I’ve finished reading The Elon Musk Blog Series by Wait But Why yesterday evening. All in all a really good blog post series but the last chapter was my personal highlight. It’s a depiction about how Elon Musk is able to do what he does. If you think about your body as hardware then your consciousness, your thoughts, your feelings are your software. And it’s what the last chapter is all about. I don’t have the time to go into much detail, but you can read the whole chapter here.
For me personally, it’s like I’ve found the next puzzle piece for conquering my fears:
Humans are programmed to take fear very seriously, and evolution didn’t find it efficient to have us assess and re-assess every fear inside of us. It went instead with the “better safe than sorry” philosophy—i.e. if there’s a chance that a certain fear might be based on real danger, file it away as a real fear, just in case, and even if you confirm later that a fear of yours has no basis, keep it with you, just in case. Better safe than sorry.
I’ve already been through epiphany #1 (I don’t know shit) and epiphany #2 (No one else knows shit either) but got stuck on epiphany #3 (You’re playing Grand Theft Life). It’s mostly my fears that hold me back and keep me from making progress. Everything else is ready to go. Damn, I can program almost anything but can’t sell it. Because somewhere deep down I’m afraid of what other people might think about me. Objectively does it matter? No. Most people will stop thinking about me the moment I leave their plain of sight or hang up the phone. Because unless I’m the source of their worries they don’t have the time to think about me. And I don’t intend to worry people, I intend to help them. But as described in the quote above, humans are programmed to take fear seriously, even if those fears are not rational. So, how can I solve this? Let’s use another quote to answer that question and close this thought:
The challenge with this last epiphany is to somehow figure out a way to lose respect for your own fear. That respect is in our wiring, and the only way to weaken it is by defying it and seeing, when nothing bad ends up happening, that most of the fear you’ve been feeling has just been a smoke and mirrors act. Doing something out of your comfort zone and having it turn out okay is an incredibly powerful experience, one that changes you—and each time you have that kind of experience, it chips away at your respect for your brain’s ingrained, irrational fears.