Is It Scaring You? Then Do It.

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” ~ Steven Pressfield

Nothing perhaps encapsulates what I’ve been going through lately than this quote from Steven Pressfield, author of “The War of Art” (which is far and away the single most important tome a creative can have on his or her bookshelf or Kindle.) I’m sure you’ve been there yourself. It might have been the time you first started your creative business. That inkling inside of you to do it was probably eating away at you for years.

Or maybe it was picking up that camera, pen, or guitar for the first time. The first time you hit “publish” on a blog post; or “upload” on a video or podcast. Before you got to that life-defining moment, you were probably scared.

Scared that what you created would suck.

Scared that it would feel like a waste of time.

Scared that people would look at you funny for even trying.

Scared it would just be yet another failure. Or your first failure.

First and foremost, take solace in knowing that you are not alone in that feeling. You have thousands of other creative brothers and sisters sharing that feeling with you right now.

But also know this: it won’t be the last time either you face that fear. I’ve been making films in one form or another for over 20 years (professionally for 13). And there’s a little fear that comes along with every project. Now I’m on the verge of launching not one, but TWO new podcasts, and despite the fact I’ve already launched and run two successful podcasts before, I’m more scared of this new endeavor than almost anything else I’ve done.

The one reassurance I have in all of this is the fact that my amount of fear is directly proportional to the necessity to do this.

What is the one thing you’re so scared to do right now, it’s proof positive you need to do it?

[photo © Jerod Erondu. CC Zero]

2 thoughts on “Is It Scaring You? Then Do It.

  1. Ron, I get it. I have a few personal projects that I want to do that have the possibility to be big and what I feel is important for me to do, both personally and professionally. They are bigger in scope than what I’ve done before, which makes for a few knots in the stomach. The reality though is that they are the kinds of work I want to be doing and if I don’t do them it will be hard regrets to do them so I know they have to be done.
    Question for you, having done podcasts before, what is it this time that’s scary?

    1. Thanks for your comment Andrew. The scary thing for me this time ’round is that Radio Film School is very different from the kind of podcasts I’ve done before, or what I’ve heard done in our industry. It’s a time intensive production and post production process. It’s extremely rewarding, but a helluva lot of work. I’m scared that 1) I won’t be able to maintain it without financial support and 2) that it will just sound lame compared to the kind of podcasts that have inspired it (e.g. This American Life, Startup, RadioLab, etc.) All of those shows have full production teams. I have me plus a team of devoted, but nonetheless part time interns. I know what we have planned is special. I’m confident filmmakers will like it. Just not 100% sure. What if they DON”T want a TAL-style podcast and prefer podcasts about tech, gear, etc. We’ll have to wait and see.

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