in life

Resolve to be Scared

Somehow, we’ve made it to the middle of January already. Yep, let me be the first to say, “Where is the year going?”

How are those resolutions coming along? Still hitting the gym? Are you keeping your promise to use fewer exclamation points?

It’s funny how it takes a date on the calendar to motivate us to do what we probably should have been doing all along (yes, that means you, excessive exclamation point user).

Hiten Shah isn’t a big fan of resolutions. And neither am I. Rather than resolving to add or remove something from your life like exercise or soda, start resolving to change your perspective, change your approach, and shift your focus.

Shah, in his most recent newsletter, had this to say about resolutions:

“…If you’re actually practicing being a conscious and growth-focused entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be waiting for some socially acceptable milestone to inspire yourself to become better than you are. You have to be continually igniting that flame from within, regardless of what the calendar date is…”

And how do you do that? By doing what scares you the most.

Maybe that means it’s finally time to take the leap toward starting your own business. Maybe it’s time to close the doors and start something new. Maybe that means moving to a place. Maybe it simply means finding time to discover yourself, who you are, and more importantly, who you want to be.

That may mean saying no a lot more often, to make room for saying yes when you should.

When we think about taking risks, being bold, and leaving our comfort zone, we tend to focus on the wrong things. We get stuck thinking about the obstacles and challenges that stand in the way of our goals. We obsess over the financial burden, the personal sacrifice, the long hours, and the tough times ahead.

But when you focus on the negative, the negative becomes you. Rather than being consumed by the negative, start focusing on the opportunity. Shah says:

“…Don’t think about why this or that won’t work. Just sit down and figure out how it will because you’re finally 100% committed to making it happen. It’s hard and it might hurt. But it’s a challenge in locating the silver-lining…”

Focusing on how you WILL make things happen, versus being stuck on those reasons that you WON’T is key. It takes effort. It takes flexing some mental muscles. It’s hard. Damn hard. But allows you to tap into your absolute best self.

Be bold. Starting today. Starting right now. Now is as good of time as any.

When you scare yourself a little, you’ll surprise yourself a lot.

(Photo Credit)

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  1. I agree with the main content of this post, ligit reading for someone who needs motivation on self-growth. 

    The only part that I disagree with is the idea that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t helpful. Dismissing them just because they are the social norm is like saying you’re going to celebrate your birthday 364 days a year… but just not on your actual birthday. Social acceptable milestones can be extremely helpful because they can give you glimpse into an actual firm, set-in-stone start date and accountability – two all too often omitted pieces of the motivation puzzle. 

    If we’re serious about our growth, we should be making plans for it, keeping track of it, and making it public. This lines up perfectly with New Year’s Resolutions because a calendar year makes it much easier to follow progress, and we have to be (at least slightly) realistic about our goals in order to motivate ourselves forward.

    But I completely get what you’re trying to convey overall with this post and I fully support it – especially the part about not allowing negative to become you. I just wanted to stand up for my own new year’s resolutions :)

    • Hey Ben. Thanks as always for your perspective and candor. 

      I agree that there’s nothing wrong with resolutions. But more important than resolving to eat less _____ or do more of ______ is making lifestyle, philosophical, and mindset shifts. Changing your perspective. Approaching things in a different way, from a new angle. Being bold. Or maybe being a little more cautious. 

      I’m 100% on board with what you’re saying and I especially agree that resolving publicly and keeping yourself accountable is the key to actually following through with those new years, or whenever-years resolutions!

  2. Again, thank you – very timely post for me. 

    Time and time again I find the greatest sense of accomplishment & joy in the moments I get to look back at a risk I took and say, “Wow – I really did that.” Each leap I take in my personal or professional life, and don’t fall flat on my face, gives me all the more confidence to make an even bigger jump next time. Added motivation is seeing friends and peers accomplish goals and elevate their lives to a better place.
    Took me awhile to realize I’m the only person holding myself back. I’m the only person telling myself “No.” (re: “…when you focus on the negative, the negative becomes you.”)

    • You got it, Kate. The best compliment is when a post resonates with another. In the immortal words of Kanye, “That that don’t kill me, will only make me stronger”. 

      What really helped me in getting to where I am is exactly what you said, seeing so many of my peers having success and doing great things was inspiring and motivating for me to take leaps of faith, especially when I first embarked down the path of an entrepreneur.

      When I jumped, people reached out, with open arms, to soften the fall. There were times when it still hurt, a lot, but ultimately, it’s led me to where I am today. I don’t know all your goals, but I have no doubt that as you continue to take leaps, they’ll be folks waiting with open arms ready to help you along the way. I know that when you’re ready to work from home in your PJs and have an office with an unlimited supply of Fruit Roll Ups, there’s a seat at Proof with your name on it. ;)

  3. I think fear is a reflection of faith.  You see the monks sit out in the freezing weather while they meditate.  Its amazing the mind is creating our reality in real time.