- The Sunday Starter
- What do we fear most?
What do we fear most?
It's often the thing we want to do the most
Welcome to The Sunday Starter, a weekly email of tools and techniques, that help you navigate your journey to just get started and keep moving forward.
Fear held me back for the longest time.
I was “scared of my own shadow”.
Scared to try out for the sports teams.
Scared to speak my mind in public.
Scared to talk to girls.
Scared of flying.
I didn’t realize it was related to “protecting me” from harm similar to how it helped our ancestors assess an unknown situation or when worrying about potential predators.
As Arthur C. Brooks has shared in his The Atlantic article, “Fear is a primary emotion processed in the amygdala, a part of the brain that detects threats and signals to the body to produce the stress hormones that make us ready for fight or flight. This is largely involuntary, and, while necessary for survival, is unpleasant (except under controlled circumstances, such as roller coasters). The fear response is also maladapted to modern life.”
→ It means that fear is inevitable. However, the conscious understanding that it exists can put us more at ease as most of the threats we deal with today are largely made up in our minds.
If we believe this then we can change it.
We can control our fears instead of them controlling us.
But first, let’s understand the different types of fear we might encounter when starting.
Naming our fears can be one of the first ways to overcome them. When we accept that they exist it brings them out of the shadows and exposes them for what they are.
Here are some different categories of fear.
Which one pops up most often for you?
Fear of Success
This is like a confidence conundrum. We often doubt if we truly deserve what we desire, and this doubt can hold us back from reaching our potential.
Fear of Letting Ourselves Down
It's easier to postpone something and live with the regret of not trying than to face the discomfort of potential failure. We delay the regret by convincing ourselves we might attempt it at some point later on when the conditions appear more ideal.
Fear of Judgment From Others
We place so much importance on others' opinions that it hinders us from making decisions that would lead to a more fulfilling life.
Fear of Thinking the "Thing" Is Bigger Than It Is
We tend to believe that everyone will scrutinize and ridicule our initial efforts, even though most won't notice. We overanalyze and overthink, making something minor seem monumental.
Fear of Poor Execution
We become paralyzed by the need for perfection, believing we must get everything exactly right before putting it out into the world to avoid criticism.
Fear of Rejection
The fear of being rejected for not conforming to others' expectations can lead to a rift in our self-image and ego. We're conditioned to seek acceptance and dread rejection.
Fear of the Unknown
We yearn to venture into unexplored territory, but the discomfort of the unknown can feel paralyzing. We convince ourselves that we must have a map and a clear path before taking that first step, fearing the risk of wandering into the wilderness unprepared.
Fear of Getting What We Want
Achieving our desires means taking on responsibility and committing to them. This prospect can be daunting, as it opens the door to potential challenges and fears from above.
→ Most likely, we’ll encounter several fears at different points throughout our journey. Certain situations will trigger them to arise when they aren’t the most ideal however now that we have a keen idea of where they might come from we have the chance to get rid of them or at least not let them stifle us from doing the things we really want to be doing.
It's challenge time once again!
The only way we overcome our fears is to name them and improve our understanding of why they exist. This can be through sitting with the fear, gaining more knowledge, or facing the fear head-on.
I’ve found no better avenue to do this than through Tim Ferriss’s “Fear-Setting” exercise. His questions are on point and challenging but they move us closer to handling our fear.
Time to get out your pen and paper!
I’ve outlined and shortened the questions he recommends we ask ourselves below but for his TED talk on this topic or to read the full blog article (questions near the bottom) go here
Define your nightmare, the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you are considering. What doubts, fears, and “what-ifs” pop up as you consider the big changes you can—or need—to make?
What steps could you take to repair the damage or get things back on the upswing, even if temporarily? Chances are, it’s easier than you imagine. How could you get things back under control?
What are the outcomes or benefits, both temporary and permanent, of more probable scenarios?
If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to get things under financial control?
What are you putting off out of fear? Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, that conversation, whatever the action might be—it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do.
What is it costing you—financially, emotionally, and physically—to postpone action?
What are you waiting for? If you cannot answer this without resorting to the previously rejected concept of good timing, the answer is simple: You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world.
→ No matter what, fear will pop up. There will always be things that make us uncomfortable and out of place. The more we can accept what is happening to us and seek to understand the why behind it, the better chance to overcome it and use it as fuel for us to propel forward.
What’s Coming Next:
Next week, we are going to explore how we talk to ourselves and how we can become kinder when our “inner child” tries to come out.
Thanks again for your support with this newsletter❗❗❗
❓What did you think? I’d love feedback in order to continue to make this a superb resource for everyone. It can be positive or negative. Nothing is off limits so reply to this email and I’d love to hear from you.
✅ When you complete the challenge, I’d love to hear how your fear-setting exercise went and what it exposed for you. Reply directly to this email and please share.
How can I support your journey?
🙏 One of the coolest things about building the Just Get Started platform over the last several years is the number of interactions with new and interesting people who are on the cusp of getting started or early in their journey.
If I can support you in any way, please let me know. You can reply to this email and let me know what’s going on in your world. I’ll try to help where I can!