It's Not Difficult, You're Scared
It's easy to confuse difficulty with fear. Taking things apart to first principles can help to eliminate fear holding us back from doing things.
Hey readers 👋
One thing we all do is that we often confuse difficulty with fear. We convince ourselves that something is “difficult” when it’s actually fear that is holding us back.
For example, people often say “public speaking is very difficult”.
Thinking about this rationally, there’s nothing inherently difficult about standing on a stage and talking. Talking is something we do every single day.
We don’t find it difficult speaking to a handful of close friends and family. Speaking only becomes “difficult” as the size of our audience grows, and our familiarity with the faces in the audience diminishes.
On reflection, it’s not the fact that public speaking is difficult that worries us, it’s the fear that’s holding us back.
- Fear that we may screw up.
- Fear that we may not be taken seriously.
- Fear that we may be discounted by the audience.
- Fear that we may not know what we’re talking about.
- Fear that we didn’t prepare enough.
The list goes on and on.
Fear is dangerous because it often prevents us from getting started in the first place.
So the next time you instinctively catch yourself complaining that something is “difficult”, try to understand whether it’s just fear holding you back.
We can always work on our fears, but we can’t always make something that’s already easy any easier.
Stop confusing difficulty with fear.
Have an awesome week 🤩
3 Things I've Enjoyed This Week
- 11 reasons not to become famous - In this Instagram age, we’ve been led to believe that fame would solve a lot of our problems. Actually it creates a lot more problems than we would have been anticipating. “I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘try being rich first.’ See if that doesn’t cover most of it. There’s not much downside to being rich, other than paying taxes and having your relatives ask you for money. But when you become famous, you end up with a 24-hour job… . The only good thing about fame is that I’ve gotten out of a couple of speeding tickets. I’ve gotten into a restaurant when I didn’t have a suit and tie on. That’s really about it.” - Bill Murray
- Am I Fat? An Answer from History - Ideals of beauty change over time. What was beautiful in the past, is considered ugly now. What is considered beautiful now, is likely to be considered ugly in future. Beauty is not objective.
- Borrowed time - “All of us are on borrowed time. There are no refunds and there are no guarantees. At some point, the only time you’ll have to worry about is the time you’ve wasted.”
Tweet of the Week
This Week's Wisdom
“You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be.”
- Michelle Obama, in the book: Becoming,
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