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Day 17: Reboot the real work

“I am your teacher and you are learning in my school. My aim is to bring you to completion, unhindered, free from compulsive behavior, unrestrained, without shame, free, flourishing, and happy, looking to God in things great and small—your aim is to learn and diligently practice all these things. Why then don’t you complete the work, if you have the right aim and I have both the right aim and right preparation? What is missing?. . The work is quite feasible and is the only thing in our power. . . . Let go of the past. We must only begin. Believe me and you will see.”

EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 2.19.29–34

How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something just because of the fear of failure? I know I have done it multiple times. I have started my blog 3 years back, wrote 1 or 2 posts, but I wanted it to be perfect. I somehow feel that if I don’t write the best possible blog-post then what’s the point of writing. I also feared the ridicule of people. I fear people are going to laugh at me if make grammatical mistakes or if the content is not good enough.

For each post, I used to spend a lot of time, finding fancy words to replace simpler words, correcting grammar, and trying to sound more deeper and philosophical than I really was. And the result: I stopped after 2-3 posts. I wasn’t actually enjoying the writing process which I really love, because I was scared of failing. And it soon started feeling like just another chore and I find one or the other excuse to not write. The best excuse I had for not writing is that I wanted to read more before writing. Now this excuse sounds so genuine, one should be well-read if one wishes to write well, but the thing is it is not mutually exclusive. You can still write ok when you are still reading. The more you write, the more you improve.

Now after 3 years I started my blog again. I have really grown in the last 3 years and learned a lot about myself. But I still had some doubts. I was still writing my posts incognito, no one knew about my blog, I was skeptical about sharing this information with people, and yeah I still had a lot of doubts.

But then one of my friends suggested that I am showing the Dunning-Kruger effect. I didn’t know about it then but then I read about it and realized I am kind of having an Imposter Syndrome. And then I decided that it is time finally to overcome my fears and finally I shared my blog with friends and family. Now if I look back I see that nobody really cares about what I am doing, or what I am writing. The fear of failure was just in my head and I was just restricting myself due to it. I really wish I had this wisdom 3 years back. But as say ‘better late than never

The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.

Mark Zuckerberg
Published inPhilosophy & IdeasStoicism

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