How You Can Finally Destroy Fear (and stop feeling sorry for yourself)

Fear of Failure

“How the hell could you be afraid to approach another human being?” — me yelling at a buddy for being afraid of approaching a girl that he was interested in. Fear is a funny thing. Fear is crippling on your growth if you don’t conquer it.

WTF? Why are we so afraid of everything? We’re afraid to talk. We’re afraid to apply for jobs. We’re afraid to open our mouths. We’re afraid of risks. We just accept crappy jobs. We keep on keeping on. That’s just too lame for me. I’ve come to embrace fear. I try to slap fear around on a daily basis.

I know that you’re tired of fear. I know that you want to slap your fears around and finally conquer them. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading still. You’re tired of always being so afraid. I get it. Fear sucks. Feeling sorry for yourself is pathetic. Seriously.

What are you so afraid of?

We all have different fears. I’ve noticed that fear is often irrational. Some of us are afraid of approaching people we’re attracted to. Some are afraid of deviating from their set schedule. Others just don’t want to get old.

I have an irrational fear of dying. There I said it. It makes no sense. We all die. Yet I’m so afraid of it.

I was also afraid of video blogging for the longest time. What would my friends say? What would the readers say? What if I sounded funny (Canadian accent, eh?)?

Screw everyone. Here’s a video on the topic. Love or hate it, you have to learn to live with it.

Now it’s time for us to overcome fear together if you didn’t feel like watching that video….

How the hell can you finally destroy fear?

Think about the worst case scenario.

What’s the worst that could happen? Seriously? Will it even matter in five years? Will anyone even care by next week? What’s the worst thing can be happen from your fear?

Just like how my friends get over my late-night drunken text messages within a few days, your friends will forget about your failures.

On a different note, what’s the worst that your fears could lead to?

I realize that you can’t be overly logical about most fears. However, with some of our fears, we can easily overcome them by coming to accept that the worst case scenario isn’t all that bad.

What are you really afraid of?

Do. Don’t think.

Analysis paralysis. Information overload. Call it whatever you want. Stop thinking. Stop buying books. Stop researching it. Just do.

You need to take some risks. Stop reading marketing blogs on how to start a site. Just start one. Stop reading about how to work out. Go to the gym and push some weights around. Stop searching for answers on how to learn a language and just get your hands on a program.

Stop thinking about everything! I should be in jail. I’ve done plenty of stupid things. It’s okay though. I believe that we all should get into the habit of doing. It’s better to do than to think. When you’re taking action you’re too busy to even think about your fears.

But wait Martin, what if things don’t work out? I’m glad you asked…

Embrace failure.

Most of us are just afraid of failure. What if we attempt to conquer our fears and we fail?

I embarrass myself all of the time. I go for girls that I don’t deserve. I met my last girlfriend by telling her she looked like my previous girlfriend. There’s no resemblance! We laugh about it to this day. I just needed an icebreaker.

I talk the most trash out of all of my friends. I don’t care if I fail at something. I just laugh it off and try again. Failure gives you permission to try again.

What’s worse than failure? Regret!

With that being said…

Think of how horrible regret is.

Man I hate regretting things. I know that it’s common in society to say that we have no regrets or no mistakes. That’s all crap. We’re all loaded with regrets. We all wish we did more. We all wish we took more risks. We all wish we asked someone else to prom. We all have plenty of regrets.

  • What if I started my site sooner?
  • What if I pursued that other degree?
  • What if I started working out sooner?

So many “what ifs.”

We all know how excruciatingly painful regret is. Why torture ourselves like this? Stop living with regrets.

Imagine how horrible regret is. List all of your regrets on a piece of paper. Are they worth it? Imagine you had taken action?

What if your action didn’t result in what you wanted?

Let go of what you can’t control.

We are all far too attached to outcomes and things that we can’t control. Some things are just out of your reach. Actually, many things are out of our control.

I got over my fear of dying by realizing that I need to let go of the things that I can’t control. When my time comes, it comes. Regardless of your religious beliefs or views, it’s fair to agree that death for the most part is out of our control. I mean all I can do is stay as healthy as possible, avoid drugs, and doing stupid things. The rest is out of my reach. If I get run off the road by a truck, I mean well, what can I do?

Check out my extensive piece on how to live forever and join me! Okay, enough about death. Yikes!

I want you to let go of what you can’t control. Every single person won’t like you. You won’t always succeed. You won’t always be the best. Stop being so afraid.

A quick story on overcoming fear…

This past Sunday I participated in my first run. I signed up for a 5k charity run in Toronto. I had zero practise and zero training. I knew that I always wanted to do something different. I had been meaning to sign up for this 5k run for the past few years. I just never did it. This year I signed up in advance so that I would go without any excuses. Plus, when you pay for something, you sort of have to go.

What happened? I showed up at noon and noticed that the sun was scorching hot. It was the warmest I’ve ever felt at the beginning of May in Toronto. Oh well. I ran.

When I noticed the 1k mark I felt amazing. I was doing well and well ahead of a majority of the group. Then the pain hit me! My back hurt. My shoulders were killing. My body gave up on me at the 2k mark. I walked for a bit. Then I jogged. Then it felt like the 4k mark would never come. It finally did. I walked for a bit. Then I saw all of the people cheering. I couldn’t stop at that point. So I somehow mustered the power to cross the finish line.

I ended up chugging as much gatorade and water as possible. I finished 5k in 27 minutes. Not bad for someone with literally zero training.

This Sunday I have the 10k run. I hope that my legs feel better by then because I’m in a ton of pain. I didn’t realize how tough running could be.

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of time passing me by. I hate the feeling of growing older and wondering where the time is going. I wish that I could freeze time. I want to be young forever.

5 thoughts on “How You Can Finally Destroy Fear (and stop feeling sorry for yourself)”

  1. To be young forever, everybody wants that. But yeah, living an empty life would be scary. I was afraid before about starting my blog too. That I won’t get any traffic and no one will comment on my posts. But hey, look at that.. I think I’m doing really good. It’s all about overcoming your fear and not let it take control of your life.

  2. Jordan Rodriguez

    I’ve been trying to get over my fears lately. Mainly it is of course failure and rejection, and it still happens to this day. Started my own comic book series/website; finished one issue before I ran out of funds and to my knowledge have no readers or fans. Need money for grad school; not eligible for a single grant, or missed the deadline. Trying to work with a professor in grad school; none have interests or research I’d be able to work with (that’s relevant to my studies).

    But gotta keep on keeping on. One day I’ll pick up the pencil and try to draw the damn comic myself since I’m tired of paying and waiting on artists. Sooner or later, I’ll have money for grad school (Please not a loan, anything but that). And hopefully in the spring, a professor will have an opening that I would enjoy. The problem is time. Waiting sucks.

    I have started to get over my fear or rejection. I fear talking to girls and people in general. I saw a cute girl that I wanted to talk to while at jury duty. I stood there for a bit awkwardly and then just said, “You know, I never caught your name,” and just went from there. I force myself to talk to people, or else I’ll never get over it.

    Also, I thought this was funny: “I met my last girlfriend by telling her she looked like my previous girlfriend.” Well, she does now (LAST girlfriend, but not the last for reals). 😛

      1. Jordan Rodriguez

        Well, been stagnant for awhile…that’s another problem. I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to do some more writing on the novel portion of my comic this weekend, as well as some sketching time. It’s a shameful process. I have this one issue on the web for everyone to see, and Gods know how long it will take me to perfect my drawing style where I feel like I can continue the comic from the first issue. I may even redraw the first issue for art continuity sake.

        Aside from that, writing scholarship essays since grants are near impossible to find for grad students ;_;

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