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Fear of The Unknown – Nerdful Mind #67

April 25, 2021 by Simon Mannes

When was the last time you did something that scared you?

“Do one thing every day that scares you” is something you might have read.

I recently saw a longer version of this:

  • Do one thing that scares you a little every day
  • Do one thing that really scares you every month
  • Do one thing that scares the shit out of you every year

There's value in getting comfortable with fear.

Fear is just an information your mind and body give you. It can't harm you. You can learn to recognize fear when it appears, to acknowledge it, and to let it go.

“Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” — Judy Blume, Author

You can plan to challenge your fears. It's easier to go out of your comfort zone when you set a specific date in advance.

Ask yourself what's the worst thing that could happen. As long as there is no chance of irreversible bad consequences, try it. You'll learn, and you'll grow.

Reading Recommendations

Develop Resiliency: How to Move Towards Your Fears

“One of the things we tend to do habitually is move away from things we’re afraid of. How very human, how very loving, to protect ourselves! Unfortunately that tendency to avoid fears is exactly what limits us. We avoid our fear of pain, humiliation, anxiety, looking stupid, failing … and we develop […]”

Psychology of Fear: How Anxiety Turns the Everyday into a Threat

“Fear and anxiety may not be anyone’s favorite emotions, but these powerful sensations go a long way in keeping us safe. If the dog down the street bites you, the fear that results when you next see the dog will help you avoid another bite. But what about when the response goes too far? If you instead come to fear all dogs, not just the one that bit you, that fear might drastically change where you go and with whom you spend time, becoming a detriment, not a benefit.”

The Prototype Pitfall

“Prototypes are designed to be thrown away. If you can't bring yourself to throw the prototype away, then stop prototyping and start writing tracer code: […]”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Write down and explore your biggest fears. For each fear, answer the following questions:

  • What is the worst that can happen as a result?
  • How can I reduce the chance of this happening?
  • Can my life still go on from there? If yes, how?

When I did this exercise, I discovered that I already had plans for ALL my fears. That life will go on, even if all my greatest fears come true.

End Note

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Have a great week

Simon

PS: If you found an article you think others might like, and that fits this newsletter, I’d love it if you write me an email. Just reply!

PPS: Bonus quote this week:

“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” — Yoda

Mindfulness for Developers,
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