What are you afraid of?

You and I have heard that question a lot, haven’t we? Some well-meaning friend or relative is trying to coax us into doing something we really don’t want to do.

“What are you afraid of?” they say.

The idea is that if you pinpoint what’s really stopping you, then you can address that barrier head on. And usually when you do, you’ll notice your biggest fear really isn’t grounded in anything except the fear inside you.

It’s an annoying question, really. We rarely answer it honestly. We spit something out to appease whoever asks, but we hide the real reasons we’re afraid.

See, we’re even afraid to admit our fears. I know I am.

But I tried something, something I noticed in Chris Guillebeau’s book, The Art of Non-Conformity. Chris made a list of some things he was afraid of while he was writing the book. I’m a big fan of lists, but I’d never done one like that. So I gave it a go.

I’m not going to say the results were amazing – that’s cliche. For now, I’m just going to ask you to trust me.

Try it yourself. Make a list of 10 things you’re afraid of. Write them down – don’t just recite them in your head. Hang the paper on the wall near your desk, somewhere where you can see it.

If you’re having that much trouble getting started, write down for number one, “I’m afraid of making an honest list of my fears.”

It’s kind of an annoying suggestion, I know. But no one else is around. No one else has to get in on this. You can be honest. I’m telling you, you might learn a lot from it.

Just ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”