On Fear and Confidence

There is one thing I know for sure about being an entrepreneur (or following any dream for that matter). The difference between success and failure lies in your ability to overcome fear.

Everybody fails. Those with the greatest success, often failed the most. Albert Einstein failed his first entrance exam to university. Steve Jobs was famously fired from Apple before being re-hired and inventing the iPod and iPhone, changing everyone’s lives forever. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first broadcast journalism job after just 6 months. Lady Gaga was cut from her first label.

We all fail. It’s a necessary part of the journey.

So why does it breed so much fear in us? And more importantly, how the hell can we move on from it?

I wanted to launch this new business with an article that epitomized my journey to get here, to realize this dream of mine. And when I thought about what that story might be, I kept coming back to the biggest battle I’ve ever fought in my life: the war on fear.

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Tara Westover urges graduates to embrace their ‘un-instagramable’ selves

Tis the season for commencement speeches, full of wisdom, advice and positivity for the future. So I couldn’t let May go by without including at least one. I thought this speech by author Tara Westover to Northwestern graduates was appropriate for this audience. An acknowledgment that we no longer just have two selves: the person we are when we’re alone, and the one we become around others. But now we have a third: the person we share with strangers online. She reminds us that it’s our true self, the one we usually keep behind closed doors, that is most important. That is the version we need to nurture and listen to and learn from.

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3 Reasons you aren’t doing what you say you will do

In this TEDx video by cognitive psychologist Dr. Amanda Crowell you’ll learn how to move beyond mindset-driven defensive failure and into productive failure to succeed at the problems you struggle with the most. She argues that we get trapped in the same cycles, over and over (sound familiar), and offers advice on how to break those cycles and finally succeed at whatever it is you’re trying to do.

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How thinking about the future can make life more meaningful

As a strategy consultant, I think about the future A LOT (probably too much). But this article helped me to justify my behaviors. Written by a Ph.D researcher for Greater Good Magazine, it chronicles the research on ‘prospectus’ or how thinking about the future can help us make better decisions, achieve our goals, fight off negative mental health states and just generally become more kind and generous people. Find out how and why.

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Are things getting better or worse?

This is a great piece from New Yorker Magazine about how science is mostly in agreement that overall Quality of Life (QOL) is better than ever for Americans (and much of the world), despite what our current President might say (and definitely as opposed to what you hear in the media). Average household income, risk of death by accident and serious disease, crime, teenage drug and alcohol use, etc. are all much, much lower than at any other point in history. Life is good. Right? However, the jury is still out on whether that is translating to a higher Subjective Wellbeing (SWB), or overall sense of happiness and meaning in our lives. A lot of this is about perspective: both the media’s and our own, and certainly worth a read

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Women did everything right. Then work got ‘greedy.’

I’m not sure if I’m just more aware, or if this topic is actually trending, but I feel like I’m now seeing so many articles (in so many high profile publications, like this one from the New York Times) talking about the need for the ‘end of the hustle culture.’ This one focuses on how this phenomenon is really hurting women most, particularly within the ‘greedy’ professions like law, finance and consulting…where women have more potential to outperform men, but aren’t. Keep reading if you want to learn why and what we can do about it

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Americans’ stress, worry and anger intensified in 2018

A new Gallup poll is out, and unfortunately it’s not surprising at all. Even though our economy is soaring, our quality of life (in terms of stress, anxiety and anger) is declining. We may have more money, but there is a serious cost for that. This is a topic I’m very familiar with and one you’ll hear me rant about again and again…our collective disillusion about what ‘success’ means and how focusing too narrowly on profit, making money or growth at all costs is making us sick. The bottom line is that without a clear focus on what matters most to you, the default in our culture is ‘more is better.’ And according to this new study, the pursuit of more is killing us

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“Maslow’s Pyramid” is based on an elitist misreading of the psychologist’s work

When I first read this headline from Quartz I almost had a heart attack as I clicked through. If you’re anything like me, and hopefully you are because you’re still reading, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is foundational to my education. But this reporter digs into the history to discover the *pyramid* aspect wasn’t created by Maslow, and how this misinterpretation has shaped our thinking about who *deserves* self-actualization ever since. A very interesting read.

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Why is nature so good for your mental health?

I love to travel, to explore, and just generally to be outside. I know that it fills my soul with the fuel it needs to keep going. Now I know why. According to scientists, it inspires awe, which is a key component of building happiness and general wellbeing in humans. Have you been to the Grand Canyon? Visited one of the many great temples, cathedrals or other places of worship around the world? Been anywhere that made you feel small and insignificant, in a good way? This article from the Greater Good Magazine will help explain why that makes us feel so good.

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The key to loving your job in the age of burnout

Oh, this was such a good read! Another reminder that our culture tends to persuade us that ‘meaning’ in life is supposed to come from our work–not our family, our country, or our spiritual beliefs. We think we need to figure out how our day job is saving the world, and usually it’s not. This article argues instead that the key to enjoying your work, to finding meaning in your work, is better understanding the ‘because’. Stick with me, you work ‘because’…the organization is improving lives, it pays the bills and supports your family, it provides you with an opportunity to challenge your mind, etc. Work is often a struggle, as it should be, so the key is to figure out what makes the sacrifice worth it. Easy, right?

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