How To Use Simplicity As A Means To Destroy Fear And Doubt

By Yaro Starak
32 Comments

In business, as with all of the most important parts of life, sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do when faced with a challenging situation. Your usual guides and helpers – your mind, gut, intuition, faith, environment, peers, mentors, family, study resources, etc, don’t always point out a clear direction.

Sometimes what you come to rely upon may contradict what another source of feedback is telling you. For example your mind might say one thing, your feelings say something else, and the raw data points to another direction entirely.

Finding clarity is of utmost importance, but as with most things in life that are important to us, with so many variables at play – way too many to even contemplate let alone actually practice – figuring out what’s really important may not appear like a decision you can make in confidence.

The Challenge Of Scarcity

One of the biggest pitfalls I’ve seen many people fall into is coming at a decision from a situation of scarcity. If you have no money then you are “forced” to make decisions that may not be exactly what you want, but because of the desperation you feel, you act in haste, or perhaps the opposite, you fail to act.

Scarcity is a challenge because often the outside would so clearly demonstrates your lack of something you can’t help but feel that way all the time. If you’re in debt, or you see things you want but can’t have, or you have to go to places you don’t want to go to because you feel you have no choice, you will find yourself falling more and more into scarcity decision making. That in itself can be enough to kill any potential you have to change.

While I truly believe scarcity is a mindset that can be changed entirely by adjusting how you perceive the world, I understand that simply using that as a mantra to convince yourself that you don’t need certain things or you already have enough, isn’t always going to help you. If you don’t have food or can’t pay you’re rent, belief that you are okay alone isn’t enough.

Identify Actions That Lead To Desired Outcomes

One of the important decisions you can make, regardless of what your current situation is today, is what situation you want to be in instead of what is now. This shouldn’t be a fuzzy change, it needs to be tangible and specific, and you need to understand either how to get there, or at least where are the resources to learn from that can teach you how to get there.

For example, if you don’t like your job, deciding how much money you need to live off so you can quit is important. You also need to know what sort of options are available to you to help make money and what criteria you will use to decide which is the best option.

Here’s a process you can go through to help you move towards changing any aspect of your life you are not happy with -

Step 1: Identify what you want to change focusing on tangible and specific outcomes.

Step 2: Identify options to make that change. Try and limit this to options that reflect advantages you currently have, either because of your current skill base or your connections and access to resources.

Step 3: Determine which option you will focus on for your first experiment.

Step 4: Take action to begin the creation of that change in your physical environment.

Step 5: Assess results at set intervals ensuring you measure effort against reward (and effort has to be real and tangible too – this is not just thinking what you could do, this is actually doing it).

Step 6: Determine if enough signs of progress are present for you to continue, if not repeat the steps.

Have Faith In The Process

The steps above are simple and I suspect after reading them you feel at least a little bit clearer about your own direction. As you read those steps you likely think about something in your life you want to change, which you then attempt to turn into tangible and specific outcomes. If you can do that, you then think about what options are in front of you and continue to move through the steps.

Even just playing over that process in your head is enough to feel a little better, a little bit more in control and give you a sense of purpose. That’s good, and you should keep following that path because the movement helps you get somewhere. It may not be end up quite where you want to be, but it’s much better than sitting still and ruminating over what you don’t have or how you feel trapped, or any other limiting beliefs.

The most powerful aspect of going through a process like this to realize change, is that it forces you to commit to a direction that doesn’t depend on you feeling a sense of harmony. You don’t need to feel 100% right about what you are doing, you don’t need to know the exact path you are going to take and you don’t need be certain you have even made the right choice. The important thing is that you begin the process and see it through, that’s the only way you will begin to gain clarity.

If you have faith in the process and do it despite fear or doubt about what might happen or how you even feel in a given moment, then you are making progress.

Simple Works

You may have noticed in many situations simple works. You may not see something as simple, but there is always a way to make something into a simple choice or a simple process. Of course simplicity means you have to omit some things, but that’s why it is powerful. Simplicity leads to focus and focus leads to action.

I’ve noticed in my own life when I focus on what simple fundamentals are most important and do my best to discard what doesn’t help me in a given situation, even if it has some relevancy, I can relax and just enjoy the process of discovery and change. If I attempt to assimilate all the potential variables and account for everything I, well, crash. Information overload is a real problem, especially when all the information is relevant on some level. Your ability to decide what are the fundamentals and act on those and those alone, is the key to success.

Remember to ask yourself when faced with a difficult situation or a desire to change, what is the simplest path forward? What do you really want and what are the most important variables? If you can identify those and keep them in focus, the rest will eventually fade away into irrelevance because you will have what you want, or at least be moving towards it.

Yaro Starak
Simplifying

P.S. If you are interested in a much more in-depth look at how to create positive change in your life, I recommend you read my positive change series starting with part one here -

Is It Really Possible To Create The Change You Want In Your Life?

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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32 Comments

  • Hi Yaro, I am one of your newest recruits!! After reading your chapter in “Our Internet Secrets” sent to me by Janet Beckers team I am so excited to now officially call you friend and learn from and contribute back to Entrepreneur Journey which is closely linked with my concept.
    You are so right about simplifying life- perhaps that’s why so many thousands of Australians go camping with their kids over the Easter break, or Canadians go hiking in the Rockies and millions of Indonesians know no other way- A La…. Eat Pray Love!!!
    Why is it human nature so that we always want what we don’t have? Looking forward to a long and mutually rewarding association with you. Cheers, Tanya Honeychurch

  • The scarcity mindset also occurs because people tend to get stuck on only way way to achieve something. Money is not always necessary to get what you need or want.

    When wanting to achieve a goal it is beneficial to let go of any particular outcomes as far as the way it comes to you.

    I live by the phrase, simplicity is best for me.

  • Yes the KISS principle or Keep It Simple Stupid. When McDonalds sticks to fast inexpensive burgers they succeed when they try fast personal pizzas or fast hot deli sandwiches they’re not as successful.

    Yaro I’d like to see more concrete examples of your principles through case studies. I guess that can be done in future posts or maybe you reserve that type of information for your launches.

    Possibly how your previous blogging formula works better because it’s simple and accomplishes your goal of a 2 hour workday as opposed to advertising network development or Iphone application development.

    Maybe there’s an exception in development since you’re leveraging other people’s resources and skills, though it still doesn’t appear to be simple.

  • Good Tutorial . detailed explanation.
    Thanks for the information.

    Misbah Mumtaz

  • Awesome post Yaro!

    I 100% agree, and despite knowing better I still so often find myself overcomplicating decisions and their solutions, being indecisive, procrastinating by and switching tasks to avoid needing to make the crunch decision or take a certain action…

    At the end of the day it so often stems from me not keeping things simple or building up in my own mind the idea that it’s a vital decision with dire consequences if I get it wrong (almost never really the case).

    So often when I finally catch myself I end up needing to remind myself sometimes you need to let go of the big picture, remember that 97% of decisions are reversible or fixable, that most of my biggest mistakes in life are not bad decisions but my indecisiveness and that sometimes tackling something in small chunks over a couple of days is better than procrastinating over doing it in one big chunk for weeks.

    One thing I would like to add in regards to your comments about “scarcity” for all those out there that are still boot strapping their way to making a living online – I can appreciate that investing money when your not making money is hard, but my being willing to throw a few bucks into buying a couple of internet marketing related books back in 2006 changed my life!

    So my main point is don’t pinch every penny, but wiling to risk a little bit for the chance to gain a lot (knowledge is HUGELY valuable if your have the discipline to apply what you know).

    The advice I have is – fail cheap (for the cost of domain, hosting, some ebooks and spare time you can have a real crack and making a decent return).

    Learn quick (and apply what you learn).

    Never wipe yourself out (small failures are the best teachers, but you need to survive your failures to learn from them. So just be sure you aren’t risking it all, ie don’t drop thousands and thousands of dollars into courses if you can’t leverage the knowledge straight away, or get rich quick schemes or massive projects if it’s your first online experience).

    Stick to your plan (there are hundreds of ways to make a living online – stick to one or two – the jack of all trades is the master of none – and only the top 1% make good money online).

    Take it one day at a time (Rome wasn’t built in a day – but good things comes to those with persistence).

    I don’t know what Yaro’s thoughts are on the matter – but 97% of the decisions I make end up falling into one of two categories – “great decisions that I wish I’d made earlier” or “mediocre decisions that I end up reversing with no real downsides but I learned quite a bit through the process so I don’t regret it”.

  • I second your sentiments as I too from personal experience can vouch that simplicity and minimalism has helped me propel to heights I never imagined, especially so early in life. having clarity is critical, and for me I obtain clarity through simplicity and minimalism (less minutiae to navigate through)

  • This is a nice tutorial, you didn’t forget any step! Challenges are frequent in business and we have to know how to deal with them!

    • It’s always about how you see challenges. In fact, I think challenges is a good word, most people call it problems and that makes it sound much more negative.

  • Yaro;

    You are at it again! What a great and revealing article. This is absolutely timely: money starts from the individual – i mean the people around the business, the owners of the business. You said it all here.
    Yaro; permit me to post this wonderful article of yours on any of this sites for my aidience to read it …
    http://www.ineedabusinesstoday.com/Home_Business.html or
    http://www.favouredgroupltd.biz/wordpress

    I will ensure you that nothing will be added nor be taken away from this article.
    Added to this is the review about your site and services you will get from me on my home page.

  • Nice guide man ))

    This posts mean so much to me ! They inspire me to work harder and harder every day !

  • Ann

    Ahh yes the old KISS principal

  • Hi Yaro,

    I’ve worked on business process improvement (BPO) for many years and one thing we’ve seen is that you can’t simplify something unless you have a PROFOUND knowledge of how it works.

    When we work with clients we explore just how deep their know their subject matter and then (and only then) look at ways to streamline the process.

    Hope that makes sense. Not a criticism of your article, more another angle on the topic.

    Regards,

    Ivan

    • Thats a great point Ivan, and that is why I include the point about knowing what the next step is (or what you are trying to do and options to do it), if not the next step is figuring out how to actually take the next step.

      • Hi Yaro,

        Love your information! Discovered your membership site mastermind program in 2009, but freaked out once I heard I needed a blog (I was a real self-proclaimed ‘blogophobe’), and so I stopped and didn’t go any further. Didn’t have a clue as to how to start one of those of what to say.

        Now that I’ve started my own career services business online, I remembered you from 2 years ago, and decided to take another look. That’s when I found out that you had a blog coaching program that I would like to join.

        Once I have a good blog following and build an audience, I’d be interested in signing up for Membership Site Mastermind. I just need to figure out how to deliver value to people with a career coaching membership site, I’ll wait for your further advice on this one.

        Thanks Again,

        Shanen

  • You hit it right on, Yaro. When times are tough (money is scarce), any opportunity that comes along looks good even though it might not be the best move.

    Taking a step back and really taking a look at the situation and what needs to be done will provide much better results than a knee-jerk reaction to fear, stress, or pressure.

    When I was looking for a venue that could provide a full time income, anything looked good, but taking a step back really helped save me a lot of frustration until I finally found what worked best for me.

  • Great post! I have recently made a big CHANGE in my life, quit my job to dedicate myself to building an online business. It’s a complete paradigm shift, and some of the points in your post definitely hit home. Luckily I have a professional business career background, which will hopefully help me identify some of the pitfalls I may run into.

    Going to read your other post “Is It Really Possible To Create The Change You Want In Your Life?” now.

    If you are interested in following me, I am documenting my own journey of CHANGE in my blog, as I grow my online business (only 8 days in, so not a lot of content yet!) http://www.takingoffthesuit.com

    cheers,

    exsuit

  • Well, what more can i say Yaro? You did it again. It only means that whenever we want something and we want to accomplish it we should face whatever fear we may have inside. Sometimes we are unable to make our dream come true simply because we have doubts along the way but if we stand by it and we do what we can do then we will be successful in the end.

  • Hi !

    To begin with, it’s great post. It’s all a matter of shaking the fear inside and doing it.
    Yet you counted in the beginning the helpers that don’t point you to the right direction and enumerated among them mind, gut feeling, faith, intuition, study resources and then followed up with some steps for change which involve working with and exercising exactly the misleading helpers. Actually mind+ gut feeling+faith + intuition+ study resources are the key to success. To identify and get clear about what you want, learn to focus and simply things, build faith yo need to work with the same helpers you mentioned in the beginning of this post but this time with the different mindset/perspective/attitude.
    It’s your thought habits, paradigms and mental attitude that create a shallow mind or as you correctly said the scarcity mindset. Therefore a exercise in right thinking with the I CAN DO IT attitude will make the difference.
    As for peers, friends, environment and family they’re relative to your success, unless they form your MASTER MIND.

  • Nice Post. Nice name mentioned as KiSS Principal.

  • V&A

    It’s so true. Desperation makes everything seem overwhelming. There is so much power in stepping back and taking a simple overview.

  • The step-by-step process in changing the unhappy aspect of life is a huge help for me. I will start it now. :) Thanks Yaro!

  • Hi Yaro I really appreciated you write this self help article. This is what I need right now. Thank you again. I’ll try to implement it in my life. Thanks

  • I think many of us over complicate things on a regular basis. And your right the hardest thing to do is to identify the problem and choose the best selective outcome from the lot you have to choose from. I like how you also referenced that having belief won’t pay the bills alone you have to put what you want, your thought and beliefs into action. When you wish upon a star does it come true because you wished or because you believed and made it happen.

  • This is a good article, really for many people fear and doubt are great problems.

  • I believe most of the steps can be replaced by to more important ones: 1. Get Clear on What You Want + 2. Find Leverage to Make the Change a Must.

  • Fear and doubt are two of the things that an entrepreneur must avoid. Business is a risk and fear and doubt can be battled by knowledge and research.

  • Your right some people do over-think some things and sometimes the most complicated isn’t the best way. other wise where would the phrase K.I.S.S come from?

  • Hi Yaro,

    I love what you say here about the importance of finding clarity and of the negative consequences that can come from making decisions from a place of scarcity. But I wonder how many people can change their tendencies to do this by simply reading your posts and following your advice.

    I’ve spent a good deal of my adult life trying to find clarity, and one thing I’ve learned is that our approach to dealing with challenging situations in life is usually determined by the conditioning we receive when we are very, very young.

    Because of this many of the people who follow your six step process for change probably won’t succeed.

    I think the theories that underlie Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) help to explain why this happens.

    TCM postulates that energy runs through the body along specific energy meridians. (People who find it difficult to accept the idea that the body is an energy field should know that much of western medicine is also based upon this fact; modern medical equipment like the EKG and the EEG are actually measuring the flow of energy in the body.)

    Illness and disease have long been known to result when energy becomes blocked and is unable to flow (thus the flatline on the EKG signalling the end of life).

    But what the Chinese have known for centuries that is now becoming more widely understood and accepted in the western world is that there is a relationship between the way energy flows through the meridians and the way the mind works.

    I first began to understand this when I was writing my Master’s thesis. After having my first ever acupuncture treatment, my creativity was seemingly unleashed and I wrote the first draft of the thesis within one week. It was an astonishing accomplishment for me, and it kept me going back for more and more treatments for a long time afterward. Later, when I was writing my doctoral dissertation, I would actually feel the places in my body where my energy felt stuck. One trip to the acupuncturist’s office would confirm what I was feeling–those needles went right into the places I could feel. And, after every treatment, my productivity would skyrocket.

    While I loved knowing that I could turn to acupuncture to clear my writer’s blocks, I didn’t begin to get a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection until I learned a technique for meridian tapping and used it to overcome recurrent episodes of depression and anxiety that I had experienced throughout much of my adult life as a result of suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The form of meridian tapping that I learned is known as EFT, which stands for emotional freedom techniques.

    The beauty of EFT is that once you learn how to use it, you can apply it to just about every aspect of your life that you experience as troubling.

    The other great thing about EFT is that you can do it yourself; you don’t need to see (and pay) your EFT practitioner every time you are feeling stuck.

    Going back to your six step process, I would guess that the place that holds most people up is step 4, taking action. People whose energy is blocked will have a lot of trouble taking the actions that they decide are necessary for achieving their goals. Similarly, if they do take those actions, they will later find themselves doing things to undermine those actions and return them to the place of scarcity and confusion, the place they have come to identify as being comfortable for them. That’s because they haven’t dealt with the underlying energy block that led them to those feelings to begin with.

    So while it’s important to do the things you suggest, real change won’t occur until the energy block that created the feelings of scarcity and confusion is removed.

    If I wasn’t so concerned about taking up space, I’d offer a quick lesson here on how to use EFT to remove the blocks that stand between you and your success. If you’re interested, I’ve recently started blogging about this very topic. I’m still working on getting my website up, but for now you can check out my posts at elanapeled.com.

    Thanks for all the inspiration and advice you provide on this site. I aspire to create a site that’s equally informative and inspiring and appreciate all you do to show the way!

  • It is interesting to see how you consistently come up with contents that are from all niches within human interaction yet they appear as a niche of “ENTREPRENEURSHIP” !!!!

  • Thanks Yaro! You have helped me start my new blog. And I am getting some traffic and the comments are mostly positiive! Thanks a ton!

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