I’m about to do something I’ve never done before, and I’m pretty freaked out.
In just two days I will sit quietly at my keyboard and in just a few keystrokes I’ll launch my first software app.
I’ll walk my first client (who I’ve actually been working with for months at this point) through the setup process for the very first time on my new app, and then I’ll sit back and watch to see what happens next.
That’s the part I’m most freaked out about…
What happens next
Because what happens next is completely uncharted territory for me. I’ve never launched my own software app. I’ve never been the guy wearing the sales, operations, and support hats all at once.
So I’m filled with fears about what happens next.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying myself and how our human brains work, it’s that our brains will do ANYTHING to avoid the dreaded feeling of uncertainty.
It’s an incredibly powerful force. Left to our own devices us humans will even choose to remain in terrible, uncomfortable situations just to avoid the fear of the unknown (changing).
That’s why it’s SO HARD to do anything you perceive as risky. Starting business, getting a new job, quitting a crappy job, it’s tough out there!
These are battles I’ve been fighting every day for years while trying to get various businesses and projects off the ground. I lose a lot of battles, but over the long run I keep getting up and gaining a little more ground.
And now as I sit on the verge of launching my app for real I’m suddenly almost paralyzed by my brain which is desperately trying to keep things from changing. My brain is fighting to make my app be just another one of thousands of unfinished projects.
My own brain is violently resisting crossing the line from “unfinished project” to “business with paying customers”, even though it’s an incredibly positive change.
I like how Jon Acuff describes this feeling the best:
“I feel like I’m constantly one bad decision away from being a hobo.”
– Jon Acuff
- Something won’t quite work to my customer’s expectations
- They’ll be disappointed and quit
- Future customers will see the disappointment coming and run.
- My project will fail.
- I will never be able to start another project because I am a failure.
- The entrepreneur dream is done.
Fighting the resistance
No matter what advice I give you right here there’s no getting around this simple fact: This is going to be a hard fight.
If it’s not a hard fight, then you’re not going BIG enough.
There are two techniques that I personally have used to get through some really stiff resistance problems (like right now):
1. Be ready for the resistance
Just understanding how your brain works will go a long way towards helping you get passed the resistance. Half way through your project when you start thinking of other projects you should start instead of finishing the one you’re working on, you’ll know where that idea comes from – your own brain trying to sabotage you!
The best way to deal with it is to just quietly acknowledge it, think about it, and move on. You’ve now weekend the resistance.
2. Take small steps over and over
There are days when I’m so overwhelmed and paralyzed I don’t even know what to Google. I wind up reluctantly watching 24 on the couch pouting about my failed project just because I’ve hit a few mental road blocks.
It always helps to take really tiny steps, and do that over and over.
Some days I only make a tiny bit of progress, but no matter how hard the resistance is I try to go to bed knowing I gained at least one inch. You’ll be amazed at how fast those inches add up to big things.
Don’t ever let the fear you feel keep you from doing something. Fear is a positive emotion in this case. It means you’re on the verge of big change, and that’s exciting.
Just remember these two steps and keep chipping away at your BIG GOALS.