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How to Avoid Cold-Feet Killing Your Progress

Cold Feet Can Kill Your Productivity

Today, I want to talk about what happens when you give in to your fears. I want you to learn from my mistakes so you can have the courage to do what you need to.

I have a lot of fears. That’s just part of who I am. I’m risk-averse, and I tend to focus on mitigating the risks I perceive as a priority, rather than focus on potential gains.

(I’ve written about fear before, check out this post in particular where I tell the story of nearly drowning. It’s a fan-favourite).

My dumb cold-feet mistakes

Sadly, I have a long list of times when I chickened out. When I gave in to my cold feet. I did ok despite these events, but every time I say no to something I should do, or want to do, it makes it that bit harder next time, and the more you say no, the more chance people will stop asking.

Here is a small sample:

  • Back when I first started out writing tutorials in the ASP programming space, I nearly quit when a popular community member slammed one of my articles. He pretty much tore it apart, not because it was inaccurate or badly written, but because he felt threatened.  My wife talked me down from that one.
  • I stopped guest posting at Copyblogger, despite my Copyblogger articles being my best source of leads. Say it with me … Stupid, stupid, stupid. There were two reasons:
    1. Negative feedback from people who, looking back, were either trolling or I should never have listened to in the first place. Most notably several people who said “Who the heck do you think you are”, or words to that effect.
    2. Fear of not being good enough a writer to appear on a top writing blog (even though Copyblogger wouldn’t ever publish something that was not good enough. I never said fear was rational!).
  • History repeated when I stopped writing for Social Media Examiner. Yeah, I got busy, but mixed in there were similar fear reasons to what had come before too.
  • I’ve turned down multiple speaking opportunities in exciting far-flung countries, because I didn’t feel up to the spotlight or the “exotic” location, only to see other speakers step up who I thought were great, but no better than me.
  • TV scares me so much I have never accepted a single opportunity. Not even pre-recorded shows.

Why did I chicken out from these valuable opportunities, when I have taken risks and big leaps elsewhere in my life and business? As anyone who knows me could confirm, my family and I have been through some pretty white-knuckle stuff. What was different here? What did all of these have in common?

Know your comfort zones … and challenge them

I am going to give you some advice then immediately contradict it, but stay with me!

Your rewards will directly relate to how far you push your comfort zones.

OK, that’s the advice. And I really believe that.

So why do I allow myself to wimp out from stretching my own comfort zones?

Because I can.

If you are always pushing your comfort zones then you will not have a very enjoyable life. It’s about finding a balance.

Some comfort is a good thing! Plus, as you stretch your comfort zones, they can become the new normal for you. When you don’t stretch, you actually shrink.

That doesn’t make it right, however. Just because my business hasn’t fatally suffered from turning down or walking away from opportunities, doesn’t mean it was the correct decision.

You have to work out your comfort zones and either face them or work with them.

I know where my anxiety comes from in the above examples. All of the experiences above come from two fears that I have always had to work on:

  • Over-emphasising what other people who don’t know me think.
  • Being over-exposed and shunning the spotlight.

It comes down to “Who the heck do you think you are?”. 

The answer should be “Good enough for this”, but if you let doubt creep in, it becomes “Not up to the task”.

I don’t just fear the spotlight, I really don’t like it. I’d much rather be the song-writer than the rock star.

Strangely, once I got over the worst of the initial fear of public speaking, I found I love to teach. I just don’t like the feeling of people looking at me, or noticing me much for that matter. While I can focus on the content, I am ok. Once I feel like people are taking notice of me rather than the content, that’s when I pull back.

I’ve been able to work around it, and work on it. You can do the same, I am sure:

  1. Why the fear? – Work out when you feel resistance where that resistance is coming from.
  2. Identify the risks and mitigate them – Lower the risks and downside as much as you can to make sure you are as confident as you can be.
  3. If you can’t face it right now, work around it – there are usually multiple ways to get the same or similar results. For example, I do webinars rather than streaming headshot video.
  4. When you can work on it, work to improve – Since the age of 16 I have devoured many self-help books. Some actually helped.
  5. Pick your battles – We are not all great at everything we are expected to do. Some things I turn down, other things I partner for. Some things I tell myself “suck it up princess, we have work to do”. Your mileage may vary.
One of the best things I have learned has been to make sure my email lists are set up in Aweber with my real email address. That means, even though negative types can hit reply, so can the nice folks. I can save the compliments for when I am feeling down or not good enough, and that can give me a bit of added fuel to get the necessary work done.

Bottom Line

I nearly didn’t post this article for all the reasons I mentioned above. But I have, and will take any negative comments on the chin, because I need to follow my own advice 🙂

Over to you. What do you fear? What holds you back? How do you manage that, or intend to in future? Let me know in the comments …



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  1. My biggest fear is being interviewed or having to give a speech. So far I have survived two podcast interviews, but I have not been approached to give a speech and have not pursued it so far. Maybe I’ll put speeches on my goal list for 2013!!

    • An easy and fun way to learn how to give speeches is to check out Toastmasters. They teach you how in a very supportive atmosphere. Your audience is your fellow students, so there’s not as much pressure. Good luck with that goal.

  2. The best advice I ever got was to say to myself, when I felt hurt by or exposed to other people – “you’re very sensitive to what YOU think other people think of you”. For some reason it has really worked for me – I think it brings home to me that I don’t know why other people are choosing to be negative or nasty, all I really can know is how I’m responding to it.

    • Hi Jill you make a good point about other’s being negative, it’s simply means you must be doing something right. Most people these days don’t want to see you do well, in fact they will even say things to make you change your mind about something you might be considering don’t listen do what you desire and feel is right.

      We’re all for the most part people who know what our limits are and what will hurt us and what will not, so with that in mind it will be ok to take risks as long as there is no danger. I would never put my self or any other person in harms way I’m just the opposite I always look out for those I care about.

      But from a business stand point taking risk is part of succeeding and with out risk there’s no business.

  3. Hey, Chris, thanks for clicking and posting this blog. Very encouraging to those of us who’d rather be the songwriter than the rock star. BTW: It’s highly likely that I never would have taken the leap from my flagging traditional communications career into content/inbound marketing if I hadn’t read Problogger, Second Edition. Granted I haven’t hit the six-figure mark yet, but I figure I’m just getting started.
    Thanks so much!

  4. Hi Chris great article and some very important points you covered
    For the most part I welcome fear, maybe it’s because I don’t really know what it is because I don’t really fear much in this life. I have always been a risk taker so to speak and always did what most people won’t and it worked out %95 of the time.

    The only way you can succeed or even make it in today’s world is to take risk and don’t look back. Example, have you ever try to fix something in your house and was so amazed you accomplished it? well same goes for starting a business or any venture for the first time. If you keep thinking about failing it will happen because you are unsure of your self and what you can accomplish……

  5. I think it is wise to listen to your fear but not be controlled by it.

    Think about if there is any danger present. If so minimise it – this isn’t being controlled by fear it is being sensible. You aren’t superman, you can be hurt.

    If there isn’t danger present it is worth asking why you are scared. This can lead many places.

    Being comfortable is ok. The problem is getting stuck can lead to a lack of engagement with life. If so it is usually competing desires (these can be resolved – they are both part of you after all. Hint: they are both part of you don’t get into thinking that one is good and the other bad.)

  6. Excellent article! I have so many fears about many things, and 9/10 it’s just in my head. Lack of confidence, I am not sure.

    In saying that, I just set up my first workshop to speak with 10 local business owners about the value of the Internet. I have never done public speaking, but it’s time to learn. This article came at the right time.

    Thank you, Chris!

  7. Wow! Just when I need it most for some reason. Thanks for hitting that button. GREAT post.

  8. I used to be a professional classical musician. The only thing is, I suffered from debilitating performance anxiety. After years and years of struggling with this, it slowly became better. And I attribute this to the fact that I just kept getting back up on stage, even after a terrible performance. Through pushing my comfort zone, I was able to make standing on stage and performing become more and more familiar- and easier.

    Thanks for the reminder Chris. I’m going to apply this to my business and see where and how I can continue to stretch.

  9. Chris,

    I have seen fear hold dreamers hostage on 8 Women Dream and then they blame other people on their lack of progress. It’s been fascinating to watch. But at least you take responsibility for your fears. You don’t blame others and today you’ve brought it out into the light and people will applaud you for that. Facing our fears can be a daunting task, but when we know that it is ourselves limiting ourselves and not the fault of others (like Copy Blogger or Social Media Examiner) then we can change how we look at fear. Deep breathing helps 😉 Thank you for writing this.


  10. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences – I think this is something almost everyone struggles with, and it helps to have examples of people who’ve dealt with fear and comfort zones successfully.

  11. Hi, Chris, and thank you for the great blog post. It’s when we make ourselves vulnerable to others that they can see our humanity and relate to it. The greatest line from this, I put on a large card on the bulletin board behind my writing desk:

    It comes down to “Who the heck do you think you are?” The answer should be “Good enough for this”

    THOSE two lines will help me stretch into new comfort zones. Thank you!

  12. I’ve always been controlled by fear, even as a small child. I think that’s the biggest obstacle for me. I have dreams but I’m too afraid to put my best foot forward. I feel that having a bad day job is so much simpler and low risk, but it’s not what I truely want. Tax season is coming up and I’m sooo terrified of doing something wrong. Every day I fear that there is something I’ve forgotten or didn’t understand, like there is something that I’m supposed to do that I don’t know about, and one day I’m going to be horribly punished for it (or get huge fines, I don’t know). It always feels like I’m one step away from some awful disaster, or someone is going to sue me for whatever or the next time I start the car is the last day I’m alive. Whenever I leave the house is the day my home burns down. Every day I go to work I think I’m going to be fired.

    It’s insane! Can’t give in to all of those fears because then I’d never leave home at all (like that one year after high school, yeesh). But I find if there is something I really really want, eventually I will bite the bullet and do it. But boy, things would work a hell of a lot faster if I were “normal”.

  13. This article has hit me, at the right moment, and in the right spot. Thank you very much and thank you for hitting the “publish” button.

  14. Thanks, Chris. I needed to see this pretty much the very moment I read it. I have an idea I want to write, so I was researching it, reading what’s been written and feeling very intimidated. Thanks to you, I know to keep going.

  15. John Berryman, one of my favorite poets, once said, “We must travel in the direction of our fears.”

    That’s what I thought of when I read your sub head: “Know your comfort zones … and challenge them”

    Great article.

  16. Wow you are good and don’t let anyone say otherwise. I am afraid that the comments on my YouTube clips has sent my daughter into the fear zone. She often reads some of the very nasty comments on some of my clips and asks why. She also knows that noone would dare to say some of these things to my face yet I respone to every one that I see and always say Enjoy at the end. Rejection is difficult but annomous rejection should not be accepted. Listen to your peers and be true to your ideals. Thank you for a very good post. Now I need to work with my daughter. 😉

  17. Fear of failure and fear of not getting something 100% right seem to bother me the most. There have been many projects that I wouldn’t start because of fear. Somebody said “do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain”. It is good advice but at times hard to live upt to!

  18. Hi Chris
    This is the first time I have been brave enough to comment on your blog. So your post is working its magic in all sorts of ways. You will probably never know how many people you have inspired and I think that’s ok.
    It’s so nice to see other people being human. I once went to a forum where we did a ‘go around’ to say what our qualifications were and what we did for a living. The room was full of psychologists and other academic types all competing to be the most impressive person in the room. I felt very uncomfortable so I just said ‘my name is Margaret and I’m a person’. Years later someone told me that they never forgot this incident and that it inspired them to be humble rather than showing off. Being a person is the most important thing you can be.

  19. Lynn Lekander says:

    Chris, this is a pretty important post. A pep talk for me letting me know that, if I do something I don’t like to stretch my comfort zone, I will live through it. This is inspiration in a blogpost.

  20. Chris, With several shifts, I might have written this. The article clearly addresses the issues I have been grappling with for a long while now. I don’t want the spotlight on me, I want the attention on the people I work with, for whom I facilitate and coach. The world, however seems to reward the rock star drive. No problem with that; it just doesn’t fir for me and I have to find my way around the fear…Thank you for articulating it for me.

  21. Hi Chris

    My current biggest fear is, will I be able to sustain in blogging world, where there are so many good writers everywhere and I am not good in that BUT I am giving my best and know I will surely improve.
    I have been a programmer started since VB5 and SQL 6.5 and now on VB.NET 2010. I started writing tutorials and felt while doing so, let me try something else which I am not good at, I really took that as a challenge upon myself.
    I am giving it a full try and the fear is whether I will be able to succeed or not.

    Thanks for sharing the info.

  22. Hi Chris – I’m reading and rereading your article above. I am struggling to overcome my fear of publication. I know it’s unreasonable. I’m a copywriter, for pete’s sake. I do fine with ghostwriting or helping others with their writing projects. But I freeze when it comes to queries and promoting my business. I know if I just push through these fears, I’ll be okay. I’ve gotten myself to the very edge of the diving board and am unable to take that final plunge. Stating your fears so boldly, has helped me realize I can push through these unreasonable fears too. Thanks for that.

  23. Good for you for publishing this. It’s always nice to know that someone I respect has had (and continues to have) some of the same problems I’ve had.

    For example, in 2011 my job included cold-calling. The first couple months I had to put myself through all sorts of mental permutations. I over-researched. I called the purchasing agents first – because it was part of their JOB to talk to people like me. I goofed off a little between each call to release tension. I chickened out on some calls and put them off to the next day and others I pushed forward on. In some ways the hardest part was giving myself the room to realize I was learning a new emotional skill even though it was theoretically something easy – pick up the phone, make a call…

    And no one yelled at me. And no one spoke nastily to me (like I’d sometimes wake up hearing in my dreams). And some people were interested. And a couple were thrilled I’d called because they weren’t happy with who they were buying from and hadn’t gotten around to finding another supplier. I’d just made their lives easier.

    I could face a much bigger challenge now. I’ve found that courage is a muscle that grows with exercise. And failure, once passed through, rarely hurts as much as I had imagined it would beforehand. (Not just referring to the above story here, either)

  24. Great post Chris, very much like our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure (MW) , 🙂

  25. I think your post highlights a very important lesson (for life and business) – be careful who you listen too (and that sometimes includes ourselves!!!)

  26. Well, I have so many fears and I am worried that they will affect my business, but I will take your advice and overcome them.

    I think that my biggest fears are “Who the heck do you think you are?” and the fact that I am not a native English speaker.

    I stopped recording tutorials, because of some negative comments and I was feeling that the they are not good enough.

    But again, I will be fighting to overcome that. 🙂

  27. Hey Craig,

    I loved your article. I spent a lot of time in my youth too worried about what other people thought of me. It caused me to have a lot of regret. I was also a very nervous public speaker. But, eventually I learned how to get past it and even thrive on it. I find that teaching is a great way to get past the fear. I even ended up writing a small book on how to control your fear of public speaking.

    So, thanks again for posting this. Look forward to reading your other articles.



  28. This spoke to me. Holyyyy cow you nailed it! Thank you!

  29. Such an important, human post! What a beautiful thing you have done by sharing your vulnerability and fears so we can all take courage. We all have something important to share and those a-holes who criticize with negativity aren’t your peeps anyway. Pay attention to those you value and let the others go their own miserable way. They aren’t ready to hear what you have to give yet.

  30. Fantastic article Chris. It’s always great when someone as established as you can be open and write about their strengths and weaknesses. We’re all human and when we learn to accept our deficiencies, we can challenge them, or at the very least adapt to them.

  31. Chris, what a great piece — thank you for writing this, and for being so honest about the fears that you’ve faced (and continue to face).

    I find it scary to step outside my comfort zone and try new things, but I’m slooowly getting more and more confident. I often have to remind myself that however frightening something might be to begin with, it’ll get easier. The first few times I created audio seminars for my membership site, I found it really tough — but after a year of doing one a month, I actually enjoy it.

    I want to echo what Margaret said above — you’ll never know how many people you’ve inspired. (Though I’ll stand up and be counted, for one. :-)) You’re a fantastic writer, a great speaker, and an all-around lovely person — and I hope you’ll keep on pushing past the fear, because we need more of your thoughtful, gentle, honest and informed approach in the blogging world.

  32. “When you don’t stretch, you actually shrink.” ~CG

    What do i fear? I fear failing. I fear action. I fear risk. But when I really take time to think deeper, it all excites me. I don’t know if this fear has other names, but it seems like it’s not sourced in me. I manage all this by breaking into the areas of creativity I’m confident in (Expression Art), and I use the wild emotions and expressions to bridge into the technical, architectural, and realistic art pieces I’m working on.

    My Preach: It’s time to enter into the territory of our dreams and take action…out away from comfort and stability, into the shakey unknown…where the fear of failure could take it’s hold…but maybe we all need a bit more failure…maybe thats progress

  33. Pete Lovick says:

    Most people say that the biggest thing they fear is the fear of public speaking, but when you think about it what are they really saying? …I think, deep down, what they really fear is the fear of giving poor or inaccurate content that will result in them being criticised by their peers so they lose their respect. What this boils down further to is the fear of not being loved, and as humans, we all need love to survive …so it’s not the fear of public speaking itself.

    (If you doubt that we all need love to survive, then do a search to see what you can find about the experiment in the 60’s where a group of newly born orphans that were just fed and not loved or hugged actually DIED after a period of time, so the experiment had to be stopped).

    The other side of this is, when you think about it, is that every single thing we do in this world is because of an emotion. Positive or negative. I think that ’emotion’ is what makes the world go round, and it’s our primary motivator in every single thing we do. (Again, think about that one if you’re unsure).

    So when you tie these two together, fear is what you feel when you sense that your emotional balance could be disturbed to an extent that you may not easily recover from…

    …which means that the biggest takeaway from the above is to always tell yourself when you’re moving out of your comfort zone is that you’re “Good enough for this” …and if you perceive your stakes or risks are emotionally quite high for you, then stick to only expressing your talents in areas that you know you are naturally or extremely good at, then your ‘good enough’ will always be true won’t it?

    The bottom line is belief. If you believe you CAN do it, no matter the difficulty or how extremely far out it is of your emotional or physical comfort zone, then you will still succeed if you believe you can …and improve along the way.

    Think about the hundreds of thousands who have the balls to stand up on a stage on a tv reality show and audition to millions because they believe at some level inside that they are good enough. Or the thousands of overweight people that train for and somehow manage to get round a marathon course in on piece, because they believe they are good enough.

    What do YOU believe you are good enough at doing?

    Is there an emotional reason that will motivate you to just go do it in 2013?

    Thanks for inspiring us Chris. You crystallised a few things for us today.

  34. Chris,
    You’re my hero today!

  35. Just wanted to say thanks. Great Post. Keep on sharing and inspiring.

  36. Chris,

    I have my real email in my Aweber account as well. For the most part I get positive responses, which I actually look forward to. If I do get a negative comment it’s usually constructive so I can learn from my most important source…my readers.

  37. Chris,
    I passed over this in my email box because I was busy at the time. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I went back and took the time to read it.

    I’m struggling to get ready for the launch of a new website (, and you’ve touched on several fears running through my head.

    Your honest assessment of yourself encourages me to do the same, and to remind myself that, by the grace of God, I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

    Thanks for a very fine article.

    Jim H.

  38. Chris, I really relate to you and admire how you’ve worked though so much of your shyness. I think it’s one of the reasons I love attending your events. Even though you’ve been transparent about some of your missteps I see you as successful, accessible and amazing at what you do.

    Recently I found a key for me for getting past my fears and that is working in small masterminds and other group programs. When I am alone my fears have more power. When I’m working with others they reflect back something more accurate than what is going on in my head. I’ve made more progress in the last 6 months than I have in a long while.

    I am appreciative that you did post this article because there are so many of us who are introverts and your success shows us that we can do it. Thank you!!

  39. Excellent article!
    Well, I think we don’t need to fear our fears, because it’s a part of life. We must learn on it. There is a perfect phrase: “Always choose the hardest way – you don’t find the competitors on it.” Making mistakes – it’s normal. Have some fears – it’s normal, Nothing to do with it – that is the main mistake and the dangerous fear. Everything we do – we must do with complete confidence that we can do it and we have enough knowledge to do so. In this case will be no fear at all. And we must not be afraid of things that we never did – this has its own charm too.

  40. Chris you got me started blogging – and this article is a great boost. I can really relate to pushing comfort zones – I see it like pushing your physical limits when training to get fitter. Love the song writer/rock star/ analogy too. Note to self: keep looking at that good feedback.

  41. Hi Chris, thanks so much for the insight. Fear can paralyze us and we do nothing. I think I am a good writer and my work is always very well recieved. However, what holds me back is the FEAR of an interview. I am magical on paper but when it comes to “face to face” I am like a deer in the headlights. I went to Toastmaster’s once and I thought I was going to faint! lol. Any suggestions? It is also the reason I tend to be low-key in admitting I authored a piece. I love to be appreciated but cannot handle the spotlight.

    Lately I find I have been cruising all these boards and threads, you could call it avoidance and that would not be a lie! It seems I am right on the threshold of success but my timidity is suffocating me……………

    • Pete Lovick says:

      Hey Dianne,

      If it’s any consolation know that timidity actually suffocates and holds back the rest of us too, lol. …It’s really painful and I know exactly how you feel, cos I suffered from it for 2 decades!

      I eventually found that the key that helped me overcome timidity was actually realising that my audience loved me and valued my contribution to helping them, and this in turn increased my BELIEF in ME.

      I’ve learned that getting BELIEF in YOU, and your own capabilities, is actually critical to overcoming your fears.

      The great news for you is that you already know you’re a great writer, (your belief), and that your audience already loves your work (their belief), so realise from hereon in today that you already ARE ‘good enough’ as Chris puts it, so already ARE successful! …Woohoo! 🙂

      Any bonus success (like the spotlight, or interviews in your case) is really just icing on your career cake, and probably down to your own internal extra definition of success. However, realise that you don’t need to be in the spotlight to continue to be successful to your audience.

      If you do choose to rise to interviews when your belief in you is much stronger, you’ll find that any fear is really just you being cautious of somehow upsetting your peers or audience, and therefore risking losing their respect (or love). The way round this is simply to just always be honest and authentic, and if you don’t know the answer to an interview or audience question just say you don’t know but will find out for them …which has the added benefit of further increasing their belief in you in that you won’t feed them any BS but genuinely have their interests at heart.

      I hope one day soon that when you **believe in you** more, and how good you are helping your audience, that you’ll feel better about admitting you authored a piece that your audience loved you for, and rise to any interviews that come your way should you so choose to.

      I can assure you that if you continue to keep helping your audience, and keep listening to how great you authentically and genuinely helped serve them, that you’ll find that your own BELIEF in YOU and your capabilities will increase, and over time, you’ll find that your fears will actually diminish.

      Keep up your great work. 😉

  42. You quite guest posting on Copyblogger?

    Wow, I would kill to get one of my posts on that blog 🙂

    We all need to be brave and challenge all of our areas…

  43. I just read all the comments (and there are a lot of them). Not ONE is negative. I almost want to be critical just to be different. 😉 But no, that wouldn’t be genuine. And that is what is so beautiful about this article. It comes from the heart, bared and vulnerable. May everyone see that the point is to share yourself. If you do, you will be better writers, better business people, and better human beings.

  44. Nanette Irvine says:

    Hi Chris
    What courage you have! I am one of those people who suffer similar experiences to you and (with age) am learning to to “notice” my thoughts rather than “be” them. Thank you so much for sharing such intimate thoughts and know that by doing that you have given many other people permission to acknowledge their fears. I’m just setting up a blog and coaching practice – you have inspired me to not listen to my head chatter about the steps I am taking!

  45. Where to start? This is the first blog post I have read authored by you and it had quite an impact. It was very well written and authentic(in the sense of being honest and truly human).
    I have only been thinking about writing a blog and my fears immediately made themselves known. I read somewhere that this means you’re probably on the right track since fear is a defense mechanism to prevent you from injuring yourself; the brain perceives danger so it responds with fear. I have a friend who says “Remember feelings aren’t reality”. Sometimes fear is helpful–in a truly dangerous situation–but sometimes it is just an exaggerated perception. Kind of like an overprotective parent who sees something as too risky and therefore doesn’t allow the child to have an experience that may teach them boundaries and limitations without causing real harm.
    Thanks for looking at the fear(s) and going outside your comfort zone anyway.

  46. A thought-provoking post that will really convince you to put on your thinking cap. As a writer my biggest fear was rejection. What if the person does not like my writing? What if I will run out of ideas some day? These questions are still there for me but after facing rejection, I felt that I could only go upwards from there. What could be worse than starting again from scratch? There is no risk so I gave a chance to myself and till date I always think that rejection is a part and parcel of writing. Thanks for the inspirational post again!

  47. Thank you for writing this. You are a self confessed song writer instead of the rock star. I am the producer instead of the on-air talent. I have 2 fears to throw into the bag: (1) fear of making mistakes and (2) the fear of being wrong. And that creates a ripple effect that settles only after the damaged has been done and I’ve been negatively judged (this is what is going on in my head the entire time). Anyway, these fears has prevented me from doing a whole slew of things.

  48. Great post, Chris.

    This is a topic that affects so many people, and if those fears or anxieties that are causing the cold feet are not faced, it can cause a huge waste of our precious time…

    For myself personally, I have had to climb over a number of mountains throughout my life, as far as “performance anxiety” for music, or being put in the spot light….

    I still struggle with this from time to time, and I believe we never really conquer it, we just handle the stage fright, or cold feet a little bit better each time…

    Most top performers are said to be a bundle of nerves before a performance(some vomit back stage from all the nerves)….yet, that nervousness is what gives them that special energy to give such great performances…..

    As far as not facing our fears in life, there are so many great sayings (life metaphors, etc) that cover this issue. I think that one of the great barriers, is our state of mind at the moment of having to do something that frightens us, or make what we feel is a life changing decision….

    There is one famous story of a man who was at his death bed, and he lamented that, now his whole life was about to come to an end.
    He then had the realization that, all the things he feared and that had held him back in life were not real, and were of his own making…(his over active imagination had blown things out of proportion)….

    It is said that the saddest words that can be uttered when we are nearing our life’s end are ” What if”? Meaning the person finally realizes they never took any risks until their life was at an end….

    This is why many famous books ask people if you only had 3 months to live, how would you spend those 3 months?

    Or basically, we should live each day to the full(like it’s our last) as we do not know what will happen tomorrow…..

  49. I have internal fights with myself (and sometimes my husband) about NOT giving in to fears. Every time I’ve gone through with something that I’m uncomfortable with (teaching for the first time ever being the most recent example), it’s been worth it.

    Here’s to not giving into our fears and doubts and other people’s criticisms and a new year full of challenges ahead!

  50. Bravo, Chris, for writing this. I have many of the same fears. Exposing your own – and helping me and others admit to OUR own and to what is holding us back is immensely helpful. I blog and have had the same experience of being reamed out by readers. I’ve also had many compliments. Knowing there are other people out there, like you, who suffer from the same fears really helps me face, re-examine, and hopefully over come them.

    Thank you