The thought of vulnerability is often so over-powering that it welds us to our seats. Paralyzed by the fear of someone picking apart our idea, we end up selling ourselves short.
What does it take to get past the fear? Here’s a visual: Risk < Reward
When the goal to be reached is greater than the cost of failing, it’s time to get to work.
How do we know when the reward is greater than the risk? Grab a piece of paper and answer a few questions:
- What in specific am I afraid might happen?
- What does it look like if that does happen?
- Who’s opinions and worldview will affect this project?
- Who’s opinions don’t matter?
Once you’ve written down the answers to the questions, go to the stove and light the piece of paper on fire. If you were able to answer these questions honestly and have opted to achieve your goal, you won’t be needing this list anymore. When faced with apprehension or taunt, you can say (to yourself, at least) “Maybe my work isn’t for you. It’s not for everyone and I’m OK with that”.
Being truly successful is not about changing our work to please everyone; thousands of companies have done that (and seen some level of success). Overcoming the fear of vulnerability has everything to do with being sold-out on making the change we want to see happen.