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Fuel Your Mind Friday

How To Take Fear Out Of The Equation

Published about 2 months ago • 2 min read

Week 387 (brendan@brendanbarca.com)

Here's your weekly dose of Fuel Your Mind Friday where I share business building ideas, lifestyle design hacks, and inspirational content to help you thrive in your work and find purpose in your life.

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PSA: My wife, Pema Sherpa, and I have another blog called The Mindful Minute! Check it out.

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HOW TO TAKE FEAR OUT OF THE EQUATION

At the age of 27 I had a quarter life career crisis. I was burnt out from my job as a salesperson and needed to find a new path. But the path which called me most, that of entrepreneurship, was also the most intimidating.

One cool Saturday, in the midst of this dilemma, I biked to a coffee shop in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. I grabbed a cortado, took out a napkin and scribbled my scary dream at the top of it: START MY OWN BUSINESS.

I then sat back and stared blankly at the napkin. Now what? I didn't have a business idea or an MBA. I had a bachelors degree and five years of sales experience. I was nobody. I just had an itch. But I had to see if that itch meant something.

Instinctively, I drew a line down the center of the napkin. The only decision-making exercise I had learned growing up was PROS & CONS and now seemed like as good a time as any to use it.

I started listing out the pros I knew about entrepreneurship (freedom, uncapped income, working on your passion). Then I listed some cons (financial risk, lack of direction, low success rate).

But, as both sides filled up and I got to the bottom of the napkin, I didn't feel any more clear. In fact, I felt more confused. There were positives and negatives to this type of career path as there were for all career paths.

I took another sip of my cortado and looked out the window. There was something deeper I was missing through this surface-level Pros & Cons analysis.

As I pondered the problem a bit longer, I realized there was one emotion that kept bubbling up when I thought about the cons of entrepreneurship. The emotion was fear. This was the root of all the items I had listed.

When I understood this, I remembered a podcast I had heard recently that featured the author, Ryan Holiday. Years earlier he had chosen to abandon his career path in marketing and start out as a full-time writer. When he was going through his own dilemma and felt fear coming up, he asked himself this question:

"What am I missing by choosing to worry or be afraid?"

I jotted this question down on what was left of my napkin. As I pondered this new question, I realized that all the things I wanted in my career could be had through entrepreneurship. I wanted freedom, impact, and uncapped potential. I would be missing all of these things if I chose to be afraid. But what if I chose to not be afraid?

This was the first time I thought of fear as a choice. I could choose to be excited rather than fearful. I could choose to be calm rather than worried. And if I chose to abandon fear, then what cons on my list remained? There were none.

It was on this day in that little coffee shop in Jamaica Plain that I became clear on my new career path and dream. I would start my own business somehow, someway, someday.

When you realize fear is a choice, you can choose the life you want.


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- Brendan

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brendanbarca.com

Don't miss our newest creation, The Mindful Minute -> Check it out here!

Fuel Your Mind Friday

Brendan Barca - Entrepreneur | Speaker | Blogger

Helping busy professionals create space through mindfulness, level-up their mindset & design a life with purpose.

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