You've spent the best part of a few months building something that you think is going to be extremely valuable to people.
You've invested hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears into this thing, it's been the focal point of your life for a long time and finally you're getting close to the finish line.
It's time to pull the trigger, to get it out there and launch your new creation into the wild!
But there's one problem...you can't get yourself to do it!
You're paralyzed with fear
- What are other people going to think about me?
- What if I realise it and it's a complete flop?
- What if people expose me as an imposter?
- What if I sell more than I can handle and can't keep up with demand?
- What if I get a barrage of negative reviews?
- What if people disagree with me?
- What if they hate the product?
The mere thought of just releasing this thing sends you into a desperate downward spiral of blind panic.
So what do you do about this?
You work relentlessly on trivial and unimportant things while telling yourself that you'll launch as soon as it's done...
Only for the cycle to repeat itself over and over again.
6 months later, realizing that you're never going to launch if this cycle continues, you turn to your favorite self development web site.
And here you are, reading this article.
First Thing's First...It's Normal
If it makes you feel any better, I've been stuck in this exact same situation. On one particular occasion, I wasted literally 8 months of my time because I refused to face my fears.
Over the years I've also worked with many people who have this problem. Whether it be producing blog posts, video courses, creating software or even writing sales letters - this problem of delaying the launch comes up again and again.
What's more, I don't know a single creator who doesn't get caught up in these kind of lower level fears at one time or another.
If you're cripplingly insecure (like I was) and have all sorts of insecurities to resolve then, sure, your fear might be stronger than someone that's ironed out these issues already. But they're still present to everyone.
What I'm saying is this:- The problem is not that you are afraid, but that you let your fear control and dictate your life.
Seth Godin, best selling author, describes this beautifully:-
"In the moment before you do it in public, every fiber of your being is going to fight you because this is the moment that you might get laughed at"
The fact is this: There is a cost to being a creator. The cost is that sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Change Your Focus with these 2 Questions
These two questions below are going to change your focus from "external" stuff, like what other people might think about you, to you, your values and what you believe in.
They are designed to help you take a step back from the situation and focus on the things that matter, rather than being paralyzed by your emotions.
Question 1 - What Type of Person are You?
Are you the type of person who is controlled by fears and lower emotions? Are you the type of person that is too scared to push your creation out there because you're worried about what other people think? When you're on your death bed looking back at your life, are you going to be proud of your actions?
Alternatively, are you the type of person that acknowledges the emotions that you're having and pushes it out there anyway? You feel the fear, you feel the worry, but you are strong enough to push forth regardless.
This is a question about values and what really matters for you. Which kind of person do you admire? What type of person would you be proud to be?
Personally, I'd much rather push something out and have it fail than be the type of person that just surrenders to worries, anxiety and fear and never release.
I admire people that push through adversity and challenging times:
- The out of shape person who's insecure about how they look but is down the gym working their ass off anyway
- The shy person who doesn't like to talk to people on the phone, and sounds extremely nervous, but makes those sales calls every day
- The guy who has never had a girlfriend in his life but pushes through the discomfort and builds up the courage to talk to girls
In my eyes, these people are winners, regardless of whether they succeed or not.
To highlight this, here's a great quote from the book "Smarter, Faster, Better" by Charles Duhigg:-
"You'll never get reward for doing what's easy for you. If you're an athlete, I'll never compliment you on a good run. Only the small guy gets congratulated for running fast. Only the shy guy gets recognized for stepping into a leadership role. We praise people for doing things that are hard. That's how they learn to believe they can do them"
This quote relates to the marines and how they manage their recruits. They don't reward natural talent, they reward courage and people that do things that are hard for them.
So, the first question is, what type of person are you?
Question 2 - Can You Justify to Yourself What You're Doing?
You're focused so much on how other people might judge you, but have you actually taken the time to value and respect your own justifications?
- Are you happy with your reasons for creating?
- Are you happy with your intentions?
- Are you happy with what you're trying to achieve and the work that you're creating?
High performers with high self esteem are completely focused on their own reasons and justifications for their creations. They place more importance on making sure that they are acting true to themselves rather than focusing on the impossible task of trying to get validation from everyone else.
This becomes clearer with an example.
Let's take my video project. Each time I create a new video I could quite easily fall into the trap of worry and anxiety:-
- What if people don't like my video?
- What if my friends laugh at me?
- What if I am ridiculed behind my back for trying to create these videos?
- .. etc
And, to be honest, I do sometimes find myself worrying about these things. That is, until, I begin to focus on my own reasons and justifications for doing these videos:-
- I want to get better at making videos
- I want to improve my skillset in preparation for a future company that I will build in the next few years
- I want to contribute and, if possible, get to the point where I'm skilled enough to help people
The great thing about these justifications is that they remain in tact no matter what. You put out something that fails, doesn't matter. You are ridiculed, doesn't matter.
My takeaway point is this:- Be clear about your justifications and why you're doing what you're doing and focus on that.
When you become a creator that's true to yourself, there is no such thing as failure.
Listen, you know that you can't live your life being dictated by these fears that you have. That's not the type of person you are.
Here's what you need to do now:-
- Commit to releasing your creation and see it through
- Leave me a comment below to publicly commit to it!
Good luck on your imminent launch!