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Overcome Fear And Take Action

The key in a property and business context is the realisation that fear can be managed, harnessed and used as a motivator, writes Mark Withers.

By: Mark Withers

1 April 2022

Maori culture is woven around shared wisdom, often handed on verbally using proverbs, or whakatauki. These proverbs are designed to illustrate and teach principals and ideas that are relevant to all cultures, not just Maori.

But taking learnings from our own language, Te Reo, offers a special resonance for Kiwis.

The whakatauki tuwhitia te hopo, meaning overcome your fears, is very empowering. It leads to action that can start a hikoi, or journey, towards a goal.

At present we are all witnessing, and sharing fear.

Uncertainty breeds fear, and often reactions to it can create more fear.

The pandemic is a case in point. The government’s approach to the fear we all felt was to curb freedoms and regulate behaviour in a genuine attempt to protect us. When you drill in on their actions and examine things like the changes made to property rules and regulations you see the government reacting to a fear of the consequences of property price rises that was itself linked to the pandemic stimulus settings. They needed to inject rules to deal with pandemic management strategies.

The key to tuwhitia te hopo in a property and business context is the realisation that fear can be managed, harnessed and used as a motivator rather than an excuse for procrastination.

‘Numbers that you have researched and layered into a budget will not lie to you’

The Warrior On Your Shoulder

Many people wanting to embark on a property journey have a raft of fears: Where will I get answers to my questions? Is the agent I am dealing with being straight with me? Will I be able to manage my debt? What happens if the rules of the game are changed? Will my partner back me? Can I do this?

The process of overcoming fear begins by simply acknowledging it. The fear warrior on your shoulder is there trying to protect you, pointing out things you need to consider and be aware of.

It is doing its mahi when it shouts its warnings, but all it requires from you is acknowledgement of them. It is up to you how you will deal with them, overcome them and navigate beyond them.

The next step is doing the mahi. In business this is referred to as “due diligence”. It is the process of gathering and confirming facts and doing the numbers.

Doing the numbers is a very important tool you can use to overcome fear when making property decisions.

Numbers Are Pure And Honest

It can be deployed to budget cash flows and assess opportunity cost choices when selling. Numbers that you have researched and layered into a budget will not lie to you. Numbers are pure and honest. They paint a picture and give you confidence to make a decision. That decision may be to go, or stop, but it’s the numbers and an understanding of them that will give you the power to control your fear of uncertain outcomes.

Finally, the process allows you to take action, make a decision, and take a step forward. When you have done the mahi you are entitled to take action with confidence.

Without actually taking action the goal and the dreams for a better future can’t be realised. The process of gathering knowledge as you overcome your fears will also make each subsequent decision that little bit easier as you gain experience and skill.

Tuwhitia te hopo.


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