A lot has been written about fear.
Many have given their proposed keys to overcoming it.
And yet, we still fear.
I still fear.
My fear shows itself as I write these words, giving an unnecessary pre-cursor to the critical voice I hear, asking what little old me has to say about such a well-written topic.
It's often been said, but fear only has power if you resist it.
That thought occurred to me as I was pondering the inevitable setbacks and the long, slow, saas ramp of death I plan to climb whilst chopping some peppers for lunch this afternoon.
As I was pondering my fears around the hard work ahead, and potential failure, I realised the true power, the true danger, was my fear of those outcomes.
My fear of starting an idea, the honeymoon phase coming and going, and being in a place with minimal traction, with time and money already sunk in, was the actual problem.
Before I've even started, I feel myself resisting it.
And if I'm being honest, I feel myself fearing it.
What's so bad about that?
What's so bad about being the sort of person who actually shows up, risks something, and goes after their dreams?
Does this scenario even deserve my fear?
As with most fears, on closer inspection, it doesn't.
The risks are minimal.
The biggest risk, to my ego.
Putting myself in the ring, testing myself, and coming up short.
Coming up short, not in the eyes of others, they're not fussed about my story.
No, coming up short in my own eyes.
So instead of taking that risk, I tricky myself into feeling productive by dreaming up new ideas, plotting and planning every detail so I can avoid the many obstacles and pitfalls ahead.
The solution? The stoics had a thing or two to say about that.
Rather than avoiding our fears, we should confront them.
Look them squarely in the eye, feel the worst case scenario as best we can, and see if we can make peace with it.
For if we can, we've disabled its power.
That worst case scenario we've been fearing? Not so bad after all.
In fact, in my case, I'm looking forward to that challenge.
I'm looking forward to testing myself in the arena.
I'm craving the trial that's ahead, to go through my entrepreneurial rite of passage.
All of a sudden, with this mindset, the whole situation is turned upside down.
Does that mean it won't be hard? No.
Does it mean my fears won't be realised? No.
But by owning the challenge, and confronting the risk, I regain my power.
Fear had a hold on me.
Not any longer.