The 1 Question I Learned From Tim Ferriss to Ask Myself Whenever I Feel Stuck

2 months ago   •   2 min read

By Ernesto Gutierrez, MD
Credit Tim Ferriss
Table of contents

In 2019 my family and I moved from California to Spain to start a new chapter in our lives.

Unfortunately, validating my medical license would take much longer than expected. Strangely, I think I had been manifesting this. You see, by this time I already knew I wanted a break from clinical medicine. At least for a few years.

So I took the news in stride and decided to make my part-time gig, my full time gig.

It was not as easy as I thought it'd be…

We were living on our savings as I worked on launching the first version of my business training for doctors.

But things weren't going as smoothly as I expected and, without realizing it, fear began settling in. What if we run out of money? What if I can't launch before it happens? What if I launch and nobody joins!?

For weeks I asked myself these disempowering questions without realizing the effect they had on my morale, my mindset, and my confidence.

I stopped investing in the tools and help I needed because I didn't want to spend any money. At home I told my wife we needed to spend less on groceries and be mindful of our lifestyle. Without realizing it, we adopted a scarcity mindset that had us playing defense.

Instead of going for what we wanted, we had been living scared of what we didn't want…

Fortunately, I had retained some of my habits and routines all throughout this period.

One of them, which I've had since I was a teenager, was reading personal development. And one day I was listening to a podcast with Tim Ferriss where he casually mentioned this question as one he asks himself from time to time. Specially when faced with a choice.

"What would I do if I wasn't afraid?"

As soon as he said those words, it's like a light bulb went off in my mind.

I immediately cracked open my notebook/journal and sat down to write everything that came to mind as I answered this question.

I wrote answers to this question from all angles: in regards to my business, to my finances, to my relationship with my wife, myself, my health…

I don't know how long I wrote for but it felt like hours.

I was shocked to find every area of my life had been corrupted by fear. I had stopped living life like I wanted because I was scared. Scared of failure. Scared of being judged. Scared of not being loved. Scared of things not going my way.

And sure, learning this is just half the battle.

But it's the most important half.

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