Usually, what we most fear doing is what we most need to do. That phone call, that conversation, that confession, whatever the action might be – it is fear of unknown outcomes that prevents us from doing what we need to do. Define the worst case, accept it, and do it. A person’s success in life is measured by the number of uncomfortable circumstances he or she is willing to have. Resolve to do one thing every day that you fear.
What is it costing you to postpone the action? Don’t only evaluate the potential downside of action. It is equally important to measure the atrocious cost of inaction. If you don’t pursue those things that excite you, where will you be in one year, five years, and ten years? How will you feel having allowed circumstance to impose itself upon you and having allowed ten more years of your life to pass doing what you know will not fulfill you?
If you telescope out 10 years and know with 100% certainty that it is a path of disappointment and regret, and if we define risk as “the likelihood of an irreversible negative outcome”, inaction is the greatest risk of all. What are you waiting for? The answer might be simple: You’re afraid, just like the rest of the world. Measure the cost of inaction, realize the unlikelihood and repairability of most missteps, and develop the most important habit of those who excel and enjoy doing so: take action.
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
– Mark Twain