Overcoming your fears

A long time ago I used to play as a DM in a roleplaying game called Dungeons & Dragons. I played it during weekends with my high school friends. I loved it. We created stories together that transported us to fantastic worlds for hours, my friends and I were using our creativity to the maximum, we had such surrealistic and fun situations that we ended up laughing so long as to get muscle aches. But years passed, our other interests shifted and we parted ways ending the campaign.

During the last 8 years or so I yearned for playing again but I always had that little guy sitting by my ears telling me things like: “you don’t have time to play, it’s a lot of time, you’re not in a Spanish speaking country, with your heavy accent and your lack of medieval vocabulary in a foreign language how are you supposed to do it? It won’t work, it won’t be perfect, bla bla bla.” And he kept hammering me and keeping me from trying to play again.

But enough was enough, a few months ago, after moving to Dublin I decided I would give it a try. This Stoicism 101 post by Tim Ferriss as well as his The 4-Hour Workweek book and the “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” question inside it helped me overcome that little guy. And boy did I like playing again! It was not comparable to my teenager times but it was at least as fun as in the old times. If you are curious about how it went it’s all more or less recorded on our campaign’s blog: Zhymballa.

Would you like to try something new or something exciting and your fears are keeping you from doing it? I invite you to imagine the worst case scenario. Now imagine yourself in your death bed lamenting never having had the guts to try it. Rate from 1 (just a little bit happy) to 10 (nirvana) how well do you think you will feel by doing it and rate from 1 (just a minor inconvenience) to 10 (you risk dying if you fail doing it) how bad the worst case scenario is. Compare both numbers and decide by yourself. In my case I had at least a potential 7 or 8 happiness against feeling embarrassed in front of some strangers and myself (something I would rate as 1 or 2).