Fear: The Driver for the 95%

I was talking to a would-be entrepreneur recently about the risks of starting a business, especially during an impending recession. I have realized recently that there are risks inherent to almost every human decision, but 95% of them are overblown.

The problem is our fearful lizard brain. Your amygdala formed way back when our ancestors' fears were literally life and death - if you didn't get out of the way, that lion would eat you - but now, it lights up for every little fear you have.

Fear of getting fired Fear of declaring bankruptcy Fear of being seen as a failure Fear of living in a smaller house

None of these fears are as real as a lion staring you down in a field and yet your brain thinks of them in the same way.

Most people let these irrational, overblown fears guide them. Instead of leaning into fears as a way to build new skills, they spend their energy anticipating and running from anything scary.

So how do you get out of this fear-driven mindset?

Like any skill, it takes practice and with practice, it gets easier.

A few weeks ago, I did a firewalk and arrow break. There's nothing like walking over 500° coals and putting the sharp end of an arrow into the soft part of your neck to practice ignoring fear!

But I'm still practicing this. Every time I look at my 5-year plan, I'm a little afraid. There are things there that I cannot imagine doing today; they scare the crap out of me. That said, I'm taking one little step each month towards them and running headlong into the unknown.

Karl Hughes

Startups



Software Engineering




Leadership