Fear. Many people believe it is a bad thing. They fight it back or they flee from it. Hoping to escape forever just how uncomfortable it is to experience it. Fear can take so many forms. Anxiety, will you be able to win the industry award again? Rejection, will they say no on this sales call. Judgement, will they think you’re funny, laugh at you or mock you? Pariah status, will you be socially removed because of what you’ve done. Fear of death, injury, lost of a loved one.
Yet fear itself is very helpful. You see a nice shiny thing and pick it up. You look at the price tag and go “yikes”…you set it down. The fear, no matter what you call it. Encouraged you not to buy it. When it says “beware of alligators” next to a dirty pond somewhere in Florida, you don’t jump in…generally.
These fears are legitimate. In our age though few of us actually have to face a fear that our ancestors had to feel. They had to handle bears, tigers, hunger, other humans so on. If you’re living in an industrialized country it’s bonkers the degree of satisfaction we have. You can reach almost any of your survival needs assuming you have the cash and it doesn’t take much to do so.
So fear now comes in the form of disturbing and paralyzing ways that make no sense. Our instincts are to flee or fight them. but this isn’t your ancestors fear. These fears are the ones listed way above. Anxiety, rejection, judgement, pariah-hood. To a founder. You will either overcome these fears rapidly or you will fail miserably.
My advice to you is to not fight against it nor to avoid them but to instead embrace them. These fears means that you are doing something that makes you vulnerable. Something that is meaningful to you. You will grow exponentially the minute you start embracing your fears and discomfort. You suck at giving presentations? Well if you’re a founder you have one choice learn or go back to your day job. The reason why you fear it can vary but it’s judgement, vulnerability as well as the potential for you to NEVER achieve your success.
These fears are, I assume, natural. The faster you can overcome them by embracing them the better. You should be relieved to feel anxiety before a big presentation. A smile should spread across your face when you experience fear that this new prospective client, the big one, could reject you. This means these actions are meaningful and that the stake in the game.
Embrace and do so happily as it means you’re doing something profound and you can only grow from it.