Embracing The Fear Monster

embrace fear

I remember asking myself a lot of questions before I was able to push “publish” and publicly launch the very first entry in Juan Great Leap.

What would they say?

What if they say, “Sino ba itong feeling na ito!?”

What if they laugh at me? 

What if they ignore me? 

It took me a couple of weeks in between finishing my first post and  actually publishing it.

You know how I did it?

After a long day at work, the thought of publishing it crossed my mind. Before giving myself any chance to over-analyze, I forced myself to just push publish. And that was that. After that, I then started wrestling with the fear of posting it on my social media sites. (“Bahala na” works wonders, by the way.)

You’d think that after over 200 posts, I’d be completely comfortable with pushing publish.

The truth is, is that it varies.

publishWhen I put up announcements, for example, there is no hesitation. Publish.

But when I share some personal things about myself, or when I want to explain something I feel truly passionate about, or when I have a very strong opinion on something – I still get those jitters. I hesitate. I begin to question myself, very frequently going through those italicized statements at the beginning of this post.

In other words, it is when I am posting something I have put my soul into that I feel fear.

I realize that this blogging experience of mine mirrors the entrepreneurial experience as well.

Startups, I find, are very personal affairs. It is someone’s original idea. Someone’s effort. Someone’s very personal work.

Then you throw them out into the world, where they are vulnerable, tender, and open to criticism.

What are some of the first things I feel when I’d launch a startup?

What would they say?

What if they say, “Sino ba itong feeling na ito!?”

What if they laugh at me? 

What if they ignore me? 

Conquering Vs Embracing

You know, before I always felt that the key to it all was conquering fear. It was a leap after all, and I thought that what I had to do was to eradicate the fear.  I figured, to succeed, I had to stop feeling this fear.

But this blogging experience of mine taught me something very interesting: it was when I felt fear that I knew that I was posting something worthwhile. When I don’t feel fear, then I might not be pushing the envelope as far as I could. When I don’t feel fear, then perhaps I didn’t put as much of my soul in it as I could. When I don’t feel fear, I realize I am being safe. 

Corollary: when I feel this fear – I realize I am closer to following the road I had wanted for myself. This is true when I write posts for this blog, and this is also true with the type of projects I choose to do.

For example, by early March, Matt and I will be arranging something for JGL that’s never been pulled off before. It’s a new thing, so I have no idea if it will end up being a totally awesome project or a complete bomb. Yes, this uncertainty leads to a certain fear:

What would they say? 

What if they say, “Sino ba itong feeling na ito!?”

What if they laugh at me? 

What if they ignore me? 

But I realize now that it is unwise to try to conquer this type of fear.

It is the same fear I felt when I professed my love to my eventual wife. The same fear I felt when I took my great startup leap. The same fear I feel when posting a truly meaningful blogpost. The same fear I feel when I share something I have poured my soul into.

If so, then I do not want it to go away. This fear will always be there whenever I do something truly worth my while. A signal of sorts, that I am onto something good.

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