Conquering My Fear for $10.99


So I am testing out a new app I purchased to assist me with writing and the dang thing tricked me into doing something I have procrastinated on for quite some time. Even though I have mentally committed to it, in no uncertain terms I have procrastinated out of sheer Fear. It tricked me by making me forget about my Fear just long enough to get past it and by that time it was already too late to worry about.

While us humans can be such fickle creatures, Fear is not. Yes, I capitalized Fear because it quite honestly is pretty proper and deserves the respect. Fear has such a commanding presence in our lives it deserves the respect because of its power to intimidate and paralyze us. But in reality what we should use our fear for is to make us aware. Recognize it and let it remind you that no matter how genuine you perceive a fear to be, your respect for it should never stop you from facing it and pursuing your goals.

We need to face all our fears and question them for what they really are. Identify exactly what it is that we are so afraid of. Well, that was my plan at least. I intended to do some Fear Setting to help me get past it, thank you Tim Ferris, but a handy dandy new writing app I bought beat me to the punch.

Funny how a new tool will help motivate me to do something that I am basically afraid to do. The thought of putting myself out there for the whole world to read or potentially criticize was the fear I was avoiding that caused me to not write. Whatever your fear is, it must be confronted and from my experiences as well as other’s you most likely will realize, when you are honest with yourself, it really wasn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be. Afterwards, you will probably be so excited you will confess to everyone and be mad at yourself for putting it off. I know I am.

So my first post is a confession of what it took to get me to start. What did it take? It took a gadget. It took me buying a new toy to play with. It took this. I did my due diligence to find a writing editor that would help me with Markdown and make posting to my site more efficient and less of a headache. During my research Byword came up several times and I recall hearing about it way before I realized that I love to write and I want to pursue it more. You know it’s called Byword, but for me, just maybe it should be called ByeFear because that is what it did for me.

Back to my original point. Other than identifying a goal, taking the first step may be the biggest hurdle to overcome in order to achieve it. For writing, clicking out that first set of words on the keyboard runs neck and neck with clicking publish on your post. If you are reading this post then it means I successfully made it across both of those hurdles. I knew I needed to start and I have had a strong desire to start. I just couldn’t bring myself to begin. Who would have thought that an inexpensive app could get me to let my guard down and cross the threshold I so feared.

I am sure I am not unlike many others who set out on new endeavors, trying out new hobbies or tickling a fancy and want to get new supplies or tools that I “need” or “require” to start. Reflecting back that is my MO. I immerse myself in things and I have to gear up to play the part. Luckily this time it was super cheap. Unlike the time I wanted to learn to code and stroked a fat check to a coding bootcamp only to realize, yeah…not so much. But that is a story for another time.

Ultimately, no matter where we are headed we have to take the first step down the path, whether or not it is a long-term romance or maybe you are just “flirting” with a potential new interest. You have to try. You have to start. How do you do that? There are many techniques, tricks, and tools to help. You could just say screw it, here goes and then “Go”.

For me it is different, I am a researcher. So that means I have to over analyze all aspects of something and plead my case to myself. I have read countless articles, watched YouTube video after YouTube video to try to motivate and persuade myself to start. Still, I procrastinated and searched for “needs” that had to be acquired and items that had to be checked off an imaginary list before I would deem myself ready. I am calling total B.S. on both because the only thing that has changed since yesterday is my inexpensive purchase of Byword.

The funny and frustrating thing about this is that I could have opened Evernote or Pages and typed this out just as easy, minus the awesome Markdown assist, and been right where I am now. Side note: at the end of the previous sentence I looked down at my word count and it was at 777, prior to my edits, which is a complete affirmation for me. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what it takes. The only thing that really matters is that you begin.

So if you have the gumption and just jump, well then good for you. Maybe you need a copilot to hold your hand, well then find one. Maybe a support group of like-minded people trying the same interest, well then join one. You could be like me and get fooled into starting for $10.99.

Within reason, check it off, phone a friend, find a partner in crime, join it, sign up, stroke that check or click “Purchase” in the App store if that is what it takes. Then get excited, focus, smile and rejoice, because you have already won, the hardest part is behind you.

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By KP O'Neal

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