As a trainer, I like to always have a good set of poké balls with me. I never know when I’ll need to grab one to catch an unknown pokémon and help make my team stronger. Once I catch a pokémon, I learn all about them by battling with them and by entering their info in my pokédex. Then when I encounter them again in battle, I understand how to defeat them and how they may hold me back.
I feel that a common struggle with personal finance is that fear and anxiety act like unknown Pokémon. Fears of not knowing how much debt someone has or needing to cut back can hold people back. Once we enter them in our "feardex", we start to understand how they hold us back. We just need to have the poké balls to stand up and catch our fears so we can make them our own.
Learning about poké balls
First a quick lesson on poké balls. Poke balls are what trainers use to capture wild Pokémon to add them to their team and pokédex. There are four basic types of poké ball that grow in strength with every level. In ascending order, we have Poké Ball, Great Balls, Ultra Balls and Master Balls. As each level gains power, they also become rarer to find. Master Balls have a 100% catching rate, which means they always catch the Pokémon, but they are some of the most difficult poké balls to get our hands on. Typically, I only encounter one in a game.
There is also a variety of poké balls which change strength based on the environment or the type of pokémon they are attempting to catch. Dusk Balls are stronger at night or in dark caves. Net Balls are stronger when catching water and bug type Pokémon. The rarity of these poké balls is also region based. For example, Kurt uses heirloom techniques to make apricorns into poké balls only in Johto.
Finding our poké balls
Where do we get these poké balls to catch our fears with? Some we naturally have, some we get from friends and some we just pick up along our way. First, our personas provide us with poké balls that we naturally have in our bags. My two natural poké balls are Fast Balls and Timer Balls. My Fast Ball caught my fear of moving to the “big city” after being in the city for less than an hour. Since I knew early on that I wanted to be with my fiancé forever, my Timer Ball caught my fear of commitment after three years and help me propose.
Since everyone has a different starter set of poké balls, we need to grab our friends’ poké balls too. Watching my friends handle their poké balls has helped me add their poké balls to my bag. Using my fiancé’s Love Balls, I caught my fear of long-distance relationships. I picked up some Luxury Balls from my friend Duchess Jerrilyn that helps me chat with industry celebrities.
Other poké balls, like Repeat Balls, I found and added to my bag. Thanks to my Repeat Balls, catching my fear of costumed character walkarounds has gotten easier and easier the more times I do it. This is important because they practically live in Times Square and I walk through there at least twice a week for work.
Using our poké balls
Different situations call for different types of poké balls. Sometimes I have the perfect poké balls for a situation, like when I moved to New York City with only a sublet lined up and my access student loan money. I also had the perfect set of poké balls to move my savings account from my starter bank when they wouldn’t increase my interest.
I have found myself in situations where my poké balls are far from beautiful, yet they still get the job done. Catching my fear of cutting up my credit cards requires some battling first. Instead of cutting them up, my credit cards now use PP to limit my spending. This system helps me chip away at the fear making it easier to catch with my not so attractive poké balls.
When I don’t have the right poké balls and I can’t make what I have work, I retreat and do research. A trainer can plan ahead by researching the upcoming environment and the types of Pokémon that live there. Then they can prepare their bags with suitable poké balls to catch anything the encounter. Likewise, researching for new challenges helps us bring better poké balls. Before starting this blog, I researched and practiced for a couple of months. It helped me stock my bag with useful poké balls to have on hand as I need them.
Silph Scope Fears
Then there are what I call silph scope fears. These fears disguise themselves until I correctly identify them with a silph scope. How do I know when this happens? My poké balls suddenly stop working. I find myself saying, “I don’t understand why I can’t do this. It makes no sense.”
My most recent silph scope fear has been starting a discussion with my boss about a possible raise. Since February I have been trying to talk to them, but something has been holding me back. At first, I thought I feared that the conversation could cause conflict. But I wasn’t afraid to talk to my boss about other things that caused conflicts. Then I thought it was being afraid I wouldn’t get a raise, which wasn’t really a concern either. I knew either I would get it or I would start my plan B.
Writing this post became my silph scope and revealed that I am afraid of improv conversations. I don’t know what will be said and I don’t want to look like a slurpuff in front of someone I respect. I finally threw a Fast Ball at it yesterday, caught it and we started our discussion. Catching my fear helped me realize yes, I may say something stupid or unnecessary, but that’s just part of having a live conversation. Now that I caught my fear and entered it in my feardex, I should catch it easier when I encounter it again.
Just because we are afraid of something, we shouldn’t limit our interaction with it. We just need to seize our opportunities to grab our poké balls and catch our fears. Once we own them, we can understand them, and they become our strengths.
Let’s chat: What fears do you want to catch that are holding you back? Do you have a favorite pair of pokéballs that you like to play with?
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