Do Something That Scares You

Originally Published February 18th, 2019

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“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
–Dale Carnegie

Here is my thought experiment for the week—every day I’m going to try to do something that I’m afraid of.

Maybe it’s sending an email that I’ve been procrastinating about, maybe I’ll finally test out a product that I thought up, maybe I’ll make eye contact—but every day I’m going to try.

You could even make this a 30 Day Challenge.

Start doing things that scare you—make it a habit.

Why Face Your Fears?

“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

I learned from Jordan Peterson that if you’re running from something you are prey, but when you turn around and face your fears—at least you have a fighting chance.

Life is too short to be held back by fear. Especially when the things you fear the most are made up in your head.

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” —Mark Twain

When we face our fears, put our heads down, and walk into the unknown, we come out on the other side changed—we gain confidence to help take on the next challenge.

Give It A Name

“Named must your fear be, before banish it you can.” —Yoda

Maybe there’s something in your life that you’ve always wanted to do—you just couldn’t get past (Name Your Fear).

It’s time you find out what’s holding you back in life and face it.

Give it a name—then you can begin the journey of overcoming it.

Fear Can Be A Teacher

“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
–Nelson Mandela

Maybe you’re afraid of heights—so you climb a tree. Then you learn, “Ok, yeah I can climb a tree, but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it.”

For a long time I was afraid of roller coasters, a few years ago we went to Cedar Point. After waiting in line in the hot sun with my stomach churning—we finally got on the first ride. It was horrifying.

I couldn’t wait to get on the next one.

Fear Setting

“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with coarse and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: “Is this the condition that I feared?”
— Seneca

Tim Ferris has this practice that he calls Fear Setting. It’s thinking about a situation that you’re afraid of and imagining the worst possible outcome.

Think about something you’re afraid of doing. What’s the worst that could happen?

You end up embarrassed, broke, homeless?

Obviously nobody wants these things to happen—but you can try it out. Sleep on your kitchen floor for a week. See what it’s like. Eat like you were a broke college student.

Is your greatest fear really that bad? 

I hope you are inspired by these thoughts to go out this week and face one of your fears!

Go out and get busy.

Good Luck!

-Tim

 

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