What Are You Afraid Of?

photo credit: alles-schlumpf

When people ask me what I write about, I usually say something like “I write about overcoming fear and making things happen.” The other day, I got a great follow up question: “So what are you afraid of?”

That sparked some thought for me. For all this talk about conquering fear, I haven’t written enough about my own insecurities, mostly exhorting to others. So in the name of open, honest blogging, here’s my Fear List:

  • horror movies
  • disappointing my parents
  • not living a life of significance
  • encountering a tough moral decision and not doing the right thing
  • flashing lights in my rear view mirror
  • not fully satisfying romantic partners in bed
  • hurting my knee again
  • not meeting someone special
  • getting trapped in an unhappy marriage
  • losing the trust/respect of my little sister
  • losing the trust/respect of my cofounders
  • Ridejoy failing/deadpooling
  • losing my memories (photos/videos/blog/journals)
  • not being understood
  • not taking full advantage of my youth
  • not living up to my full potential

Looking at that list, I realize I am generally doing the things I want to do in life, despite these fears, and that where I can, I am actively working to prevent these fears from coming to pass.

For instance, I am pursuing a really important idea with Ridejoy and I try to work hard (and smart) everyday. I make time to meet new people and I always wear my knee brace when I run. I backup my hard drive and I seek to communicate as clearly and compellingly as possible.

But these fears still exist, and it is worth acknowledging them.

So now it’s your turn. What are you afraid? Share your Fear List in the comments.

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Jason Shen

Jason is a tech entrepreneur and talent expert. He is CEO of a performance hiring platform called Headlight, a Fast Company contributor, and an advocate for Asian American men. Follow him on Twitter at @jasonshen and subscribe to his private newsletter.

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  1. Great post, Jason. It can be hard to take a look at ourselves and really know what we’re truly afraid of. I’ll bet that lots of people share the same fears, too! 

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