Facing and Fearing- Trust30 (Day 19)

June 18th, 2011

Facing and Fearing-

Trusting intuition and making decisions based on it is the most important activity of the creative artist and entrepreneur. If you are facing (and fearing) a difficult life decision, ask yourself these three questions:

1) “What are the costs of inaction?” I find it can be helpful to fight fear with fear. Fears of acting are easily and immediately articulated by our “lizard brains” (thanks Seth) e.g. what if I fail? what if I look stupid? If you systematically and clearly list the main costs of inaction, they will generally overshadow your immediate fears.

2) “What kind of person do I want to be?” I’ve found this question to be extremely useful. I admire people who act bravely and decisively. I know the only way to join their ranks is to face decisions that scare me. By seeing my actions as a path to becoming something I admire, I am more likely to act and make the tough calls.

3) “In the event of failure, could I generate an alterative positive outcome?” Imagine yourself failing to an extreme. What could you learn or do in that situation to make it a positive experience? We are generally so committed to the results we seek at the outset of a task or project that we forget about all the incredible value and experience that comes from engaging the world proactively, learning, and improving our circumstances as we go along.

I’m writing this based on the current crossroads in my life and the fact that I’m indecisive as to which path to take.   

1-  I do have a certain element of fear.  Part of me hears this negative talk as to ‘who do you think you are and what makes you so special?’ but that isn’t what scares me.   I may not be any more special than the next person, but I believe that I’m just as special and creative so that doesn’t scare me.    I won’t be defeated by my own thoughts- that’s for sure.    What does scare me is what seems to be a huge amount of obstacles in one path that I’m not even 100% sure that I want to take, so the obstacles are daunting.    Of course- it also makes me somewhat more determined, but I want to make the right decision based on what makes sense- not based on emotions.

2- I do and always want to be someone who makes a positive difference- even if it may see small and insignificant to another.  I know that all small acts are significant and we all place different values on them.   There have been times when something as simple as a word of encouragement or a simply knowing someone listened and ‘heard’ me has made all the difference in my day.  I want to be that kind of person.  It’s something we should all want to do. 

3-  I believe failure comes when you don’t try and as long as you’re trying you’re not failing.    In terms of this little crossroads I’m on-  I’m sure I could make something positive out of it if I choose the road less traveled and it turns out to be the wrong choice-  It will be a lesson learned, and that in itself is something positve.

Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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