How I’m Going to Live Without Fear and Write More
This blog was originally posted to Medium.com October 31, 2017.
Let me be upfront… this won’t be an article sharing any secrets on how to live without fear or embrace your inward dreams. This is a story about me, my hopes, goals, and ambitions. Now, if you’re wondering why you should keep reading, my hope is that by sharing my story you may become inspired, too. But unlike a great story, this story doesn’t have a perfect beginning or end. My story is just beginning.
People would probably say I’m a confident guy. My work impacts tens of millions of people each week, and I’m forced to make calculated, impactful business decisions on the fly with little time to thoroughly evaluate all my options. I’m proud of my career successes I’ve achieved before hitting thirty and I would consider myself a great UX designer.
But I’m still afraid. Afraid of failing. Afraid of not living the life to the fullest, being the best husband, being the best designer, failing as a friend, saying something wrong or hurtful, asking for something I want…oh the list goes on. I would imagine, or I’m hoping, you can relate. Fear can subconsciously control our decisions and motivations. My fear keeps me from getting out of my comfort zone, making new friends, investing in friends as deeply as I would want, making a decision I think is risky, and expressing myself.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. — Jim Morrison
Writing, as an example, is something I’ve dabbled in the past but held back in recent years because I didn’t want to contribute something that wasn’t valuable. I was afraid of the value I would or wouldn’t create. Fear kept me from contributing to the world. I’m afraid I’ll have a typo, or maybe criticized for an opinion I express that hasn’t been completely researched. I see so many great articles produced by those I follow and I worry that I won’t be able to contribute in the same, meaningful way. This fear has held me back.
If you asked me a year ago why I didn’t write, I would tell you it was a lack of time. But friends, you choose how to spend your time and there is always time to prioritize where you want it. Want to read more? Give up TV. Want to exercise? Go for a walk at lunch. For me, I’m making time to write by waking up earlier. It wasn’t a lack of time commitment, but fear holding back my words.
Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure. — Paulo Coelho
This article is my commitment to live life fearlessly, to say “yes” more than I say “no.” This starts with writing fearlessly and taking the time to share without concern that it may not be perfect or resonate with people. If for anything, I will start by writing for myself. If this resonates with you, I suggest you also consider what fear is holding you back from. Don’t let social anxiety or pressures hold you back from living the greatest life possible. You and I are just one in more than 7.5 billion people in the world. With only a single lifetime to make a difference, there’s no time to start like the present.
So I will start sharing more about life and design. I can’t promise it’ll be perfect or that you’ll agree with everything I say. But I can promise I’ll be honest with you and with myself. And I’ll do so without fear of perfection, social acceptance, or criticism… I can only hope that over time writing more will make me a better writer. My storytelling skills will improve, my organization of thoughts will become more logical, and the usefulness of what I write will improve. But this is just the start so I know this isn’t perfect. I embrace my fear head on and live to love others, life, and God.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. — Mark Twain
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear from you about your own journeys with fear. If you have suggestions for my writing, I would love to know how to get better.