Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let’s get started part 2: Fear, a wall of Jello

Without a beginning any project we undertake is doomed to failure. However as we talked about in part one of this series there are many things that stand in our way. At the top of this list is fear. Before we can talk about how to deal with fear we must first understand where fear comes from and what it is.

Fear is our warning system that something might cause us harm. Humans are social creatures. This means that we see danger to the herd as danger to ourselves and we also see expulsion from the herd as dangerous. This means that a fear response is not just triggered when we are in physical danger but also emotional or social danger. In starting something new we risk failure, and failure is something that the herd does not value; people who fail risk being rejected by the herd. These rejections may be small or large but either way they still have the power to hurt us.

The only way to deal with fear is to determine if the risk is worth the reward. This will not however stop you from being afraid; it will however put things in prospective and give us the impetus to move inspite of the fear. Overcoming fear is a waste of time. When we feel we must overcome our fear before we start we are most likely looking for an excuse to avoid the project all together. Fear is not a process of logic but of emotion and as such no matter how much we tell ourselves that a fear is false we are still affected by it. All that happens now is we create a negative image of ourselves; if the fear is groundless and we are still afraid then we must be a weak person.

So rather than reaching a state where we no longer fear before acting we should act and show ourselves that the thing we are afraid of is survivable. Here we must apply reason and evaluate the thing we are trying to do. If my project is to randomly punch people in the face I risk getting beat up and possibly incarcerated, and these are the results of me being successful. This may not be a good project to pursue. On the other hand if my project is to champion an unpopular cause that I believe in it may have the same emotional impact on those around me as a slap in the face, however there is the potential for a positive outcome, more people coming to see the cause as just.

If after evaluating the project and determining that the results of successes are something that is worth the risk we can only move forward. Most often we will find that the pain our fear was trying to tell us to avoid is less than we expected. We can find ourselves standing tall and proud; this is something the herd values and when they see it they welcome us in.

Fear is like a 20 foot high wall of Jello, hard and time consuming to climb. On the other hand we can burst through that wall with nothing more than deep breath and a full head of steam.

Editing project: Resource and obstacle card


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