Fear of what other people will think is the most paralysing dynamic in business and in our lives. Some say, that you will never own the future if you care about what other people think.
While this may be true, I think there is a much more destructive factor than fear – it’s inertia itself.
Yes, it derives partly from fear, as people wrongly assume since they stay within their comfort zone, this will render them calm and trouble-free.
In XVII century Hobbes popularised a thesis stating that the man is driven only by selfish stimuli and seeks to satisfy his needs and motives, evoking Latin proverb Homo homini lupus est (A man is a wolf to another man).
I believe, however, that mentioned above proverb shows a distorted image of the nature of the wolf itself, which can’t be referred as something negative and narcissistic towards a fellow specimen.
What if you did X, instead of Y? Would you get burned or be better of?
Making choices shapes us. Our present state of happiness is the sum of the choices we’ve made till now. Had I not gone to the UK for summer before my first year of Poznan University of Economics, I might have never fallen in love with the idea of studying here. Had I not started studying here, I might have not shaped my character so much free of limits and full of not-give-a-fuck’s. Had I not started building my business few years ago and failing (and raising) so many times, I might have never been that strong and certain about what I want to do in my life, for people around me.
It’s 6 in the morning (which would actually make 5am as we entered Summer Time) and I still can’t fall asleep. Yesterday I met with a friend of mine who few months ago joined Improbable (the new hot start-up from London, recently secured Series A of $20M with Andreessen Horowitz). My head can’t stop thinking. Unordered thoughts run from the vision of future me having built equally awesome company (companies), just to switch into the fear of the unknown in the very next moment.
Another few hours spent on polishing slides for my company’s website – Amuse.
2 hours spent on creating a concept with a humoristic tinge. 1 hour spent on browsing the right font. 1 hour spent on finding quality images for slides. 3 hours spent on figuring out these bloody settings of the Java plugin. 2 hours spent on proper timing the slides.
Fuck no. I don’t like the shape it is. It’s not funny anymore. Joke heard more than once stops being funny. Actually, I don’t know anymore if it was funny at the first place.
2 hours spent on changing the concept, 2 hours spent on timing the slides properly…
How do you get over the fear of leaving your comfort zone, e.g. quitting your secure job to build a start-up (hey, only 3 out of 4 fail) or leaving your predictable, emotionless relationship to the time undefined singleness?
You may start by realising that at the height of your current achievements, you still live in a cage. Imagine the most successful specimen in the animal kingdom, let’s call him Simba – living in the zoo. He gets his every meal, guaranteed and on time. He has no natural enemies. Even diseases and harsh climates are not a concern. Eat. Sleep. Die.
Jim Rohn once said:
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
It doesn’t matter much how smart you are (Although it certainly helps). It doesn’t matter how talented you are (There are so many untalented, yet successful people), which skills you have (Bright people delegate things which they can’t do to skilled experts) or which family you came from. All that counts if you want to be successful in life is the people you surround yourself with.