Fear is Univeral

The thing about fear is that it’s universal.

Life is risky, therefore there will always be fear riding along on our backs.

Even things in life we consider “safe” are just short-term comforts (ease-of-minds/blind-eyes) and end up being risks in the long-term.

The cubical job is safe until you start getting health problems from sitting, eating office donuts every day, and getting second-hand stress from your co-workers. (cub-workers?) The job you hate is comfortable and has so many benefits until it’s replaced with AI robots.

Your home and your stuff are safe until there’s an accidental fire.

 We treat fear like it’s our own burden to bear, but in reality, it’s something we all face. Some push past fears that hold themselves back, others don’t.

For me, it always always always comes down to choosing the right fear to be scared of.

Am I going to be afraid of failing and embarrassing myself?

Or am I going to fear inaction more?

Failure is a numbers game. The more you fail, the more opportunity you have to succeed.

Never trying will always be the biggest types of regret I want to avoid.

Even if I get to the end of my life and all I have done is fail, at least I know that I gave it my 100.

Giving something all you got is succeeding, no matter the actual outcome.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Wagoner

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” — Steve Jobs

Ready Set Bomb

Sometime you really just need to bomb 💣to get passed your fear of something. An epic fail, awkward starfish, OMG, cringe-tastic, I’m-never-going-to-hear-the-end-of-this flub, kick in the pants, pie in the face, rosy cheeks, bury me in the sand kind of fail.

We can build up sooo much fear and pressure around something in our mind, to the point where we freeze ourselves from doing ANYTHING because of what might happen if we fail. But 99.9% of the time, a funny thing happens when you fail — 

Nothing.

Sure, you might look like an idiot-face, but who cares? (We all do at least once in our lives)

I was talking to a friend about this recently. He said he had the perfect example. One night he was out with his girlfriend and her family and they decided to do karaoke. One by one they each went up and sang until finally, it was his turn.

Someone else picked his song. Ⓧ

It was an obscure oldie. Ⓧ

And they were in Nashville aka everyone and there dog could sing in perfect pitch Ⓧ

He sang and even danced and bombed like the best of them.

You should have heard him tell the story. He wore it like a badge of honor.

Now he can’t wait to try again.

The things most of us fear — public speaking, being called out in a crowd, doing standup, starting our own brand / band / blog etc — are just small trip down a sidewalk when we fail, not a tumble down Niagara falls like our minds tell us.

Here’s a crazy idea: why not just get it over with? Go out there on stage and bomb. Do your best of course, but if it sucks don’t worry about it. 

When we bomb, we lose the pressure we built up to be incredibly perfect.

Give yourself permission to enjoy the bomb, that way, on the next round, there will be nothing left but enjoyment with the process of improving and becoming better.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” — Louisa May Alcott

Don’t Let the Fear Win

Some days I let fear come between me and my dreams. You let things slide…. you say yes to many good things instead of saying yes to only great things… you let worries about money and time commitments consume you’re mind… and some times you procrastinate and do everything under the sun but work on your dreams.

And then I have to remind myself, 

Life is a spectrum of our choices.

Each day is not an isolated point in time, rather a pearl that’s beaded on a neckless into a string of pearls. And there aren’t that many pearls.

If you’re not actively thinking and working on your dreams daily then you are letting fear win.

I can run through every excuse in the books in my head… but at the end of the day, I’m the one who has to decide to take a chance on myself and step out into my discomfort zone.

It’s a choice I have to make each day.

It’s going for the gold, even though you might end up in 3rd place. But you know what’s worse than 3rd place, or even last place for that matter? 

Opting out of the race.

Has there been a single person in history who has looked back on their life and thought, “golly, I wish I had listened to my fears more”.

I’m not talking about lions and tigers and bears (oh my). I’m talking about silly creative fears we cling to like a spaceship in the middle of the black sky.

Take it one day, one breath at a time.

Don’t let the fear win. 
Let it drive you to be the person you are and the person you want to be.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

Breaking the Fear Wall

What is your fear telling you not to do?

When you hear the phrase, ‘public speaking’, do you break out into arm sweats? Does the idea of writing a book or build an app (or to fail at writing a book or building an app) curdle your blood?

Are the things you want to do — dreams you desire more than anything — always seem to take the back burner, the last thing you do, or something you procrastinate into oblivion?

Then what your fear is telling you not to do, is exactly what you need to be doing.

Don’t get me wrong, fear sucks. No one ever said it would be easy to start a band or build an audience on YouTube.  But the ones who do and stick with it are the ones who are masters of their own fears. Fear is how we grow into our best selves.

The stronger the fear, the more you need to take action and do it.

Creative fears always feel impossible until you do them.
Creative failures always seem fatal before the fact.
Pushing past these creative barriers will amplify your confidence and creativity.

What fears do you need to tear down to build a better YOU? 

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

Types of Fears

 In my mind, there are two big categories of fear:

1. Fear of Life

Jaguar in the jungle. Hateful or abusive relationships. Gun violence.

These are the types of fears should listen too, but sometimes ignore despite our better judgement. We freeze and lock up from gut-turning fear. If you’re in a bad relationship (friend or love) you’ve got to get out. Hoping the  problem will go away won’t make I­t­ go away. I’m not an expert, find someone who is that can help. This category of fear keeps us safe when we need I­t­.

The second category keeps us safe when we don’t need I­t­.

2. False Fears

Public-effing-speaking. Starting a company. Traveling alone. These are the things that lead to unknown — or potentially worse case — scenarios in our mind. False fears hold us back from the life we want.

Fears like: 

Fear of failure

Fear of embarrassment

Fear of winning

Fear of not being enough

Fears from your past. (Even Fear of Life events that still haunt you)

 

The more we let these types of false fears control our lives, the less confident, creative and capable we will be.

No more. 

Worrying about what we can’t control needs to end.

Anxiety about what might happen needs to breathed out and released.

False fears are great when we lean into them. They provide us an outlet of change by pushing past them, despite the anxiety they bring. If you lean into the fear of failure, you might fail, or you might succeed. (Which is better than not doing anything, which is failing on its on) And if you do fail, you’ll usually find the fall on your face wasn’t that bad, not as bad as you thought I­t­ would be.

The worst moments I’ve lived through have becoming defining moments that have made me into a better me. Boldly pushing past your false fears will make you stronger, better and brighter than you can imagine.

 

Be Bold.

Own your fear.

Practice what scares you.

Fail so many times you enjoy I­t­.

 

Leaning into fear is immediate feedback on what works and doesn’t.

Our successes will be sweeter knowing the ups and downs we relentlessly pushed through to accomplish a life of meaning and mastery.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

Get Busy Living (Playing I­t­ Safe)

Playing it safe doesn’t work.

When has putting one foot in, one foot out worked out in the end?

I get it. I catch myself doing it too. I’ve been burned out, injured, broke, overwhelmed, exhausted, and a number of other bad places in my life. I don’t want to end up in those places again but playing I­t­self only leads to a mediocre life.

The idea that I might die without putting my writing, music, art, and creativity out into the world terrifies me much more than taking risks.

Don’t die with your ideas still only in your head.

This is my worse case scenario. (That and losing my hands in a freak accident… which is an odd fear I have)

The question I have is how do you tell the difference between playing it safe and making smart choices?

Usually playing I­t­ safe situations aren’t black and white. They live in the grey zones where we might not even know we are playing I­t­ safe and holding ourselves back.

Risk mitigation, and knowing when to say yes or no is smart. But it’s easy to trick yourself into not taking action when in actuality you scared out of your pants.

Fear is the difference. 

Gut check your intuition: Does pursuing this goal or creative endeavor align with who you are? Are you terrified of embarrassment, or failing? Then say YES. 

 

Playing I­t­ safe is:

Giving into fear of failure, embarrassment, or disbelief, even just a little bit. 

Staying at a job you hate because of the benefits.

Never starting your idea because you ‘don’t know enough’.

Doing what others tell you to do without thinking whether its right for you.

Not asking that person out on a date.

Not asking for help or advice because you don’t want to look weak. 

There are so many things that can keep our potential down, but the biggest one of all is ourselves. The moment you break free of your own chains that you locked yourself up in is the moment where life becomes too precious to give into fear.

Your life is too important to give into fear

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Related Insights

“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.”Leonardo da Vinci

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Reach Out First

Wherever you are in life, whatever your goals are, waiting for a something to happen is a surefire way its never going to come.

Dreams and opportunity work a lot like ordering a pizza — if you don’t call it in and order it, it’s not going to be delivered to you. And they aren’t delivered for free — you have to pay for them in with something (time, energy, sanity etc).

(What a cheesy line josh 🙂

There is no limit to the amount of opportunity that surrounds you. But it’s not going to show up with breadsticks and ranch sauce without you seeking it out.

You have to reach out first.

Ask for help. Work on your art. Practice your pursuits everyday. Learn to be great at what you love to do. Time is just an incubator for your greatest success. Failures become lessons. Priorities reveal themselves.

Complacency is letting life happen at us. Renaissance is relentlessly pursuing life, 110 percent.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

IG: @Renaissance.Life

https://forms.convertkit.com/273691?v=6

Two Choices…

Every day you wake up you have a choice:

1. Do what you’ve been doing.

The same old same old you heard before: 
Let fear rule you. Give into easy. Do what ‘they’ tell you. Blame the world. Work the job that everyone tells you too. Go through the motions of living.
Sure, things are safe, but safe doesn’t automatically mean fulfilling. 

Or —

2. Do something different.

Be the person you want to be. Do the things you want to do.
Write, design, act, paint, perform, inspire, LIVE.
Make the job up as you go. Work like few do, so you can live like few can.

The first path is the easiest because I­t­ requires nothing of you. The second isn’t necessarily harder, it’s just unpaved. You’re in the woods and there’s not going to be one way through. You’ll have to think on your feet and be creative. You’ll have to be bold and willing to push yourself like you’ve never pushed yourself before. You’ll have to let go of who you were in the past, so you can be who you need to be for the future.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing

— Josh Waggoner

Related Insights

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” — Marcus Aurelius

Lost In Books

Oftentimes, I find myself reading books, watching courses or videos on YouTube, and listening to podcast interviews without absorbing the lessons. I’ll move from one book to the next  (sometimes even before I finish the current book!) without testing/implementing what’s said.

What gives?
Why learn at all if you’re not going to use what you’re learning or grow into a better person?

The problem is you can learn until you’re blue in the face, but if you don’t put into practice what you’re (spending all of your time) learning, then you might as well be mindlessly watching TV.

The hard part of it all is that if I do put my practice into action, I might fail. No one might show up. I might be laughed off the stage. I might embarrass myself or others. Yet, might is a such a small word to hang your hat on. Are you going to live your life behind a coulda woulda shoulda? 

Look beyond the failure and see the results of a life well lived.

Practice what you learn, act before you speak and test all assumptions. These are the tools for making dreams reality.

When you read, read to implement. 
When you watch a video or listen to a podcast you are trying to learn how to improve your life, give your complete focus and attention on it. Take notes, list action steps and questions you can reflect on.  And when you learn, practice.

Don’t clean the kitchen while you’re listening to a podcast on how to start a podcast. Focus In. Leave the cleaning and commuting to entertainment instead of mastery.

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom

“Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” — Mary Tyler Moore, American Actress.

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.”Anton Chekhov, Russian Playwright

Find Low Barriers to Entry

Sometimes the fear is too strong.
I­t­ can overwhelm us and prevent us from going forward.

That’s where low barriers can be a godsend. Low barriers are ways we can put our toes in the water.  It’s a half step towards making the dream happen. Is it better than total immersion? A whole step? No. But half of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. Essential, we are breaking down our big hairy goals into executable bite-sized chunks.

Low barriers to entry can show us that ‘hey, this isn’t so bad after all’.

Want to start a blog/vlog or podcast? Start with making one episode. You don’t have to post it, you just have to hit record and show yourself that you can.

Want to start a freelance business? Start by becoming your own client. Design or code something you want to create first.

Want to get healthy? Start with breakfast. Eat whatever you want during lunch or dinner, but focus on making breakfast as healthy and as possible. (Or try Intermittent Fasting)

Make the first step easy. Show yourself how good it can feel to do good for yourself and your aspirations. 

Stay BOLD. Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

Related Wisdom:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” —  Lao Tzu

The first step is you have to say that you can.” — Will Smith