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Recognize the fear keeping you stuck

I’ve always seen myself as brave.

I used to be scared of the dark so I challenged myself to tiptoe our second floor every midnight until it no longer scared me.

I knew quitting my comfortable corporate job was scary, so I said fuck it and quit it.

I knew I was scared of looking stupid, so I chirped at birds and barked at dogs, just to prove being silly is nothing to be afraid of.

That’s why messages like “Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back” don’t resonate with me.

Whenever I read the word fear, I think,

Oh, this doesn’t apply to me. I’m brave.

Still… I don’t take as many risks as I want. I don’t publish as often as I’d like. I don’t “ask forgiveness, not permission” as much as I should.

There’s something holding me back.

I used to think it’s laziness, but I think I’m wrong.

This morning, I was writing an article but couldn’t finish it.

Normally, I would’ve quit and berated myself for being intellectually lazy and not pushing through.

Instead, I gave Kevin a call and we talked about it. Here’s what I realized:

  • I was scared the article wouldn’t be useful and entertaining enough.
  • I was afraid it wouldn’t perform well.
  • I wanted his permission so that if it gets ignored, it wouldn’t be all on me.

It became clear it was fear, not laziness, that was keeping me stuck.

Once I looked for the fear, I found it.

Deciding to overcome a fear is brave.

But recognising fear as fear is even braver.