Feel the fear and…then what?

There's a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. I have no idea if it's a good book. Maybe I would love it.

But, I hate the title.

A few years ago, I was sitting in a meeting of a local piano teachers association (I was the secretary 😂).

Someone was explaining how students need to perform in front of audiences, whether they are comfortable with it or not. Of course, this book was used as justification.

I felt sick, thinking of all the kids enrolled in piano lessons against their will, being forced into terrifying situations which will undoubtedly leave horrible memories of piano lessons in their minds for the rest of their lives.

(I guess I feel a little bit better when I imagine how most of those memories will be repressed…)

Teachers and parents love to say things like “feel the fear and do it anyway.” No one wants their kids to be wimps.

And there's even truth here. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway is exactly how you learn and grow. You have to step outside of your comfort zone if you want to make progress and lasting change.

But, it has to be done willingly.

You can't force it. You can't shame someone into doing it.

That will always backfire.

If you ain't willing, then you won't DO IT. You'll hold back. And then, the “holding back” will become the new pattern. This is what we call PTSD.

It must be done for fun.

“Don't do anything that isn't play.”
—Marshall B. Rosenberg

At the end of the day, we're all wimps about something. It's not a character flaw. It just means you're smart and don't want to get hurt.

My social media posts (and these emails), are a way of exposing myself to fear in a playful way.

It's terrifying, but it's also liberating. Every time I click “send” on an email, I feel that fear in a strong way (social media is a bit easier, since I can edit posts afterwards…but email is permanent…no take-backs).

A year ago, posting videos of myself talking on social media would have been IMPOSSIBLY DIFFICULT. Now, I do it several times a week.

If you're wondering if it might benefit you, too, TRY IT. Let's Hear It will help you get started.

If the idea is way too scary, reply to this email and tell me about it.


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