Building on an idea he introduced in his book, Tim Ferris posted a video on his blog recently where he discusses not the importance of defining your goals, but rather the value in defining your fears. That if you can identify what, truly, a worst-case scenario looks like, you can become familiar with it, realize it’s not as bad as you think, and move forward. By tackling the “what if” and “but” head-on, you’ll be able to break down the fear that is holding you back from action.
I think the other side of this coin is just as valuable, if not more so. What is the worst case scenario brought about by inaction? How can the fear of not doing something drive you to action? Imagine you don’t take that risk, don’t start that business, don’t launch that product, don’t chase that dream. Are you prepared to work for someone else for the rest of your life? Are you prepared to grow old, face retirement, and look back at all the hours you spent away from friends and family, at all the work you did, to make other people rich? Are you prepared to leave the financial security of your family to the whims of your boss or the company you work for? How will it feel to see someone succeed from actually executing the same idea you had years ago?
Make no mistake, taking risks can be scary. The fear of failure can be paralyzing at times. But the fear of regret, the fear of one day looking back and wishing you had done things differently, can be all the motivation you need to start it, whatever it is, right now.
One of the Co-Founders of SideTour, former TechStar (NYC Summer 2011), ex-NBA'er, and past TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon Winner.