Why I’m Scared Sh!tless…and It’s Okay (plus Week 49 Roundup)

Yes, those are real crocodiles

Hello Happenchance readers, I just wanted to confess something: I’m scared shitless.  


Because in less than three weeks, I’m going to be a first-time father.

Yet, even though I’m scared shitless, I know things will work out fine. I won’t leave the baby on top of my car, feed it paint chips, or dangle it over an alligator pit (and if I did, my wife would single-handedly fight off a pack of alligators to retrieve it).

Of course, this new responsibility is terrifying; the life of a very tiny person will be in our hands. But scared or not, I still have to be some baby’s daddy, and freaking out about it won’t do anyone any good. So I just have to accept that I’m scared shitless and proceed from there.

The wife and I, we’ll figure it out as we go along. We’ll make mistakes, maybe get CPS called on us once or twice (joke), but for the most part, we’ll be good parents.

How do I know this?

[Here’s the part where I bring it around and make this post relevant for you, loyal reader]

Because metaphorical dragons aren’t so scary after you slay them.

Because doing a thing is the best way to stop being afraid of that thing.

Think about all those things you’ve done that at first terrified you but later were okay: your first day at school, your first date, the first time you shared your work in public, etc., etc.

Just the thought of doing them made your pulse quicken, your heart pound, and your stomach twist up into knots. But, after you did that thing, you look back and ask yourself “what’s the big deal?”

You can read articles on getting over your stage fright, but the best way to get over stage fright is to get on stage.

You can take classes in communications, but the best way to get over your fear of public speaking is to do some public speaking.

You can make great plans and avoid failure, but the best way to get over your fear of failure is to fail (publicly, and hard).

You can study martial arts, but the best way to get over your fear of getting punched is to get punched (then punch back, twice as hard).

Why does doing a thing reduce a person’s fear of that thing?

Because experience is the best teacher you’ll ever find.

Homework assignment:

Go do something you’re afraid of. You’ll be fine, I promise.


On to the links:

  • Julien Smith, blogger and co-author of Trust Agents, just released an excellent new book called The Flinch. Right now, it’s free on Amazon, so go download it. 
  • While you’re on Amazon, grab a free copy of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. 
  • I recently re-read Hugh Macleod’s book Ignore Everybody, and while I can’t share that, I can send you over to his 37 tips to be more creative in art, business, or whatever.
  • This article is aimed at jazz musicians, but poses a question we could all benefit from asking ourselves: Do you wonder why you get crap results despite the amount of time you invest? Maybe you step back, forget the advanced stuff, and focus on the basics.
  • This guy created something amazing: a one-stringed instrument called the Filari.
  • My twitter pal @valeriestorey has started a cool series called How to Stay Creative Everyday. Check it out at her site. 
  • Great design and predictions for the future? The Future of Science 2021 Map has both.