“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
Fear hits me from time-to-time. sometimes I’m fearful that my writing won’t be good enough when I begin publishing my work. Sometimes I fear that I won’t learn to be a good programmer so I can create applications people will want to part with their money to own or use. Sometimes I fear that this blog will go nowhere. I’ll write here and no one will care one way or another.
Fear only takes hold when you are attached to something you want or desire. Eliminate that want or desire and fear dissipates. It’s hard, but it makes sense right? When I look at my writing or blogging fears, I only care about what others think of my writing when I desire or want others to like what I’ve done here. When I write for me, the fear disappears. The same thing happens when I remember that I am doing all the things I do for me and me alone. If someone likes my book, they’ll purchase it. If they don’t they won’t. I have no control over who will like or dislike my book. I have no control over who follows my blog or who elects not to. I have no control over anyone other than myself.
It’s comforting when I realize that all I do is for me and me alone. If, by chance, another person enjoys my writing, my blog, or my future applications, awesome! If not, who cares?
I realize I am in a unique position. I am retired and financially secure. It’s easy for me to take this attitude when my livelihood isn’t at risk. For others, this may not be as easy as it is for me. I get that. However, you can still achieve the same thing for yourself. When you develop an attitude of detachment, you do the best you can with what you have, and leave it there. You’ll discover how great it is to stop worrying about your critics. The key is to do things for yourself.
If you have a job, you need to please your boss and do the best you can to keep your job. But if you are pursuing things on the side like writing, online teaching, writing a mobile app, or whatever, this is the time you give yourself a break. Do it for the love of doing it. I enjoy writing. I enjoy learning. I enjoy reading and learning. I enjoy keeping myself healthy. I enjoy spiritual pursuits. I only do what I love to do. You can do the same, outside your day job.
You may not have as much time as I do, but you can still get a lot done with the limited time you have.
One of the biggest discoveries I have made since retirement is the benefit of completing small actions toward my goals every day. For example, I set a goal of reading 48 books this year (4 books a month on average). I read one chapter a day. Sometimes, if I have more time than usual, I read more than one chapter. Currently, I am at 61 books so far this year. Just by consistently reading one chapter each day without fail. This compounding is powerful. You can do the same thing.
When I write, I goal myself to write 500 words a day in my book. I started in January and I’ll finish the first draft by the end of this year. Again, 500 words a day, which amounts to about 15 minutes of work. I also write articles for my blog every day, journal every day in the AM and PM, and write discussion board responses for the online course I am taking. None of these feels like work because I absolutely love everything I am doing. It is a joy to get up in the morning and begin my work.
Fear is a powerful emotion. It can stop you in your tracks or talk you into believing that any effort you make is a waste of time. It will tell you that your work is not good enough. It will paralyze you. Let fear go by letting go of any expectation of outside applause or approval. Do the work or side hustle you’ve committed to for the love of it. If you don’t love it–STOP. This is your time, not your boss’ time. This is what you choose to do when you are not on the clock. Love what you do, lose your need for approval. The folks who love what they do will always do better than those who do not love what they do.
I’ll stop here. I hope all of you have a terrific Wednesday!
Until next time…