How often do you spend minutes, hours, even weeks debating if you should do something you know you need to do?
At the beginning of the year, I made a decision to stop being scared.
Well, at least I wanted to stop letting fear hinder me from trying new things.
Especially, those things I know I needed to do.
I WAS TIRED OF BABYSITTING FEAR
I was tired of spending long minutes, hours and weeks going back and forth on whether I should do what I knew deep down I needed to do.
I would analyze every detail, over and over.
And, let’s not talk about anything I had to write or send. I would proofread, proof-proofread, and reread the proof.
I would second guess myself over and over, until I decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore.
Only for me to realize that I needed to do it, which began the second guessing all over again.
I would do other things in place of what I needed to do, just to make myself feel like I was doing something – even though I knew that something wasn’t really the thing I really needed to do.
It was exhausting. You should be exhausted after reading all of that.
I started to read about different people who said that taking one small risk a day helped them eliminate the fear of risk.
One of my favorite authors, Tim Ferriss, often talks about how he emailed one celebrity a day to get rid of his fear of taking risks.
And although, I wasn’t really persuaded to go down that path, I knew there were small things I could do each day to overcome my fears.
A FEAR A DAY, KEEPS THE…
So, I made the commitment. I decided that each day, I would do one thing I feared doing.
Let’s be clear. This wasn’t about overcoming grandiose fears you hear all the time, like the fear of heights, or the fear of dying, or any of those fears.
It was about the small fears, that aren’t really that small. The fears that hold us back in our careers, in our relationships, and in our finances.
It wasn’t easy at first.
In the beginning, I would still analyze and re-analyze my decisions.
Should I do it? When should I do it? Is this the best way to do it?
I laugh thinking back on it. I was the cause of my own stress.
Each day, regardless of what risk I was taking that day, I would make up my mind that it must get done before the day is over.
That resolution alone motivated me to just do it. I would say to myself, “Why waste time if it has to be done today anyway?”
For four weeks, life continued that way. I took one small risk a day. Sometimes, it was in my career, and other times it was in my personal life.
That one email I was scared to send? I just sent it.
That one person I was scared to meet? I just reached out.
That one transparent & necessary conversation I was scared to have with a loved one? I got it over with.
That one question I was scared to ask? I just asked.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER 4 WEEKS OF AVERTING FEAR
Over those 4 weeks, I realized how much time I’ve wasted being scared.
As I began to take more risks, trying new things and risk-taking began to feel more natural.
Over the last 3 months, I’ve taken risks that have substantially improved my career, my personal life & my financial life.
I’ve made changes in my career that would normally take someone else 6 months to make, I’ve expanded my network, I’ve improved my personal relationships, I’ve saved more money, and now, weeks later, I no longer spend long minutes, hours or weeks making a decision.
The other day, I knew I needed to reach out to a stranger and I thought to myself, “What’s the worst that can happen? If it doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be and at least I tried.”
I find myself thinking that all the time now.
It’s such a refreshing feeling – to know that you left no stone unturned, and at least you tried.
I discovered that the real fears I was overcoming was the fear of rejection, the fear of looking stupid and the fear of making a mistake.
I now know that those things are inevitable. At some point, you will be rejected, you will look stupid and you will make a mistake.
Just accept it now. Get it over with.
Sooner rather than later.
Do I still get scared? Of course. But I waste less time babysitting those fears.
Failure is necessary for growth & it’s necessary for success.
And the faster you stop allowing yourself to stop short because of your fear of risks, the faster you’ll see the changes you want to see in your career and life.
SO, DO YOU DEAL WITH FEAR?
Do you constantly deal with the fear of taking risks?
If you can relate to anything I said (and if you’re still reading), then you probably constantly second guess yourself about things you know you need to do and decisions you know you need to make. Try taking one small risk a day.
I can’t tell you what those risks should be. But once you make the decision, you’ll start to notice all the little things you haven’t done out of fear. And you’ll know exactly which things you need to do.
So, try it.
Cheers to not letting fear stop you from growth & success