Prepared or Paranoid? What the difference is and why it matters

12:08 PM


Being prepared is not the same thing as paranoia.

Sometimes telling someone "I'm a prepper" - which, by the way, isn't really the best way to start a conversation - can result in a lengthy conversation on why being scared is bad.

And it's true.

Living your life in fear of the unknown, fear of economic collapse, or fear of a widespread disease can be damaging and it can impact your ability to enjoy your life now.

But that doesn't mean that all fear is bad, nor does it mean that fear is the same thing as being paranoid.

Most survivalists prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. They don't live in constant fear that something bad is going to happen because if something happens, they're ready.

I don't want to live in fear.

That's why I prepare my family.

For me, preparedness is an act of empowerment. It's an act of love. It's an act of wisdom. When I prepare my family "just in case," I get ready for things that have happened, things that could happen, and things that will happen.

Most of the time, when I talk about prepping, I'm talking about general preparedness for emergency disasters. I'm not talking about off-the-grid-in-a-bunker-underground. (I don't want to live underground, so I don't prep that way.) I'm talking about how to best prepare my family should we be without power for weeks. I'm talking about how to prepare my kids if our house starts to flood. I'm talking about how my husband and I will handle the financial impact of a hurricane.

I'm talking about being ready for things that can, do, and will happen.

I'm talking about things that someone isn't going to "save" me from.

When I say that my family is prepared for a long-term power outage, people might think I'm crazy. I'm not paranoid about it, though. I don't live in fear that my family is going to be in the dark forever because I'm prepared to handle a power outage. I'm not avoiding regular activities because I'm afraid. I'm not ignoring friendships because I'm scared. This is not paranoia.

Taking care of your family does not make you paranoid.

So the next time someone tells you, you're just paranoid, you can know for certain that you aren't. You're just demonstrating wisdom.

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