02/02/13 | Uncategorized

(Infographic) Getting Over Fear

One moment I’m devastated, another moment I’m ecstatic. But the whole time in the back of my mind there is that “What if I don’t?”

By Anna Vital (Co-Founder, Vash; Founder, Funders & Founders)

Every day for the last two weeks, I have woken up scared. I’m scared to go online, look at my Kickstarter campaign – and see that no one supported it over night.

I am so scared to fail. It doesn’t help that I get a couple emails a day say, “Anna, do you think you will raise???” Then I get a lot of emails saying, “I love your book.”

One moment I’m devastated, another moment I’m ecstatic. But the whole time in the back of my mind there is that “What if I don’t?”

I took it upon myself to figure out if I am abnormally scared – or if maybe other people who start thing are just as scared as me. While figuring this out, I found data that explains a lot:

1. Fear comes from thinking you don’t know enough.

When a CEO makes a decision, they on average have only 10% of the information they need. 10% is very low for most people. The average person has at least 50% of the information they need. Naturally, people who force themselves to make decisions at 10% are scared. That is normal.

2. Another fear-buster is just trusting your gut.

First, you have to make the assumption that for one reason or another, your gut is right. That should be easy when you realize that you on’t have much choice – if not your gut, then whose gut are you going to trust?

3. Thinking about the worst case scenario makes you realize the worst is not that bad.

I thought about my worst case scenario before I launched my Kickstarter campaign. Not only did I think about it, I actually went and found the most unsuccessful campaigns on Kickstarter, with zero dollars pledged and imagined that it was mine. Would it be that bad? Yes, it would be completely devasting.

But what would I do? I would change something, and still write the book. Basically no matter what happened with the campaign I still had a change to do the most important thing- write the book – but a failed campaign would make it a lot harder. Even though, I clicked the “Launch” button.

4. You can game your fear.

I notice that when I am just doing my job, which is to write the book and make info graphics, fear goes away. When you think about work, your brain can’t focus on the fear. So you are playing a game – the more you do, the less you are scared.

5. Finally, once you just do something, you realize it is nowhere as scary as you think.

Think about a big and scary thing you have ever done – do you look back and get scared? Mostly likely not. So, as Richard Branson says, “Screw it, Let’s do it!”

He learned that once you start doing, you can’t be afraid any more.

Women 2.0 readers: Like these infographics on entrepreneurship? Kickstart Anna Vital’s infographic book on entrepreneurship.

About the guest blogger: Anna Vital is a co-founder of Vash.co and founder of Funders and Founders, a San Francisco-based startup promoting startupization. She has been an entrepreneur since age 14 when she opened her fist business, a test-prep school. After attending Brigham Young in Utah, she attended law school in Nanjing, China. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, English and Russian. In her ideal world, everyone from moms to engineers to executives will do startups. Follow her on Twitter at @vitalhack.

Karin Lachmi

Karin Lachmi

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