I’m just going to come out and say it, fear can be a real asshole.
He always knows how to get to you head and ruin a good party if you know what I mean.
You want to try and learn how to dance? “No, no, no,” he says, “you’ll look like a complete idiot.
Remember the last time you tried? Sooo awkward.” You want to bring an idea up to your boss? “Ummmm, yeaaaa, I wouldn’t do that,” he says, “do you even think he likes you? Hmmm, questionable, not sure…”
Let’s run with a personal example. For me letting the world know about this site came with a lot of freaking fear.
Two years ago I bought the domain, started making the site, even made some articles and then BAM, nothing. Why? Because every time I thought about the future of the site, fear would come storming in with a water hose like the world was on fire.
“You sure you want to make a site? Who’s going to read it? Do you even know what to talk about? I don’t think you know enough. What if you run out of things to say? When would you even have the time? I don’t think people are going to like the name (pst. this post was written when this blog was called “Bitches Work” ). Have you talked to any of your friends about it? Would they even read it? How about your parents? Won’t they be ashamed of you for a name like that? What about your parents friends? How about your job? What if your boss finds out? Could he fire you? I don’t want to be homeless. Don’t you like your job? Why would you put it in jeopardy? Do you really think its worth it? Do you even really want to do this?”
Have you ever had streams of thoughts like this? You start with something really small and end up going down a huge rabbit hole. Before you can even take your next breath you’ve already convinced yourself that this is a bad idea.
Sometimes this is fine. Maybe you think “I don’t really need to learn to dance,” or, “So what I didn’t bring up that idea to my boss.”
Sometimes though, (and this is the zinger) the thought or idea keeps popping back up. Maybe you REALLY do want to bring up an idea to your boss. That last great idea you had, well since you didn’t mention it the guy that sits next to you brought up, and your boss loved it! Now Tommy-who-always-steals-your-ideas is going to be spearheading it, and guess who he’ll be directing? You. That’s right, Y-O-U.
Getting Past You Fears
So what are you going to do? We know we have a choice, we just hate how scary that choice can be. So these are my thoughts for this week… Don’t just sit around sulking, or making a Tommy voodoo doll hoping that will make things better.
Call fear out.
Pull that sucker up by his cleanly pressed button up polo and tell him you mean business. Tell him to meet you at the flag pole at 3pm sharp. Tell him its almost smack down time and his face has date with your fist. Why?
Because you can.
Because fear is nothing but scared, fighting for basic survival, weak sauce.
Don’t let fear control everything you do. Sure, sure, listen to it when it tells you not to get in the car with strangers. But your dreams? Don’t let him stop those. Call him out. Tell him you got things to do and to leave you the f alone.
Now what?! Get to work:
- DEFINE YOUR WHAT: Think of something you want to do, but for whatever reason, you can’t bring yourself to do. Now take out a sheet of paper (yes, a physical sheet of paper) and write that down at the very top in huge letters.
- DEFINE YOUR WHY: Next write why. Why are you doing this? What kind of emotions will doing this bring? Why do you think about it? What will you regret if you don’t do it?
- DEFINE YOUR WHY NOT: Next write out very very small, all of your reasons you keep telling you you shouldn’t. Don’t worry about order, don’t worry about how stupid they are - the important thing is that you dump everything out of your head.
- SOAK IT IN: Next, just look at that list. I’ve found that it isn’t until I see all of my fears written out that I can notice which fears are just plain stupid and which are legitimate.
- SMACK THAT SUCKER DOWN: Now, go through the list again and scratch out all of the reasons why you can’t start that are just nonsensical, leaving behind all of the fears which you feel are legitimate.
- CREATE A PLAN: Now write up a plan below this for each of the things you did not cross out. Maybe you will go through with the plan right away, maybe you need more time until you’re ready. Whatever the case at least at this point you understand better what you are really worried about (+ you can tell fear to pipe down a bit).
Remember, even though it’s easy to get lost falling down the rabbit hole, ultimately you get to decide when you’re ready to wake up.
What are you waiting for? Get to work!