How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?-Epictetus
I’ve had a project idea for a couple of years now. It has loads of potential but I just haven’t been able to muster up the motivation to execute. I wondered why for a long time and realized that much of what’s holding me back is fear of failure, lack of confidence, and impostor syndrome. All of these are closely related.
I suppose many humans struggle with similar issues. We let our fears keep us away from our dreams. As a result, we deprive ourselves of maximum happiness and a chance to live the best possible life. Not good.
Consider that the most successful people in the world have taken risks that many of us would consider unacceptable. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Michael Dell all dropped out of college. I’ll bet that their parents were not happy.
Sometimes, you have to jump. You may not be sure where you’re going to land. It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t align with what we’ve been taught. But outside of your comfort zone is where the greatest rewards lie.
I’ve been working on myself and thought I’d share some resources in case you’re struggling in the same way.
“I was there to win”
Tim Ferriss interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger. This one made me realize that my state of mind is not in the right place. I love what Arnold has to say about winning his first bodybuilding competitions:
My confidence came from my vision. If you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, the rest is much easier …I wasn’t there to compete. I was there to win.
“Every Authentic Voice is unique and complex, which is inherently interesting”
Wait But Why, Taming the Mammoth. This is the most important thing I’ve read for my own development. For much of my life, I acted in a way I thought I needed to act to get other humans to like me. This practice usually backfires as others see that you’re a fake and then like you even less.
This post is about why you should find and embrace your authentic voice. Lots of great wisdom:
…you’ve got to figure out what actually matters to you and start being proud of whoever your Authentic Voice is.
Is there a Puppet Master in your life? If so, who, and why?
If you find yourself making decisions partially based on not being talked badly about by a judgy person, think hard about what’s actually going on and stop.
“The more I felt like I belonged in that world, the more confidence I had…”
Mad FIentist: I was a little surprised that a friend I know to be a confident human has struggled with the same self-doubt and apprehension. The Mad FIentist has some great tips for how he got his dream project out the door in his latest podcast.
Here are three more good ones:
Mr. Money Mustache’s post on confidence: Just being confident in who you are and what you’re doing will take you a long way. Be sure to check out the Recipe For Badass Confidence towards the end of the post.
Stoicism: This brief post on stoicism reinforced something I had known for a long time; ego is incredibly toxic. I now know that almost all of my unhappiness comes from my ego. One example is that when I act shitty, it’s because of my own issues:
Most rudeness, meanness, and cruelty are a mask for deep-seated weakness. Kindness in these situations is only possible for people of great strength.-Ryan Holiday
The Little Book of Stoicism is really great:
When we’re not enslaved to our emotions, we can express the highest version of ourselves in every moment. When we do that there’s simply no room for regret, fear, or insecurity.
How long will you wait to start demanding the best for yourself? Your time is finite. Don’t wait too long.
Final thing related to my project: I need some help with customizing WordPress. I pay well! If you know how to customize a theme, hit me up!
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