Don't Wait Until Conditions are Perfect: How to Beat Fear

Starting is the hardest and scariest step. Four months ago, I started posting videos on my Youtube channel. It was something I wanted to do for a long time. But I spent months preparing just to publish my first video. I wanted it to be perfect. So, I spend weeks learning how to edit videos and how to talk to the camera naturally and researching on the best camera and audio equipment. It felt like endless: I always kept finding one thing after another to prepare before starting to work on my first video. 

But the truth is that I was scared. I didn't want to admit I was afraid, so I kept making up an excuse not to start immediately, like "I don't have a good camera", "My mic is not good enough", "Why should I even make a video in the first place? I'm not an expert on anything".

It took me months before I finally took the plunge and posted my first video. And as soon as I hit that upload button, my fear just disappeared. I was no longer scared to share my work. I realised how easy it was to put myself out there. 

The only cure for fear is action. And postponement only fertilises your fear. If you keep waiting until conditions are perfect, you will get even more scared to start. Furthermore, I don't think there are such things as perfect conditions. When you're too afraid to start, you will always find something to be fixed before you can begin. Eventually, you end up never doing it at all. 

Someone once said that:

the saddest words of tongue or pen are these: it might have been.

There are a few things I learned since I started Youtube. 

1. Your content doesn't have to be perfect because nobody is going to see it at first. 

A typical mistake many people make, including myself, is worrying too much about the quality of your contents. Of course, it's important because nobody wants to consume crappy articles or videos. But, the good news (bad news?) is that nobody is going to see your content at first. So why not just see the first 1-50 articles/videos as your practice? This leads to the next point.

2. The best way to learn something is by doing it. 

The best way to improve the quality of your content is actually sharing your work with the public. Why do it publically? Because when you share your work with people, you're forced to up your game, as James Clear says. And as you publish your work, you will gradually learn how you can improve your content because you start getting feedback from people. 

3. You can't prepare for every possible obstacle in future. Deal with issues as they arise. 

We try to eliminate all the risks before we start anything. But that is impractical. 

Let's suppose you wanted to drive your car from Chicago to Los Angeles, but you insisted on waiting until you had absolute assurance that there would be no detours, no motor trouble, no bad weather, no drunken drivers, no risk of any kind. When would you start? Never! 

In planning your trip to Los Angeles, it makes sense to map your route, check your car, in other ways to eliminate as much risk as possible before you start. But you can't eliminate all risks

The test of a successful person is not the ability to eliminate all problems before he takes action, but rather the ability to find a solution to difficulties when he encounters them. In business, marriage, or in any activity, cross bridges when you come to them. 

  - David Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big


If you have something you've wanted to start, just start now. If you got a good idea, do something about it. Use action to cure fear. 

Again from The Magic of Thinking Big:


Action feeds and strengthens confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear, wait, put off, postpone

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