Fearlessness Leads to Great Learning
Richard Branson once said, “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” With that in mind, here are ways that you can tap into that most enviable of business traits: fearlessness. Failure and fearlessness are intricately linked. For more on failure, you might want to read my previous post What if Failure Didn’t Exist?
Hero Versus Psychopath
People often think that daredevils are psychopaths. When Batman jumps off a tall building with no regard for his own life, we’re all rooting for him. (Not the Ben Affleck Batman, though. We’re not rooting for him.*) Some measure of risk is important to a solid business; fearlessness in its pure form of boldness is what people need.
*With apologies to Ben Affleck
Get through Tough Moments
If you were brave in the forest and no one was watching, would it count for anything? Probably not. But what about when you have to speak in front of 600 people with no script and explain your startup’s mission? Being fearless, if only for an hour or two, would be no small feat.
It’s Lonely At the Top
Being fearless might necessitate taking “the road less traveled” more often than not. Indirectly, this could lead to a lonely existence. However, this is 2015. Surely there is a closed Facebook group where daredevils of all sorts could congregate.
Lets You Be the Boss
When someone threatens to eat your chicken tenders, you’re going to have to fight back. Slap that chicken thief right across the jaw and show him who’s boss! Whose chicken is it anyhow?
Chicken or Egg?
Being a daredevil in business involves taking on more risk. But what if fear itself is what’s keeping you from taking on that risk? You could theoretically “fake it til’ you make it” and pretend to have the confidence needed, charging ahead and shoving that fear aside in a temporary show of bravado. Stepping up when the risk is great doesn’t always result in success, so your being fearless will surely be appreciated by all the chickens. (Do you “get” that one?) And you might like to read my post, Six Amazing Social Media Startup Secrets, by the way.
Confidence Emerges Once Fear is Stripped Away
Tony Robbins encourages participants in his Unleash the Power Within seminars to walk on fire as a metaphor for facing and overcoming personal fears. He gets the crowd ready by having people chant, stamping out fear with positive thoughts the way Smokey the Bear would stamp out a forest fire. Robbins says “In order to get people to know that the techniques they are learning work, I like to use a physical metaphor that tests them to be able to take action in spite of fear.”
People talk about committing to success like it’s easy. It’s similar to my yoga instructor who bends into a crazy ball and stands on one arm. I think the pose is called “Drunken Scorpion.” The point is, once she’s halfway there, she might as well go the rest of the way.
Fearlessness is the Ultimate Joy
Thich Nhat Hanh says that fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. We might not go so far as to make friends with a murderer on our daily walk as Thich does, but it’s something to consider, if only for the sake of overcoming our fear.
What would you do if you had no fear? What would your business look like? Would you want to expand and outsource some of the chores that don’t interest you? Please leave a comment!