The fear of starting out

On April 22, 2013

The number one thing that stops us from doing our best work and showing it to the world is fear.

When you decide to create something on your own, you are stepping into an unknown territory, where you've never been before. So it's natural to have this fear while starting out.

You've to overcome this fear, but before you overcome it, you've to understand it first. Understanding your fears is a crucial step towards overcoming them. Once you understand it, accept it, and then it'll be easier to find solutions to overcome it.

You've to accept your fears, else you'll continue to ignore them. And then they'll keep bothering you at difficult times making it tough for you to make the right choices. That's why understanding and accepting your fears is necessary, if you've to overcome your fears permanently.

But what are those fears that stop us even from getting started?

There can be more than one. We may be afraid of what others will think about us. We may be afraid of what if we fail. We may be afraid of our own limitations. We may be afraid of its affect on our career.

There are many types of fear. But remember, they've always been the same for every creative person who started out before you, they're the same now, and they'll be the same for those in future.

Depending upon your financial situation and support from others, few factors may change. But there'll always be some kind of fear that you must overcome if you want to start this journey of creating great things.

The best thing to do to reduce this fear is to start immediately. I always talk about starting small, because it actually works. Everyone can't afford to leave their job, and work on their passion. But most can afford a little time on working days, and more time on weekends, to get something done.

And if you do it part-time you don't have to tell anybody, if that's what you fear. Try something on a small scale and see if it works. Check the feedback and decide if you can take the plunge to go full time, or if it just needs a little extra time on your side.

The fear of starting out will always be there. Don't wait for the future. One or two things may change, but other one or two hurdles may arise. What if it's too late then. What if you lost a great opportunity meanwhile.

You'll never know this unless you actually try something. Once you start, you'll find that most of the things you feared actually never happened. And even if they do happen, they don't really matter in the long run.

I won't lie to you and say everything will work out smoothly. Because in reality, it won't. You'll face criticism from others even before you start out. 

Others think of you in a certain way. For them, you are such and such person. And when you decide to change yourself, they aren't ready to adapt to a new you. Their definition of you is at threat.

That's why as a defense mechanism, they try to tell you that you are wrong. That it won't work. You'll fail. You are wasting your time. Sometimes they do this consciously, sometimes unconsciously.

If you want to move away from the herd and make your own way, you've to prepare yourself to deal with such criticism. You may think that they'll understand your point if you explain them it's benefits. But, it won't work with everyone.

People act this way by nature, not by sound and deep thinking. Many of them perhaps have never done anything on their own, and this makes them think that even you can't do it.

The best way to deal with them is to ignore them. That's the only way to handle them. You don't have to waste your precious time convincing people, who'll never be convinced no matter what you do.

But, that doesn't mean no one else will understand your point. People who trust you and know your capabilities will naturally trust you. And that's all you need to get started. Even if one person trusts you and tells you to go ahead, don't disappoint them and make sure you finish what you started.

Sometimes, even your close friends and relatives will try to discourage you from starting out. These are ones who mean good things for you, and in spite of your explanations, they think it may harm your career in future.

You know them and expect positive reinforcement from them, and that's why it feels bad when it doesn't happen. But knowing that their intention is for your best interest, you can let that go and just wait for time before they start understanding you.

But why is it so tough to get started?

It's tough because the rewards are huge, once you succeed. And as with anything in life, you only get things that others don't have, when you do things that others won't.

But, shouldn't the world encourage you and give you all the support you need to create those wonderful things, that exist now only in your mind?

Most people don't care what you do with your life. People don't think about you as much, as you think they do. Every one of them already has his own share of problems; the last thing they need in their life is to worry about you.

Except your family and close friends, it doesn't matter to anyone else whether you succeed or fail. You'll know who these people are when you face tough situations in life. Usually, the people sitting next to you in your difficult times, are the only ones who matter. Rest all just add noise to your life.

And is it right to let those who don't matter, and never will, influence your decision?

No, it isn't. Some people criticize all the time because that's what they are all about. Stay away from them as long as you can.

But there are people who'll love your work. And they aren't just your close ones. But even people you've never met in your life, and perhaps never will, thanking you for giving them something valuable.

You owe it to your talents and your potential, to do that work you always wanted to do. If you've time to read this post, then no matter what you say to yourself, you definitely have time to create your own things.

For most of you, just cutting your facebook or twitter usage will give you enough time to do your work. Stop reading blogs after blogs, searching for that magic formula that'll solve all your problems in a flash.

The reason you won't find any such formula is because, there isn't any. The only things that works is hard work. Rest all is nonsense.

There has never been a better time for startups in the history of humankind. All you need is a computer, and perhaps an internet connection, to get started. The barriers for entry have never been this low.

If you don't start now, you'll only have yourself to blame when you see others creating things, you wish you had created when you had the time.

Go ahead and start doing the work you always wanted to do. And when you actually create something, you'll see that the problem was never about time, money or hard work. It was just about starting out and taking that first step.

If you know anyone who is afraid of starting out, please share this post with them to help them get started.

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