Conventional wisdom tells us that decision making should be based on rational thinking, but we’re also advised to listen to our gut feeling.
While I’ve always had good instincts and my gut has yet to disappoint me, there’s another kind of not-so-rational feeling that is much harder to keep in check. I’ve noticed that people sometimes justify fear-based decisions with excuses like “I just wasn’t feeling it” or “my gut is telling me not to do this”.
Your gut is a good instinct and you should trust it. But fear is an entirely different beast. The ability to tell those two apart is critical, and it is something that I’ve been trying to master over the years.
All sorts of fears keep people back. Fear of public speaking, fear of failing, fear of not being good enough, of being laughed at, of being disappointed or embarrassed, just to name a few.
Great business leaders like Sheryl Sandberg or Ed Catmull have publicly admitted to sometimes feeling like a fraud, which proves that even the most confident and successful people have their own insecurities. To say we fear nothing is to lie to ourselves and, worse, to rob us of a great opportunity.
Some people talk about overcoming our fears, implying the ultimate goal is to avoid being afraid. That is the worst thing we can do: avoiding fear means we are getting comfortable… Read more