I came across this tweet from visa, one of my favorite twitter micro celebrities, asking about riffs on fear. I’ve already written a lot about fear before, in a poem about conviction and an essay about just doing it, but it doesn’t fail to come up over and over in my daily life. Fear is just so crucial to doing what you want to do. It’s the foundational mental blocker underlying all of our doubt and anxiety.

I think one of the highest leverage personal growth moments is learning how to overcome fear. And then repeating that over and over and over again, until the process is inscribed into your body. We like to think that doing something once is enough to call it a day, that getting it right means we’re pretty good. We’re always striving for novelty, checking off bucket lists, trying to jam every experience and feeling into the limited time we have. In our rush from place to place and feeling to feeling, we forget that repetition is essential for excellence. I’ve been learning to be patient in growing in the ways that I want and acclimating to overcoming my fear, step by step, leap by leap, gamble by gamble. I want fear to be my ultimate motivator, my root of courage, my mortal reminder. I want to inhabit the edge of possibility, brushing against suns and darting beside black holes, daring to venture beyond what I see and know.

Some tactical steps I’ve been trying to train my acclimation to fear:

  • give compliments freely to strangers, specifically attractive people because the pressure is higher to me
  • speak up when i disagree, especially to those who are in a position of power over me
  • share freely, especially when it feels more personal
  • act first apologize later: I’m naturally a think (more like overthink again and again) before act kind of person so this is aimed to force me to do before going down the rabbit hole

What is your relationship to your fear and how are you overcoming it? Any other ideas for what I should be trying?

This is the 82nd installment in my experiment of publishing raw, lightly edited mini-essays every day towards achieving 100 public pieces. Check out the rationale and the full list here.