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OK, what I want to talk to you today about is fear and you know, the whole “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” thing.
Well, I've got more fears than most. I never realized it, but I am quite an anxious person, it turns out from my great, long list of things I was afraid about.
Before we came out here, I was afraid of, in no particular order, insects, quite afraid of insects, don't like spiders at all, not very keen on other things either, that fly about. I can just about cope with the ones that creep along the floor.
We had no idea about Mani Worms though. Mani worms turn out to be persistent little buggers, that go up the walls and along the floor and if you tread on one in the middle of the night, it makes an almighty stink. They can't hurt you though.
I was afraid of having no car. I was so worried about that, I wanted to drive across Europe to bring my car out here, because I didn't want to be without a car.
As it turned out, it's a really good thing to be without a car, 'cause it forces you to walk up and down and the thing we didn't realize before we got here was that the local supermarket, Katarina's, they have a gentleman in the white van, they're very happy to take you home after you've done a big load of shopping and they will drop you at your door. You can't see Tescos doing that, can you? But it means that you don't have to have a car, because you can walk to the supermarket, do your shopping and get transported home, albeit in the back of a van with a dog protection grill on, so I get to sit in the front and Sarah sits on the little fake tree stump in the back, it's very funny.
I was afraid of the dark, but we got around that one too. It is pretty dark, to be fair, and when you wake up in a room, where there's no light at all because you're out in the middle of the olive groves. But one of my neighbours heard that I was having a bit of a hard time with it and she dropped in a nightlight. She just bought me one in the shop and it was a nice blue kind of light, so it makes you not so... it doesn't wake you up so much when you get up to go to the loo in the night.
I was very concerned about sleeping downstairs, because of the serial killers. Everybody knows there's a lot of them in the Mani, almost as many as in Shoreham (my family think I'm absolutely bonkers), but I was concerned about sleeping with the window open.
But not now I know about the Serial Killer Stones. Basically, everyone's got stones on their windowsill, which means that if anyone tries to push the window open in the middle of the night, a stone drops on the floor and wakes you up pretty sharpish, because it makes a very loud noise. So, now I'm utilizing the serial killer stones and I'm feeling absolutely fine about sleeping with the window open now.
Also, what else was I worried about before moving to Greece? Giving up everything, selling everything, giving up the house, giving up, you know, the stable base, that I perceived it was. I was particularly concerned about giving up the cutlery. The things you cling onto....
But all of these fears were completely groundless. Yes, we've had the odd insect or two. Yes, I've had to wrestle with the odd spider coming in, I've had to cope with super large mosquitoes on occasion, except they weren't, they were daddy longlegs, small daddy longlegs and the nightlight solved a lot of the problems.
So, how did I get over all those fears? Well, I sort of painted myself into a corner. We made the decision to go and we had the offer for the house and it just was too good an offer to give up, so we just went for it and then as soon as I sort of said yes, Sarah started selling things out from underneath me pretty much, which was great, because it put, painted me into a corner, so I think that's a really good way to do it.
Have an ultimatum, give yourself a deadline. Think to yourself, "How could I make this decision irreversible, so I can't bottle out?" which is what I was nearly doing the day before we came, but it would have been such a shame, such a shame to miss out on this whole six month's experience. If I hadn't done it, it would have been such a shame.
So now, I'm afraid of all these things going back (to England). I thought I'd just say that these fears don't go away, you know, you get rid of one set and then another set comes up. So, I was worried about where to stay. Now, that was a sort of totally ridiculous fear, because it was like I was gonna worry about all the hotel rooms, all the B&Bs, everybody's spare rooms, every, every, every bit of accommodation in Shoreham-by-Sea being full, when I wanted to come home, which is just daft.
I was particularly worried about the embarrassment of staying at other people's houses. I've still got that one to some degree, but I'm gonna force myself through it. There are people I want to see in the UK and I'm gonna go and damn well stay with them and I'm gonna force myself through that initial embarrassment of being through, in other people's homes.
Coming back out here again, I was worried about not finding anything to rent and actually what happened was I decided, made the decision to come back in Stoupa.
(There's construction going on on the roof, we've just remembered, which is what the clanging noise is).
So, I made the decision I wanted to stay here, on about Thursday of one week, Sarah started doing some research for me, and the people I was having dinner with offered me their house to rent.
So within two or three days of me making the decision, that I wanted to come back, I had somewhere to stay and not just any old somewhere, a really beautiful little house, which is ironically immediately next door to where we're staying now.
So that is just ridiculous, it was just so easy, law attraction in action.
And the last thing I'm concerned about now is that I won't enjoy it when I come back and I'm on my own. I've made lots of friends here, but I don't know how I'm going to get on without Sarah and I might well be on the phone begging and pleading for her to come back but I'm gonna give it a go, 'cause the only way you can tell if you're gonna enjoy something and if you can live a certain way, is to give it a try, and also no decision has to be forever.
See you next time!
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