Don’t let fear get in the way of home renovations

Take yourself aside and remember that it will all be okay

While we haven’t had a really rough winter, it only takes a few days of rough weather to bring out the complainers – namely, me.

I really dislike snow and am terrified to drive on the highways during snowy weather, so I watch the forecasts closely if I have somewhere to be and it looks like I may have to drive.

It is a phobia which goes back a few years with a few experiences on icy roads and a face to face meeting with a ditch or two and I realize that my fear is often bigger than the actual situation at hand.

If you are facing a tough decision and are having a range of emotions regarding it, the root of most emotions is fear. When you dig down past the anger and frustration, you will find a big chunk of fear stuck in the dirt. Many times in my career I have dealt with frustrated homeowners who would blast me for something that had taken place in their home renovation.

While some of it was legitimate (who wouldn’t be bothered by a hungover flooring installer sleeping in their basement), most of what I heard from clients was their fear of making a mistake or fear of someone not approving of their project.

Over the years I trained myself to not react to the immediate anger and to let them talk a bit; eventually we would get down to what they were afraid of.

One client had her sister come in and criticize her paint colour and another client’s children berated her for spending too much money (they seemed to be worried about their inheritance).

It seems difficult for people to admit that they are afraid and we will often cover it up with emotions which resemble anger or frustration because these leave us less vulnerable and cause people to back away from us when we are displaying these emotions.

We have all had that moment of panic; from the small when you aren’t sure about your choice of paint colour – to the large where you realize that you hate your newly-installed cabinets or granite.

The icy cold runs through your veins and you feel a little sick to your stomach (fright), then the anger takes over (fight) and you start making phone calls either blaming your designer, supplier, or tradesperson – whoever you can get your hands on at that frightening moment.

In our honest times, if we really take hold of ourselves we will realize that what we are feeling is fear, fear of failure and fear of making a mistake.

Give yourself a break, be kind to you and realize that even if you have made a big blunder that could possibly cost a lot of dollars it will be OK.

It is at these times that you need to take a breath and ask yourself what the worst possible outcome will be and how it will affect YOU, not your mother-in-law or nosy neighbour.

Take yourself aside as you would any nearby human who was scared and let it be OK, give that person (you) the grace to have made an error in judgment and you will see your fear lose air like a withering balloon.

What had once held on will lose its momentum and you will be able to think more clearly.

Kim Wyse is a Central Alberta designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Realtor/Ask a Designer’.

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