- December 6, 2021
I was listening to a podcast featuring Jordan Peterson the other day and he made a really going point. Paraphrasing, he said, there’s no way for you to escape fear and the pain of failure.
You’ll face fear and the potential for failure if you go after the things you really want. If you try to avoid going for what you want because you’re afraid to fail, then you’ll definitely fail and remain afraid your entire life.
Pick your poison.
You can translate that type of thinking everywhere in life. There’s no option where you just get to avoid playing the game. Not making a move is a move. Avoiding something is a choice. And every choice has consequences.
Exercising is uncomfortable and even painful to start with all that soreness. But, if you don’t do it, your body will remain in a state of discomfort all the time.
You can play it safe with your career and your job for the sake of safety and keep your extra money tucked away in a savings account, but having one source of income is a risk if you lose it, and keeping money in the bank causes you to lose money via inflation.
You might lose money short-term if you invest it and you’ll have obstacles short-term from working on a side business, but they can provide long-term financial protection if you do it right.
If you have to pick your poison, and it’s going to singe either way, why not go for the option that has more upside? If you’re going to struggle, why not do it for something meaningful instead of slowly struggling in vain?
Well, the answer is simple. You get to experience pain, fear, and discomfort much more slowly if you keep kicking the can down the road. The doses of pain will be much more frequent, but significantly smaller than the ‘ripping the band-aid’ approach.
Over time, you’ll start to tell yourself a story that makes that slow-bleed seem okay. You’ll tell yourself you’ll do the ‘thing’ eventually even though you probably won’t.
You’ll rationalize by telling yourself you don’t really want the things you definitely want. You can convince yourself that your life isn’t so bad. It might even be true.
‘Life isn’t so bad’ is a comforting mantra. There’s nothing wrong with finding a level of contentment in your life. You should. But I personally don’t want to look back on my life and think eh, it wasn’t so bad. I don’t want my life to look like re-heated pizza.
You also don’t have to have dreams of world domination either. Being filthy rich, owning a bunch of businesses, and driving Lamborghinis is awesome, but that’s not really the primary goal. The primary goal is to push yourself to be the person you know you’re supposed to be and do the things you know you’re supposed to do.
There’s a different version of that for all of us. Even if the picture isn’t always crystal clear, we know. If the fog of fear was lifted, all of a sudden we’d have a pretty good idea of what our life purpose would be.
I can’t give you a magical remedy to overcome fear of failure, but I can remind you that you have to pick your poison. Sitting on the sidelines is a strategy, my friend. It’s just not a very good one. And you’ll suffer consequences in life regardless of what you do, so you might as well choose wisely.
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