Every time I think about starting a new project, I get all excited at first, but as I dig into the details and think about it more, my worries set in. …Can I do this? … Will it be any good? … What if nobody likes it? … It’s so easy to talk myself out of starting, even something I really believe in. Now what I do whenever the fears set in, is sit down and do a ‘fear setting’ exercise. I developed this habit after listening to how both Brene Brown and Tim Ferriss handle fears. Firstly, I ask myself “what is the worst thing that can happen?” and I list all those possible bad outcomes. Second, is the most importantly step: I rate each of my imagined terrible outcomes on a ‘pain impact’ scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is not too-serious of an issue up to 10 being permanently life-changing. Thirdly, I ask myself “realistically, how likely are each of these to happen?”. The likelihood is usually not that great. I let myself focus on a terrible scenario that realistically, isn’t likely to come to fruition. Indeed I’m usually blowing my worries way out of proportion. This simple exercise takes a bit of time, but it saves me swirling my concerns round and round in my head. Come to think of it, I’ve got one or two projects in mind I could do this exercise for at the moment! What am I giving up if I don’t try this?!
Here’s an inspiring talk by Tim Ferriss on fear setting.