When the light begins to change, I sometimes feel a little strange

Why is it that we can know exactly what needs to be done to move our dreams and projects forwards, yet still avoid taking those next steps? Even though we dearly wish to get to our goal, we delay and distract, procrastinate and put off. Have you found yourself doing this? I know that I have!

I read a great article today in German on just this topic (https://blog.holvi.com/de/3-angste-die-ein-erfolgreicher-grunder-uberwinden-muss)

If you can read German – then go do so, it’s great. I have decided to take that as inspiration and write my very own take on the same 3 fears here. The fears are the same, the content entirely different!

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It’s always daunting, as well as exciting, to do something for the first time, and this can develop into one or all of the following fears, fears which can hamper us from reaching the goals we hold so very dear:

1. Fear of the Unknown
2. Fear of Failure
3. Fear of Success

1. Fear of the Unknown
This is a natural fear in a natural world, and springs from our ancient roots. As any animal knows, what we don’t know might kill or hurt us. Eating that strange berry might poison us, taking that unexplored route might lead to us getting lost, or trapped, or eaten by predators we’ve never before encountered. Much better to stay with the familiar, right? It’s an emotional fear, but can still feel like a very real one, even in the modern age. Even though we are not likely to get injured trying to write that book, make that album, develop the next killer app or asking the boss for a raise (no matter what you might think about your editor, your drummer, your computer or your boss!).

If you think about it, though, it’s not logical. I have often been known to face this one down with “oh, come on, nobody is going to get hurt or killed …”

2. Fear of Failure
Ok, so everyone knows this one, right? If you don’t succeed in achieving your goals, you and everyone else will think you are a big fat failure, stupid, useless and will never amount to anything. But failure is not something we ARE. It is just that this particular attempt did not work out. Our actions did not lead to where we wanted to go at this particular time. Maybe we just didn’t know enough yet, maybe we just had not practiced enough yet. Both of those are quite likely with something new in fact, aren’t they? And we are all capable of getting right back up and learning more, and succeeding the next time (or the time after that). Can you think of times that you have persisted in learning a new skill and finally got somewhere? I bet you can. It is also OK to decide that this particular goal is maybe not for us and we can better spend our energies somewhere else.

Every part of this process is helping us learn and grow – and it is a damn sight more interesting than not doing anything new ever!

3. Fear of Success
Ah yes, this one is for real. I personally rate this one as the biggie, the sneaky one that can slip under our radar and cause us to self-sabotage almost without realising it. Will more success just make for more work? Will we know enough to cope with the new challenges? With fame? With bigger budgets? With that world tour? With more and more trips out of our comfort zone? Will our friends abandon us? Can I just hide under my pillow now please?

But change is life, and isn’t it more fun to do new things and risk success? Where have you succeeded before? How did that change your life and was it for the better? Did you cope? Very probably yes, right? (and if not see above under “failure”!). Surely success deserves a chance!

Right, now, let’s see if I can remember all of this as I forge ahead in my new ventures!

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