On Fear

Most of what I write here tends to be pretty positive, upbeat and confident. Recently though, I started getting concerned that what I was sharing was only showing one side of my personality. I suppose it's the side that usually wins out, but it's not truly a complete picture until I give you a little more context. I don't have a ton of readers, and I truly appreciate those of you that do stop by or subscribe for updates, and I think I owe it to you to be as authentic as I can be.

So now, I want to write a little about the things that scare me. Hopefully this will paint a clearer picture of what I think about, how I process information when I make decisions, and maybe just get a little more human on you.

The thing that scares me more than anything is losing someone I love. In a probably unhealthy way, I think about death a lot. My best friend was killed in a car accident when I was 24, and this loss has had a deep and profound impact on who I am. A little over a year ago, my father was diagnosed with a brain tumor which was, thankfully, successfully removed. Six months ago, a 22 year old cousin of mine was killed in a car accident.

Whenever I'm asking myself whether I want to do something, the worst case scenario is, of course, never as bad as death. This may lead me to having a higher than appropriate risk tolerance, but it's also helped me keep things in perspective. Either way, I rarely make an important decision without understanding how little it's outcome would mean - positively or negatively - when compared to unspeakable tragedies.

I'm also afraid of economic failure; how could any small business person not be in this economy? The thing is, my fears used to be "What if I lost my job?" And I've found that, for me, being slightly more in control is less scary than relying on one employer for my income.

I worry at times that people or companies I admire will happen across my blog or my company and wonder why I'm trying to play in the same league as them.

Sometimes I wonder whether I have the authority to speak so vocally about how a project should be managed. Maybe I need one more. Maybe just a bigger one this time. But then, really, how many until this just becomes my excuse not to do something?

I worry about whether my need for complete clarity and my unwillingness to just let things go sometimes turns off talented developers. But then, if I don't press for clarity I worry that I've compromised my beliefs.

I fear trying to do too much has caused me to have a crappy website for GoFind!. Okay okay, I know this is true and it's being worked on. Hey, I had to prioritize!

Now, there may be some people who are always confident about everything they're doing. And if that works for them, then I think that's awesome. For me though, it's helpful to get a little introspective sometimes. I don't let it paralyze me, but I use it as an opportunity to understand what those fears are really telling me and quite often it helps me to solidify my opinion about something, or identify a direction I want to go in.

The main point I wanted to get across is that I don't do the things I do in the absence of fear, but in spite of it. The neat thing is, once you overcome one thing you're afraid of, it gives you the confidence to overcome another thing your worried about.

Of course, there are still many more things I haven't done, that I want to do, because I simply haven't overcome the fear yet. But it's okay, I'm pretty sure I will.