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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Barclay

I Did It Again...

I literally wrote a book on fear, but here I am again...

I did it again.

This morning.

I know it's ridiculous, and yet, I've been doing it for decades. Maybe you have, too.

I worried. Or was it panic? Or anxiety? Or is it....just plain goofy?!

Many of you probably know by now, but I recently released my first book ([re]build: Moving Past Fear To Find Purpose). I'm really proud of the book we've put out and the fulfillment of a longtime dream.

You would think that since I literally JUST wrote the book about pushing past fear, I would no longer have any hesitation about pursuing my goals and realizing my dreams.


Let me explain why what happened this morning was just plain goofy.

As I was driving into my office today, I was thinking about what life-long dream I would tackle next. I wanted to write a book. Check! I've started working on book number 2. I want to give a TED Talk someday. The list goes on and on.

I started thinking about one dream in particular. It's outrageous. It really is. So outrageous that I'm not even sharing it with you here! Buuuuuuut it really is something I want to do, and have wanted to do for a really long time. So, I started thinking about giving it a try, seeing what happens.

Now, if you are anything like me, (sorry if you are - I feel your pain!), this thinking can go one of two ways:

  1. "There is no way I can pull this off! I'm not good enough, smart enough, funny enough..." etc., etc., etc. You talk yourself out of it before you even get started to save yourself from the humiliation of trying and failing. OR

  2. "This is going to be great. I'm going to try this and be WILDLY successful right out of the gate! The world has no idea what's coming for them. I am this 'needle in a haystack' that is going to burst on the scene and it's going to be great. So great...too great." You start thinking about all the changes you will need to make in order to adjust to your newfound success and popularity.

I experience both of these. No joke. Sometimes on the same day! Seriously.

This morning, it was Option 2. I was thinking about all the ways my life would change if I were to be successful at this life-long dream that I (now this is the important part) HAVE DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BEYOND THINK ABOUT! I started thinking about how it would affect my family and friendships. We'll have to move to be successful in this new, unexplored venture that I've invested ZERO hours in. How will it affect my current career? Will we need security with my new level of fame? How will all of this change our family dynamic?

Do you see how goofy all of this is?! I'm talking myself out of trying something because of the cost of success! That I haven't yet acheived!

Typing that literally made me laugh out loud. It made me laugh because it's not the first time it's happened.

What I'm about to tell you is true. I'm not proud of this. I don't recommend this. I am also not sharing the names of the others involved to protect them.

When I was in high school, I was in a "band." One summer, we would get together at my friend's house, go swimming, and then have band practice. We worked on our show and stage presence. We talked about where we could do shows. We laughed about how our girlfriends would probably get mad about all the girls we'd meet at our shows out of town and how much they liked our band. We knew that, in turn, would lead to fights with the guys from those schools. You couple that with the cost of equipment to tour and transportation, plus any just wasn't worth it. We talked about how hard it would be to live a normal life once we got famous. We groaned about how bad it would be to not even be able to walk through a mall. We thought about all the things we would miss being on the road and out of the country on tour after tour and the grind of always writing new material. We decided we were breaking up the band. Which was okay, because....

None of us could play an instrument or sing!

None of us even OWNED an instrument!

Our "practices" consisted of talking about what we were going to wear and lip-syncing/air-guitaring to 80's hair metal bands. Man...we were losers.

This point is: We talked ourselves out of being a band because we were afraid we wouldn't be able to handle the success and the demands of the road BEFORE anyone even owned an instrument!

We never even took the first step toward becoming a band. (Although, hindsight, we may have been the prototype boy band! No instruments, lip-syncing...just saying. Maybe we were ahead of our time!)

How many times have you talked yourself out of something because you weren't sure how you'd manage the changes should you be successful?

The thought of the changes you may need to make 100 steps down the road kept you from taking the first one!

Can I offer a little advice?

Take the next step. One step farther than you've ever been toward that goal or dream. You don't need to worry about the adjustments (like dealing with fame, 24/7 security, moving, etc.) just yet. Maybe someday you will. Deal with it then.

In Chapter 4 of my book, I talk about taking one more step. Sometimes, it's fear of failure that keeps us from stepping out. Other times, it's fear of the unknown. And sometimes, it can be fear of success.

Whatever makes you pause when you think about moving toward your goals, you can conquer today by taking one step. That one step that would bring you closer to the person you want to be.

You don't have to take ALL the steps today, or even have them all figured out. Just take one in the right direction.

If you want to be in a band...maybe learn to play guitar.


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