What Are You Afraid Of?


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Excessive waiting doesn't make for better decisions; it makes for lost time, demoralized people, and a devastating loss of direction and momentum. Massive business plans and strategy documents, millions of meetings, extensive third-party consulting reports, and excessively detailed analyses are simply ways to hide from the truth and avoid making the tough decisions.

Elaboration in these cases is often just a form of mental pollution. Speed is everything today and startups understand that necessity much better than most big businesses because: a entrepreneurs all suffer congenitally from "hurry sickness"; b the race to self-sustainability for a startup is existential; if you don't get to some point of equilibrium where you can stop pedaling and fundraising for a moment or two in order to take stock of where you've been and where you're heading, you're gonna be toast soon enough; and c if you're not in a big hurry, you're probably already too late.

On the other hand, in too many large organizations, there's a striking lack of urgency, a reluctance to make hard choices, and a willingness to ignore the inevitable until it's too late. Hoping that the problems will resolve themselves and that the competition will go away isn't much of a strategy. As a result, mediocre projects lumber on because no one has the courage to call a halt; make-work jobs and featherbedding flourish because there's no accountability and no one keeping score; and the business heads slowly and continually downhill into irrelevance and obscurity.

No one ever said it better than T.

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Eliot: "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper. The "bad" behaviors, which bring about these results, are obvious, but regardless of the size of your business, if you don't consistently root out and address the causes and concerns, you're never going to improve the current state of affairs or get yourself out of the deepening hole that you're slowly slipping into. This is clearly one of those cases where the big, old and tradition-bound businesses can learn a great deal from the examples that abound in the startup world.

In fact, if I had to make a short catalogue of the issues that constantly recur whenever you see a business starting to go sideways, I'd start with the 5 basic fears:. This is the most common problem and frankly the one that's already been the most exhaustively discussed. It's still No. Suffice it to say, if you let your fears rather than your desires and goals drive your decisions, you're not going to get anywhere.


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Entrepreneurs don't have all the answers, but the one thing that they know for sure is that to pull off these new and special adventures, your faith, especially in yourself, needs to be stronger than your fears. They don't ask for permission; they wonder who's gonna stop them. Dacher Keltner: Yeah. Adam Edwards : Oh man… I could probably swim near the shark.

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Tony Bennett - What Are You Afraid Of? Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Adam Edwards: So I set up teaching another Whitewater Kayaking class, where I could kind of, maybe try that new way of addressing the fear of speaking to groups of people. Basically in the weeks prior to the class, I wrote out what I wanted to say and do for the class, which is something I usually do but not really to this detail.

I kind of usually just write like a forward stroke, backstroke and how long I think each thing will take. And this time I kind of spent more time sound-boarding with my co-instructor about what we were going to say and practicing it allowed me to simplify a lot of things. Adam Edwards: Yeah, yeah. I am just drenched with sweat. Adam Edwards: Uh it went really well actually. I got a lot of really good feedback from our students. We taught an intermediate creeking class which is the kind of white water kayaking where they run waterfalls, very steep rivers and creeks.

So that actually went really well I was excited with how that aspect of the class went. We had a really good dialogue and they kind of relayed that the way it was presented helped them kind of be like, hey this like all of this stuff is manageable. And I will be creating scenarios today that will try to heighten your stress level a little bit.

So, yeah. What would you say? Adam Edwards: I would say really like investing the time in putting your thoughts down prior was super helpful.

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Just seeing even just like a bullet-pointed list of what I wanted to convey changed what I wanted to convey because it allowed me to consolidate and streamline the whole thing. By doing that I got more comfortable with the topic and was able to actually come up with new and better ideas. Dacher Keltner: Nice. Do you think just coming full circle with Melanin Base camp, is part of the idea just more broadly to take on fears and transcend them?

Like actually utilizing the platforms that we have available to us to express our ideas.

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And I have a huge anxiety with that. How do you find for people of color being outdoors changes their sense of their identity and the outside world? Adam Edwards: I can speak for myself personally. Even if you live in a huge city there are still like, spaces you can find, green spaces whether those are parks or things out of town and being able to kind of interact with that in the natural sense I feel it definitely is a huge stress relief.

And for you the fear of being eaten almost metaphorically feels like being attacked by society or arrested or the target of biased criminal justice. Tell me about that. And I drive very legally. But it comes out of watching my father, a pastor, be arrested for nothing more than one occasion, being harassed by police. Which makes it even worse.

With the animal you can kind of deal with it. Dacher Keltner: You know my colleague Rudy Mendoza-Denton here at Berkeley has taken this fear literature and we think classically, of well, I fear snakes or spiders or bears or the dark. And then it became the social anxiety, of well, I fear being judged or giving public speeches. Now he, is talking about given histories and legacies of race and class that people of color and people of lower class backgrounds will fear institutions, like the institution of police, right?

What Are You Afraid Of? - Jon Jorgenson

It points to a really active area of inquiry scientifically. Whenever I teach human happiness I always end with the challenges that our culture faces at this moment and I really liked your phrase, positive stress. So thanks. Just seeing a bullet-pointed list of what I wanted to convey changed what I wanted to convey, because it allowed me to consolidate and streamline the whole thing.

By doing that I got more comfortable with the topic and was able to actually come up with new and better ideas. Seeing a bullet-pointed list of what I wanted to convey changed what I wanted to convey, because it allowed me to consolidate and streamline the whole thing.

Do you think just coming full circle with Melanin Base camp, is part of the idea just more broadly to take on fears and transcend them? Like actually utilizing the platforms that we have available to us to express our ideas. And I have a huge anxiety with that. How do you find for people of color being outdoors changes their sense of their identity and the outside world?

Even if you live in a huge city there are still like, spaces you can find, green spaces whether those are parks or things out of town and being able to kind of interact with that in the natural sense I feel it definitely is a huge stress relief.

What Are You Afraid Of?: Facing Down Your Fears with Faith

And for you the fear of being eaten almost metaphorically feels like being attacked by society or arrested or the target of biased criminal justice. Tell me about that. And I drive very legally. But it comes out of watching my father, a pastor, be arrested for nothing more than one occasion, being harassed by police.

Which makes it even worse. With the animal you can kind of deal with it. And then it became the social anxiety, of well, I fear being judged or giving public speeches.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Now he, is talking about given histories and legacies of race and class that people of color and people of lower class backgrounds will fear institutions, like the institution of police, right? It points to a really active area of inquiry scientifically. Whenever I teach human happiness I always end with the challenges that our culture faces at this moment and I really liked your phrase, positive stress.

So thanks. Dacher Keltner: So one of the things that we learned from Adam Edwards and he faced this fear of public speaking, which, you know, some survey data suggests is the second most common fear that Americans have right behind dying. And at the core of these facing fear practices is awareness. And then you learn gradually how to handle it. They presented people with images of really angry faces and we know that when you see an angry face, you become a little bit stressed.

So they present this anger face and in fact that activates in an FMRI scanner, increased activation in the amygdala which is what people think of as kind of a threat or fear region of the brain.

What Are You Afraid Of? What Are You Afraid Of?
What Are You Afraid Of? What Are You Afraid Of?
What Are You Afraid Of? What Are You Afraid Of?
What Are You Afraid Of? What Are You Afraid Of?
What Are You Afraid Of? What Are You Afraid Of?

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