off for a year to surf the world”, especially since I’m 32 and I’m showing no signs of settling down. Several years back when I started making changes to my life and taking some bigger risks, some friends didn’t think too highly of it. It’s often terrifying to other when people around them make big changes because it forces them to confront how much of their own life they have not been living. That can really shake somebody up and the best way to deal with it is to tell you that you’re crazy. I don’t know much about kids, but what I do know is that if kids in the US were more educated about other cultures and had broader experiences we’d see much more of their potential. If you haven’t seen it , I recommend checking out Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted talk on creativity in education. Anyways, I really look forward to your journey and hopefully I’ll be there with you at some point and we can go out and share some waves :).

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matt September 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Srinivas, thanks so much for your thoughts here. First let me say that I am excited about your “year to surf the world.” One of my all time favorite films is “The Endless Summer” a documentary about two surfers who travel the world looking for the perfect wave. Every time I see that I just want to get on a plane and head out. I can understand how people can feel almost threatened by the prospect of someone they know doing something incredibly cool. It’s difficult for people to see the many options that are available to them primarily because fear of uncertainty steps in and ruins the day. Would I have made this decision years ago? Probably not, but I’ve had my eyes opened to the many possibilities out there and I realize that life is so short and we need to be doing things that we feel passionate while we can. I am really looking forward to my kids having this experience and learning more about cultures around the world. I’ll have to see if I can find that talk you mention here. And finally I am definitely looking forward to sharing some waves with you. Let me know when you come to Indonesia and I’ll be ready. Thanks again for your thoughts. I’m looking forward to your journey as well.

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Larry Clark September 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Hey Matt, I was curious, I haven’t had a chance to go through your blog, but I was wondering how you’re going to fund this?
I’m sure you’ve read the 4 hour work week? the latest edition has some great stories of people who used the kids as a REASON to travel! They are the BEST reason I feel to travel, especially since I never really got to go to China and Hike up Wudang Mountain, the birthplace of Chinese kung fu.
We this economy has really messed up my day job, my own company doing IT consulting ad I have turned to online sales and niche sites, to fund my life so far, it’s work, but it’s also rewarding for me. I get to stay at home and be with my family while I work on my sites and build new ones that make more money. We just had our 2nd little girl, she’s all of 5 weeks old and by 6 months from now I want to be testing the waters by traveling in the US. Grand Canyon, Canyon De Chelly, Redwoods, Yosemite, Yellowstone etc…oh yeah and back to Key West where I was born, I live in San Diego.
So yeah I am going to follow you on your quest and maybe we can meet up someday in Europe, as that’s my intention, to end up there living in a castle for part of a year. People stopped asking me why, and how and where when I was about 30. They had already figured out that I am the Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained kinda guy.
Yeah if you haven’t read the updated edition of 4 hour work week, I highly suggest it, they have US sponsored schools abroad, you can make passive income while traveling, and also save for your retirement the same way as well.
I am not sure how old you are, I am 46 and I have been an entrepreneur for most my life, starting at age 17 with a lawn mowing(landscaping) business. My mom and dad who are in their 60′s don’t understand or trust making money online. My mom, who’s a foremost expert on iguanas, could make bank on a book and a blog about reptiles and iguanas, but her school of thought is you can’t make a living in online. So I asked her then, why doesn’t dad retire? to that she replied, he doesn’t think we can afford living the lifestyle we’ve become accustomed to on retirement income.

Sad.

Really pisses me off and bummed me out. Still working at 67 and no end in site. I wish I could do something to help but they don’t want to hear it. The mentality of work somewhere for most of your life, and retire(hopefully) is pretty quickly going away. The idea of mini-retirements and lifestyle change is quickly taking hold and those who are not in the know, will be stuck, waiting for that someday to come.

sorry for the mental vomit, but I am glad you are really going to take the leap and go for it. get your passports asap, in case you decide one day it’s time to go and just leave. :)
I mean that’s all you really need, once passive income is set up, right? A passport and a laptop?

Anyway…See you around…wanna do a podcast??
Larry
Larry Clark recently posted..Micro Niche Site Challenge – Part 2

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matt September 30, 2010 at 12:17 am

Larry!! So good to read this comment. First, congratulations on your daughter! That is fantastic and such a blessing. Much of what you wrote here really agreed with me because I don’t really believe in the deferred life plan. I’ve read Tim Ferriss’s “The 4 Hour Workweek” which was recommended to me by a good friend and was what really instigated the idea for this journey. It along with Chris Guillebeau’s blog “The Art of Non-Conformity” really opened my eyes to the possibilities out there. I’ve been thinking of getting the latest edition and on your recommendation I may do so. I have a few ideas on how we are going to fund this adventure. We have some savings and plan to sell most of what we have. I also have some ideas for generating income while overseas and expanding my photography significantly. But honestly I don’t have all the answers right now, I just know that to stay where I am is not an option and therefore I will be forced to come up with ways to make money. Like you mentioned, “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.” I’ll be writing much more about this topic over the next 10 months.

Your plan to travel around the US sounds great. I’ve kind of toyed with the idea of traveling to every National Park in the nation with my Dad when he retires this next year. Now that would be a great education for the kids! So glad you found me here. Look forward to connecting more with you and hope we can meetup somewhere in the world one day. BTW…I love that you want to live in a castle. And yes, let’s talk about putting together a podcast! Sounds fun and interesting.

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Larry Clark September 30, 2010 at 1:15 am

Photography huh? I have a love hate relationship with photography. I love it,it’s a great hobby, but then people wanna give me money to do it, and then I start hating it because then I have to commit to it, and do something that may be, un-inspiring to me. So I just say It’s my hobby and I already have a day job. I’ve also thought about doing some photography stuff while abroad or out and about, travel type stuff and life traveling. I am going to be starting a new blog for the same sort of reason this is here, to just blog about life’s travels.
My photography site is here:
http://www.darkmansdarkroom.com
I love doing landscapes and city scapes but Europe has the best I think, even though I haven’t been there yet, I have pictures from a friend who was there and blew up a couple of hers and put them on my wall as reminders to go to Paris. I’m going to have to check into The art of Non Conformity more, I’ve been there but there’s just so many blogs I can digest in one day you know… ;)
personally I have been listening to my books lately including the 4HWW, because I can listen faster than I can read. Plus when I do my daily walks or jaunts to the gym, I can also listen and remain productive. Email me privately, about a podcast. :)
I may have to make a trip up to Seaside soon to visit the Family up there, my mom was just there, probably drove right by you and didn’t even know it.
stay in touch, and if you have any questions about photography I can answer please ask.
Yeah Castles, I stole several books about castles from teh library, when I was in high school. I still have them. :)
Not condoning stealing kiddies, just sayin’…
;)
Larry Clark recently posted..Hollywood Glamour Photography- Behind the Scenes with Daisy Devine

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matt September 30, 2010 at 10:01 am

Larry, photography is my passion and I’m excited to be doing more and more of it. I prefer shooting landscapes and nature type scenes but have been getting more and more into food photography. I recently did a product shoot for a local business which was a lot of fun. If anyone is interested my photography blog is located here. Looking forward to talking more Larry. Take care.

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Larry Clark September 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

Matt, Awesome stuff, I’ve always been interested in Food Photography, and have marveled at the wonders of the food makeup artists. :) nothing like a bottle of Elmer’s Glue to make a bowl of cereal look appetizing. ;)
Larry Clark recently posted..Micro Niche Site Challenge – Part 2

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matt September 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Larry, it’s been fun to learn more about off camera lighting and food styling. There is a lot involved in making food photos that look appetizing.

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