What’s stopping you is fear…

Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner™ and creator of the Sketch Guy column, appearing weekly in The New York Times since 2010.  The following article is reproduced with permission from his weekly newsletter and his website can be found here.

Greetings, Carl here.

There’s something you’ve been working on.

Something you’ve always dreamed of.

It’s the business you’re going to launch. The novel in final edits. The podcast you’re about to release.

And it’s so close!

Can I just ask you something? What’s stopping you from putting this thing out into the world?

I have a hunch I know the answer to that question, and I bet you do, too.

You’re scared.

Right? The reason is fear.

That’s why this thing is perpetually “almost there.” We never finish because we hide behind the little things.

What color should the logo be?

What font should I use?

I can’t find an agent.

Let me be clear about something. What is holding you up isn’t the size of your font—it’s the size of your fear.

The reason our work never feels finished is not because we are perfectionists, it’s because we are scared nobody will like it, scared it won’t work out, scared of failing.

The way we deal with that fear is by picking a roadblock and hiding behind it, just like when we were children and hid under the blankets from the monster in the closet.

Don’t get me wrong—being scared is normal, human, and totally OK. The problem is letting our fears prevent us from making the quantum leap between “The Thing I Want To Do” and “Actually Doing It.”

The key to getting to 100 percent is understanding why we are really stuck at 99 percent. It’s not about any specific roadblock. It’s about fear.


P.S. As always, if you want to use this week’s sketch, you can buy it here.