The Phaserl


The Difference Between Fear and Concern

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

The last 24 hours were quite interesting for me, and have sparked all sorts of thoughts and tangents in my mind. I’ve been absolutely thrilled that yesterday’s post, A New Financial System is Being Born, has been so well received in the broader Bitcoin/crypto/tech world, but I also noticed a meaningful contradiction. While the post has been cheered beyond the confines of this website, within Liberty Blitzkrieg itself, it hasn’t been celebrated by anyone, at least not publicly in the comment section. In fact, if you scroll through the comment section of the post, you’ll see it’s basically 100% skepticism or dislike for Bitcoin. The reason I find this so interesting is because of what it tells me about sentiment.

I got a lot of insight from the comment section of this particular post because I know for a fact many of my readers love Bitcoin and have been involved in it for years. I know this based on private conservations I’ve had as well as many donations over the years. In a euphoric market environment, I’d expect the comment section to yesterday’s post to be filled with gloating, giddiness and “to da moon” commentary. There was absolutely none of that. In contrast, the skeptics were out in full force and totally dominated the discussion, which is fine. I want people to express different opinions and feel like they have the space to totally disagree with something I write. At the same time, it does tell me something about overall sentiment. The people who are long and sitting on gains are largely keeping their mouths shut, while the skeptics are very, very vocal. It’s not just here either, the skepticism and dislike for Bitcoin is even more prevalent within my Twitter feed. Incredibly, despite the recent enormous run, Bitcoin sentiment seems cautious-to-negative. Take that information as you see fit.

This sets the stage for the key part of this post which relates to the difference between fear and concern. One of these is a largely unproductive emotional state, while the other is a rational response to potential or real trouble. The reason Bitcoin sparked my interest in the topic is because I’ve witnessed a lot of people miss the Bitcoin run due to irrational fear, as opposed to reasoned concern. This isn’t to gloat about Bitcoin, or predict its future price. Pretty much everyone involved in this space for more than a few days understands that its price could completely collapse any minute and, despite all its advances, Bitcoin remains an experimental project that could end up worthless. I knew that back in 2012 when I first became involved and I know it now, yet I got involved anyway. Why did I do that?

The main reason is because I could see the potential and didn’t allow myself to make decisions based on fear. Fear overwhelms you, stunts your growth, makes you miss out on opportunities, and ultimately prevents you from living a fulfilled, interesting life. I know plenty of people who saw the potential of Bitcoin, but didn’t buy any or embrace it out of fear alone. Fear governments wouldn’t allow it. Fear the power grid would go down. Fear they’d be hacked. Fear overwhelmed them and prevented them from becoming involved in one of the few areas of this terribly corrupt economy filled with actual innovation and optimism. In my years in this space, I’ve found crypto currency people (especially the old school ones), to be some of the most humous, talented, decent and optimistic people I’ve ever met. So what if it goes to zero? The whole journey has been one of the most interesting of my entire life and worth every minute. As I noted on Twitter earlier today.

Which brings me to concern. While I always acknowledged many of the things Bitcoin skeptics pointed out, my response was concern, not fear. Concern allowed me to think things through and determine an appropriate allocation to something as unproven and risky as Bitcoin, but it didn’t propel me to avoid something I believed in and wanted to support. Concern is normal and healthy. It helps you take calculated risks and prompts reasonable measures to insure against catastrophe. Concern doesn’t freeze you up. It doesn’t prevent you from taking action or embracing new experiences. Fear does.

Fear is a negative emotion and mindset that only holds you back. It prevents calculated risk-taking, without which us humans would still be shivering in caves somewhere. We’ve all heard the saying “fortune favors the bold,” but you’ve never heard anyone say “fortune favors the fearful.” That’s because it doesn’t. And by fortune, we’re not just talking material wealth. We’re talking mental health, a breadth of experience and the joy and fulfillment that comes from a life of action as opposed to existing in a state of doom and gloom.

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