Overcoming Fear - Taking the Leap. / by Gustav Thuesen

Considering going off the beaten path?

Considering going off the beaten path?

Starting a business, quitting your job or doing anything new in life often involves a lot of planning, sleepless nights and most present of all: fear. This simple word describes a feeling which have kept many amazing ideas from becoming reality.

We all have fear, even the greatest artists. I think the most common ones are the fear of failure and losing the ability to pay rent. But often fear is just an illusion: If you define your fear e.g.”if I quit my job I can’t pay my rent and become homeless” you will be able to outsmart your fear. In this instance get a part time job which will cover the bare necessities and spend all the time you are not working this job to work on your dream. If it all goes to hell, well you can probably get back to doing what you were doing before. What we really fear is the uncertainty, but if we define it and make a workaround the uncertainty becomes certain and we can take action. 

When I started out I had thought of starting for a long time but I was like “ah, I just have to check up on this and that and how to do...” blah blah blah. The thing is you will never be 100 % ready and in the end if you had it all planned out perfectly it would be pretty boring. Just like a vacation where you have a guided daily program. Of course it is important to have a general plan. Make an outline, who you want to be, what you want to do, and how you are going to do it. The amount of planning needed will be different for each person so do what suits you but don't let the planning be a constraint. 

Another thing which I think I have done wrong is not to have had a mentor - but I’m looking (anyone?). Get a mentor who can challenge you and not just tap you on the back saying good job. Meet with the mentor once a month and talk about your difficulties and opportunities. In the end you will both become richer. If you can’t find a mentor then spend a crab load of time studying your idols. Find out how they have come to where they are and be inspired.  

To keep yourself in check and motivated set time frames and goals. If you are just starting out give it five years and then reevaluate. Within that timeframe set part goals and smaller time frames e.g. have at least 2 clients a month, sell 100 pieces the first year etc.

Matt Granger, a fellow photographer, posted a video where he talked about the same topic and he talked about deciding your future. He basically said if you give it all for ten years down your present road, where will you end? Is this a place you want to be? If not take the next exit and go down another road where the destination is a place you want to be. Another very important thing to ask yourself: in 10 years will I regret it if I didn’t do it? These questions will help you decide wether to take the leap or not.   

The biggest failure is not doing what you love. In the end we only have one shot at this thing called life or do you roll the dice and hope for another try?
So make the uncertain certain, make a general plan - don’t get confused in the details and learn along the way. Ask yourself what you want, how you will get it, set time frames and goals and JUST GO!