Kick Fear in Its Face


Kick Fear in Its Face

I was at a nightclub last Friday when my friend spotted a beautiful girl he wanted to talk to.

“Okay, so let’s go talk to her. I’ll distract her friends for you.”

“Wait. I’m not ready yet.”

Oh boy. I already knew where this was going… It’s going to be a series of him wanting to go then talking himself out of it.

An hour passes and he’s still not ready to talk to her. Not even when she came upstairs and walked right past him. Not even when she was sitting down all by her lonesome self as her friends went outside to do what they do.

“She’s way too beautiful. I’m scared.”

So I took him outside to talk. I asked him to walk me through what’s going through his mind.

He was afraid of being ignored. Rejected without even given a chance. To be ignored is to be told (without words) you have no value and I’m above you.

And I get it. I sympathize with his fear, because that’s what stopped me from making friends all throughout middle and high school.

We play worst-case scenarios in our heads and we’re so terrified of fulfilling them that we’d rather do nothing at all.

Consider this: if we fear rejection and failure, aren’t we rejecting ourselves and failing by default if we stand idle?

I’ve failed countless times in social settings. The strangest words come out of my mouth and plenty of it is cringe-worthy. I remember being called weird several dozens of times in the past (more than half of it having a bad connotation,) but who cares?

I’d rather enjoy myself and say something that makes me look “weird” than sit in the corner by myself.

I’d rather get a hard “no” from a beautiful woman than regret never having given it a shot anyway.

This isn’t just about socializing and dating.

It’s about everything. It’s the whole kit and caboodle.

If you ever stop yourself from going after a goal because you’re afraid of failure then you automatically fail right then and there. The only difference is that you spare a bruised ego.

Going for it + failing = you don’t get what you want

Not going for it = you don’t get what you want

Therefore… Going for it + failing is the SAME as not having gone for it at all!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Making the leap at least gives you a fighting chance to make it to the other side.

I stop myself from going after what I want all the time and it always stings more than failure or rejection.

You start regretting and wondering “what if?” It eats at you for days.

In comparison to regret, you move on from failure and rejection at the speed of light.

Photo Credit: tc57 – Flickr

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Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway and founder of Growth Ninja, a digital marketing agency that specializes in Facebook Ads. Voted "Most Guapo" five years in a row (lost during 6th year to a hand model.)

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16 responses to Kick Fear in Its Face

  1. “you move on from failure and rejection at the speed of light”, Amen! and you’ll never experience the speed of light unless you start moving,
    Vincent you’ve done it again!

  2. Lei Lani Lucero October 14, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Awesome article! I can personally speak for fighting the fear, facing the fear, making the call, and having wonderful results (from time to time). I have chosen, more often than not, to speak up, speak out, and say what is on my mind. If others think I’m weird, that is their opinion, and I LIKE being weird. It’s all a part of me. And, I like who and what and where and how and even why I am.
    I only have to live with myself, and I would say, “wow, that sure didn’t end up like I pictured” than to think “wonder how that would’ve ended up?”

  3. Couldn’t agree more. Fear must be defeated! Thanks for reminding us. We needed that.

  4. You are right that regret is so much worse than fear. It is a long term thing that we have to do deal with rather than short term fear. You need to just jump right in rather than sitting and thinking about it if you are going to talk to a girl. If you wait too long then you will think your way out of doing it.

  5. Haha of COURSE you use an example of approaching girls, my favourite topic with regards to fear XD. I can just see this being me and my friends too, it’s happened so many times!

    I used to wonder how people could be so socially free, and not care really about what people thought of them. E.g. “If I say something silly, oops, oh well!”. It’s so much more complicated than we think, and it takes time to develop a good attitude. Still not completely there, but closer than ever :).

    So instead of us saying “I hope they like me”, we need to get to “What can they bring into my life? Who are they?”.

    The fear really dwindles once you worry less about what people think of you, but that’s only possible through some long trials and self-discovery, until you accept that sometimes you’ll mess up, but you’re still awesome.

    The way out of fear in general isn’t perfection – it’s feeling it, doing it anyways, and accepting that you might mess up but that you’re still OK 🙂

    I think there’s a quote that goes something to the effect of: Everyone feels fear. The people who are brave and courageous still feel fear, but do the thing anyways, as they deem the thing they are aiming for more important than worrying about what might happen.

    • Hahahaha! Probably not the most family-friendly context/setting… But eh!

      Happens to me too man. In fact, if I even think about whether or not I should approach a girl I end up not doing it. It’s always gotta be a boom, go kind of thing.

      Same man. I’m not completely there in terms of not caring what people think but I see progress. That’s what matters!

      That sounds about right. A lot of things get my heart rate way up, making me second guess myself. The difference between me and the next scared guy is I occasionally say screw it, I’m in!

  6. I am not sure if I completely agree with this.
    For me, based on my experiences, there have been times that my fear had been justified.
    There was a time I was ordering for an online service. I was genuinely afraid that they were going to mess it up. I ignored my fear and ordered it anyway.
    Turns out, my fear was justified. It was really messed up.
    That is just to say fear in moderate amounts is a good thing. It is a warning signal. And like every other thing, Fear in excess quantities is dangerous.

    By the way, your friend’s shyness may be genuine. He could be suffering from social anxiety disorder.

    • Hey Sandy, apologies for the late response.

      You’re right. Sometimes fear is a helpful tool but how often is that the case? I’m willing to bet that I’ve benefited more often than not from tackling fear and not allowing it to paralyze me.

      Being alert and skeptical can be a good thing.

  7. This is an awesome that resonates with me and I love it! In life, sometimes taking a risk is better than not. There are things in life one should not walk away from without ever finding out what was behind the proverbial door because it will feel worse. The game of “what if…” is torture. The lesson of self-forgiveness can also be painful. It is hard, but I also think failure serves us a bigger purpose in the way we grow and build character. So thank you, Vince for this article.

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