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

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“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

Beginner’s Friction

Have you ever felt the desire to do something but haven’t worked up the courage yet?

I have.

A hundred excuses pop into your head, telling you why you shouldn’t or can’t.
For example, maybe you have an idea for a book. You think about it often, you might even talk about it, but there it sits — only in your head. I’m not a good enough writer yet. I don’t know enough yet. I don’t have enough life stories. I don’t have a platform. I would if I have more time…

Excuse after excuse runs in your head until it creates a knot in your stomach. And the further time moves away from the idea, the more impossible it seems to try. And tell the wrong person, and they’ll give you a hundred more excuses too.

It’s time to let go of thinking you’re not good enough.

You are good enough to start right now. You know what happens when you write a bad book? Nothing. Maybe you get some bad reviews on Amazon, but nothing can stop you from picking up that keyboard or pen and paper and writing a better one.

I think it’s easy for us to fall into the belief that our first try needs to be perfect. look at anyone starting out in ANY industry their first piece of work is hilarious bad. But that doesn’t invalidate them, in fact, it makes me like them more. It shows me there just like me, and with a little time, attention and elbow grease I can do it too.

The crazy dreamers who keep going through the failure and suck are the ones you rise up to the top eventually.

We’ve only got one life to live on this earth, are you going to spend it wishing you would be and do more or showing yourself that you can.

Show yourself you can.

Stay B O L D, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Insights

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” —  Lao Tzu

Fear and Desire

“Having wandered some distance among gloomy rocks, I came to the mouth of a great cavern, in front of which I stood some time, astonished. Bending back and forth, I tried to see whether I could discover anything inside, but the darkness within prevented that. Suddenly there arose in me two contrary emotions, fear and desire — fear of the threatening dark cave, desire to see whether there were any marvelous thing within.”

Leonardo da Vinci, excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci Biography

Like many things in life, creativity, and pursuing your dreams creates a juxtaposition of fear and desire. We have a desire to be, do, and become what we dream, but at the same time fear starting, continuing, and succeeding. We desire the outcome, yet fear the outcome.

When we give into fear, we train ourselves to live without the dream, accepting that it will never happen. This is my life as it is. Yet, even so, we live with a longing that by some turn of fate, we will chance upon our dreams on a morning walk. How many of us are waiting for our big break? Waiting for your dreams to happen is like waiting to win the lottery when you haven’t even bought a lottery ticket.

Have you ever heard yourself say or think, ‘oh that could never happen to me’ or ‘I could never do that, only they can do that.’

This is what Paul would call a negative mindset. No matter how much you want something to happen, if you don’t believe that you can do it, it’s not going to happen. A positive mindset is essential. (You don’t have to be overly-happy all the time, but you do have to believe that you will find a way to your goals.)

What happens when we give into desire instead of fear?

When we push through the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, we step into our discomfort zones and change our capacity of what’s possible. We open our minds to new possibilities. 

You step on stage, sing your heart out, and…. well. That’s it. You did it. You did something.
You didn’t die, you probably could have done better, but better comes with experience and deliberate practice.

To make your dreams reality, you must let curiosity win.

In creativity and life, there will always be a choice of fear and desire. Who you become — your potential — will be determined by those choices.

Will you choose to give into fear, or will you give into curiosity?

I could let my writing, music, or ideas slide because of fear. Fear of putting myself out there, fear of rejection, or fear of failure. This always reminds me of George McFly from Back to the Future (Marty’s Dad). He’s always saying the line, ‘I could never put my work out there, what if they don’t like it? I don’t think I could take that kind of rejection.’ An extreme example ha, but applicable to our lives. What does giving into fear do to George’s life? He has a mediocre job and life. He never publishes his novels. He get’s pushed around by Biff (and probably everyone else).

Ultimately, what is giving into fear is going to get us?

What is fear going to give you?

The same thing you’ve always had. The longing and desire for change, but not enough bravado to take the leap. Best case scenario, fear only gives you mediocrity. (And mediocrity is the opposite of a Renaissance Life)

Fear and desire will never be an easy choice. 
At best its going to be a grey area. Sometimes fear is good. The fear of being attacked by a lion is useful when you’re in Africa. (Fear of being mauled in Washington is not very useful) But when it comes to creative fear, curiosity must always beat out fear. If you want to help change the world and be a mover and shaker, you must not let fear stop you.

So back to young Leonardo. As he looked into the depths of the black, villainous cave, did he choose fear or desire?

‘Desire won. His unstoppable curiosity triumphed, and Leonardo went into the cave. There he discovered, embedded in the wall, a fossil whale. “Oh mighty and once-living instrument of nature, your vast strength was to no avail.”… “You lashed with swift, branching fins and forked tail, creating in the sea sudden tempests that buffeted and submerged ships. Oh time, swift despoiler of all things, how many kings, how many nations hast thou undone, and how many changes of states and of circumstances have happened since this wondrous fish perished.”’

Walter Isaacson, Leonardo da Vinci

To be unstoppable, we must let curiosity drive us.

And as morbid as it sounds, we are all going to die and only have one life to live in this world.

Whether we choose fear or desire, time waits for no one.

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” — Andy Dufresne, Shawshank Redemption

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Let it Go

Negative thoughts lead to negative outcomes and actions.

fearing failure leads us to fail, because

the fear itself is holding us back from

what we need to do (and are to scared to do) to succeed.

In other words, 

We fail because we fear.

(I fear the fear of failure because the fear of fear of failure makes me fail)

Same with stress, worry, anxiety.. we tend to stress about stress, and worry about worry (which is a spiraling cycle) and we get in our own way of where we want to go.

It’s like we are in a car, with a destination in mind, yet we have one foot on the gas and the other on the brakes. We may be moving but there’s friction. Friction that we cause.

We are unable to succeed because we’ve locked ourselves in a cage that we’ve built.

A cage of assumptions, falsehoods and in-action.

The great relief is 

we have the key to unlock our cages. We can take our foot off the brakes.

We have to let it go.

And open ourselves up to the unknown.

And believe in the idea that

our thoughts direct our actions.

We are going to fail, and get lost, and

experience all the bumps on the road to achievement and brilliance. And that’s okay, because we’ve let it go. We know what’s important, and we’re moving forward.

related:

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living — Dale Carnegie

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

“Letting go give us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” — Thich Nhat Hanh

How to Deal with Failure with James Altucher

#KeepPursuing,
xoxo Josh Waggoner

‘Brevity is the soul of wit.’  Email me your thoughts on this post. Can you reduce the essential idea further?