Founder & CEO, Talentedly


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What is the one thing that you wish you could do but are too afraid?

Every day we make choices - both to do and not to do. Why? What drives our decisions not to do something? Try something? Is it fear of failure? Fear of success? Or just plain fear?

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    Jul 1 2011: .
    I'm afraid to make babies.

    I know I can, but I don't know how. I mean, I know, I understand the technicalities, but I don't dare to.

    I love babies. They're fantastically terrible and terribly fantastic. But I know I will not be a good father, because my baby will have to watch at least 2 TED presentations a day.
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      Jul 4 2011: I am sure Laurens you will have baby, and He/She will deliver TED talk after 40 odd years and in the closing line, He/She will say, "It was my dad who brought up me this way and established me to deliver this change to the world!" :) and you will wish for the rain that day...
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      Jul 4 2011: Go on, Laurens. Let TED not be blamed by the prospective baby ;-) Let TED be the reason, rather. Giving life to new ideas, thoughts and new babies ;-)
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      Jul 4 2011: Love the humanity and transparency of your response, Laurens. As the mother of 5 now grown kids, I can say it was the hardest commitment I have ever made. It was the hardest work I have ever done but it is also one of my most profound contributions to this planet. They are all amazing people. No one does it 'right'. We all do the best we can and the kids are amazingly forgiving and loving if you add enough love to the mix.
      Do not do it until you are ready but remember what a beautiful world it really is!
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        Jul 4 2011: Absolutely 100% correct Debra! You exactly replicated my own thoughts and experience of motherhood.
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      Jul 5 2011: Laurens, hope you will enjoy the feeling of having baby in the near future.

      I also love baby very much, but unforturnately, I didn't succeed to have a baby, and currently, I am still on the way of trying.
      I am really admire the young father and mother with the lovely little baby, it's busy but happy.

      Good luck to you and me :-)
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        Jul 7 2011: Jason, I wish you good luck with your hope for a baby. Remember though, that there are lots of kids in this world who need love. Why not start 'practicing' by being kind to children and their overworked parents? It really feels great and can act as a placebo for your yearning heart.
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    Jul 2 2011: Let go of everything I think I need, and start from scratch.
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      Jul 7 2011: I think this is the real 'skydiving' but it might have better rewards. Go for it!
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        Jul 7 2011: Thank you Debra! Your words are refreshing to hear! Hope you have a fantastic day!
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          Jul 7 2011: Dear Dela! I might just follow your lead! I am planning to do something very different with my life in the next few months! Good luck!
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    Jul 3 2011: I don't fear the choice itself but the repercussions. If I were to be totally selfish, I would do many things. So my fear is not for me but for my kids and friends. Of course, If I asked them, they would say "Do what you want". So That makes me think that a modified question would be: " What is the one thing that you wish you could do but are too afraid? AND have support from your loved ones.
    • Jul 4 2011: I really enjoyed your comment, its is a very pragmatic approach to the problem. The more responsibilities you have, the fewer risks you can take.
  • Jul 1 2011: I am afraid of lending my voice to a noble cause. I have many thoughts and ideas about the world and how to help those who do not have power. I want to change the world but I feel that I do not have the resources or the courage to do something meaningful.
    • Jul 2 2011: I see in you a potential leader. Consider start a movement or engage to one and start doing things. TED is full of talks about leadership. You will love it.
      • Jul 3 2011: Thank you for the encouragement, I am new to the TED so I just started exploring the website but so far is has been plenty helpful.
  • Jun 28 2011: Quitting my teaching job and moving to Italy to live in Tuscany. I think it is both a fear of the unknown as well as a fear of leaving what little security I have in this world behind.
    • Jul 3 2011: LeAnn, 5 years ago after my son was born; I left a well paying job/career and started to teach. Luckily I had the opportunity within grasp to make a decent living for most of the year, but with that came the isolation of the "ivory tower". with that came the uncertainity of not having medical benefits or to count on a solid paycheck outside of my various contracts which only lasted a semester at a time.
      With that came letting go of who I had "become" and relearning who I was...of relying on my family to help me through this change in my life. Letting go of my fear of ALL of those things...was both scary but enlighting! It wasn't until I learned to let go and embrace this " new" life of mine that I grew the most and gained the most perspective. Ultimately I learned that I'd be ok. That there were bumps in the road and that nothing was black and white.
      If you want Tuscany. Go to Tuscany. Either take a leave of absence for a year or leave perminantely...but make it a PLAN...and then work that plan. I always say to my students: if you can change a situation - change it. If you can't change it, then change the attitude. ANYTHING is possible. It takes planning and hard work but in the end you will be rewarded!
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        Jul 4 2011: Very insightful and inspirational! I love your input on this forum, you have obviously found your passion in teaching and your pupils are lucky to have you and I don't say that lightly.I remember having a conversation with my daughter's teacher when my daughter was 7 years old and after telling her I admired her for doing the job she did, she remarked she hated teaching and came out of retirement because there was shortage of teachers, I remember thinking at the time how could anyone do a job like that purely for the money.I recently had a conversation with my daughter now 24 who was a successful actress for 5 years before she had a kind of breakdown a couple of years back and gave it up and guess what, she started to quote the ramblings of this teacher whom she unfortunately had for almost all of her first 3 years of schooling. Her self esteem is still pretty low at present and I was shocked to find that this teacher often made nasty remarks to her privately, embarrassed her on numerous occasions in front of the class or totally ignored her, hence she became good at acting even at a very young age. This seemed to trouble her greatly in recent years and she started to question who she really was.I am ashamed to say I did not know this was going on as she made such a good job of covering it up, she is suffering from those consequences now I am afraid, although she is making progress now one day at a time.
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    Jul 1 2011: This is a classical but great question. It concerns so much our society and ourselves. Being afraid of judgements, on the way other are seeing us is a great obstacle to do something outstanding. Feeling confortable in present, not having trouble, not annoying other, not disturbing the classical perceptions etc. is leading us to choices that are rather mediocre than revolutionary. I often fight with myself with this question, should I take risky decisions or should I stand by the known path. Then I use to get frustrated or because I haven't choose to do creative work or because I see projects by others which are ingenious. I realize that I'm mediocre and unhappy. So I wish I could take better decisions in my life and feeling happy every working day. I wish I could be be synchronized and useful in society and create values. But often values are ignored, ideals are forgotten and it gets complicated... But first I have to change me before changing my environment. Thanks again for this topic, it's quite actual or it always was...
    • Jul 3 2011: I think all who read this knows what you are talking about. I think it's what we are writing in this page, our minds are restless and critics.

      In the past I was very depressed and never feel happy. In those days I see my environment as an oppressive set of social rules managing my future. One day I hit bottom and realized one important thing: NOBODY WILL LIVE MY LIFE FOR ME. Then I start changing things. I start defining MY OWN OBJECTIVES in live. For example: I study a course off business creation for a year and start my own small business the following year.
      In all aspects of my life i questioned myself: What will make "this" dramatically better? Then I make a plan to achieve it.

      In this days, life is hard, (is to me too) but the principles of feeling happy are in you. Environment could restrict you till you realize you are strong enough to modify your local environment. You can change things, not all but turn it better at least.

      Think about all aspects of your life. DEFINE SUCCESS IN YOUR OWN TERMS. Set your goals. Make plans. Start doing. Change things and you will succeed.

      I wish I help you
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    Jun 27 2011: Standing up to life's "bullies".

    To the people that bring you down with their pessimistic points of view and tell you what you can and can't do.

    I wish I wouldn't pay so much attention to them and just do what I think it's right for my life and for the people in it.

    In other words I wish my dreams would have feet so they can stand up!
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      Jul 1 2011: As an athlete I have tried to deal with physical pain in 3 ways: resisting it, ignoring it, and accepting it.

      Resisting causes more mental tension than necessary and won't work well if the pain lasts over 10 minutes. Ignoring works a lot better especially for longer durations. Accepting the pain is the best of all because after enough experience with it, you learn to use the pain to fuel your performance rather than harm it. When a boxer can gets knocked down for 8 counts, get up and fight back harder than initially, he has truly learned to accept pain.

      The same goes with life's "bullies". You can dwell on its negativity, attempt to ignore it, or "let" them motivate you to try harder than any pessimist could conceive possible.
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    Jun 27 2011: To be able to be confident in myself and my abilities and not be insecure all the time
    • Jul 3 2011: In my own experience, a great self-confidence is hard to achieve, but as anything in live exist a method. I know it and I will tell you, It's simple and true. Confidence becomes from repeating success. As simple as that.

      You need to prove that abilities doing. Anytime you prove your abilities you improve your skills and you feel more self-confident. You up one step. Face a newer challenge, now your skill is improved so you solve it better, prove your abilities and you get more confidence.

      Successful Resolution = Skill Improvement = Confidence Increasing.

      Not very cool ... but that's how confidence works.

      I wish I help you
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    Jun 26 2011: To be able to let go and not need to exercise control.
  • Jul 17 2011: I'm from Pakistan and believe me people face a lot of restrictions here when it comes to decision making. This is because of our culture and religion that most people fear to take decisions on their own, they fear what the society might label them as or what their peers might say. I think one's culture and background plays a pivotal role in establishing one's personality and the ability to take risks in life. The narrower the list of options you have, the narrower is the choice making ability.

    I'm currently pursuing my Bachelors in Business Administration and have done quite a few internships here and there and I've learned that people who are successful are the ones who took the decisions not caring what others might feel or say because they were sure that their decision making would firstly and mostly would effect their lives rather than the lives of others.

    Right now i myself am in a search of a career major. I'm confused as to what really drives me, economics, HR, or maybe some other aspect of BBA. I hope to find that soon because if you don't know what pleases you professionally than i think you will find it really difficult later on to know the difference between what's good for you and what's not.
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    Jul 12 2011: I want to go to Africa.
    For nearly a decade, I studied in India where I learned to really appreciate life and people.
    I also realized that unless you've actually been a part of the needy, you will not truly know how to help them.
    But as it occurred to me when I was in India, I fear that it would be so difficult for me to see what really goes on in the hidden corners of the world and feel so useless because I have no power yet to help them change their lives.
    I fear that my voice would be unheard, and that the tragic reality would only be a part of my memory.
    I also fear that I would find myself incompetent for the job..
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    Jul 7 2011: I want to climb above the largest obstacle on this planet: Mt. Everest. I am only 19 years old, but this has been a dream for me since I was in diapers. I am afraid to leave home for a long time. I am afraid of what that journey would do to me financially. I am afraid of traveling around the world to a dangerous place, with both people and mother nature. But most of all, I am afraid of never taking advantage of the opportunity to tackle that great obstacle while I am still young.
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    Jul 4 2011: to love completely without holding back
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    Jul 4 2011: Learn to dance and fall in love with my whole heart and mind and soul again. I want the 'until death do us part- I think he is the most fascinating person in the world' kind of love.
    I am afraid it is like the unicorn. Mythic. (The good news is that at 50 the until death do us part is a whole lot shorter than it was at 20 and maybe it is sustainable?)
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      Jul 4 2011: It will come to you when you least expect it I believe, just know it is on it's way!

      After a serious illness and the thought that I was going to die I shut out the world for a time, thankfully I saw the light and started to go for it big time. I started a new business, visited new places, learned new skills and made new friends all in my late 50's.

      There is a time to dance and that time is now, you are still a very beautiful young woman.

      My motto now is " I don't know how long I'll live but I WILL LIVE until I die" !!!

      Go for your LIFE girl!
  • Jul 4 2011: I would like to learn more about the capabilities of the human mind by taking drugs, but I'm afraid that they will harm me. Contrary to what some people say, fear is not all bad :-) I'm glad I live with fear.
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    Jul 3 2011: I'm afriad to complete my inland aquaculture facility pro-forma and biz plan as I dont actually know what a different career might mean for me financially. simple as that eh? LOL Lydia the simple question has changed what I will be doing this holiday weekend. thx
  • Jun 30 2011: Trust another woman with my heart.
    • Jul 3 2011: its only by letting go of your perceived notions of lack of trust that you will learn to trust (and love) others again. It has been my experience that if you have no expectations than you will not be disappointed and everything outside of that realm will be nothing but an absolute pleasure! Bottom line: you will love again. Give it time, give it space but nuture it too. The remainder will fail into place! ;)
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    Jun 29 2011: To get a bady. my wife and I want to get a baby! But in China, there are more pressures about education, health care and house. I am fear of getting a baby without well-educated environment, poor health care etc.

    also, my parents are aged and my father got the heart disease, my mother's leg is fracture. my god.

    but i real want to get a bady!
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      Jul 2 2011: I am sorry to hear that you have so much to think about in order to have a child. I am also thankful to have read your post because it helps me understand the hardships that people endure in other cultures, especially in one as competitive as the chinese culture
    • Jul 2 2011: I honestly had never thought of it from this perspective. Thank you for sharing!
  • Jun 28 2011: I would love to be confident to do everything I want...Stop being afraid and recognize my abilities...
    • Jul 3 2011: I'd start by keeping a journal Isa and write down all of things you are good at!
      Next, write down your fears and grade them (from biggest to smallest).
      Then, think about how you could change those fears using the skills you have in that very first list you have!

      Take baby wont change overnight and the first time you make "your stamp" on being more confident/assertive you will find the remainder will follow quite naturally! ;)
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    Jun 26 2011: I have a fear of heights (not irrational ... just won't go too near edges of buildings, for example). I would love to fly (paraglider, ultralight, hang-glider) but because of this fear, I have so far not done it.

    However, I was amazed about two years ago when I went on a balloon flight (a present from my kids). Even at several hundred meters up in the air, I felt no vertigo whatsoever. At one stage, I even had the courage to lean out slightly and take a picture of the occupants of the balloon.

    It still puzzles me to this day why I did not feel the slightest bit of vertigo whilst in that balloon. It has encouraged me to now consider the possibility of flying ... just need the time and opportunity.
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      Jul 17 2011: Hi Pat,

      What you tell is a known phenomenon. Some altitude people (skydivers, paragliders, etc.) tell that they feel ok. while doing these high altitude sports although they get fear of heights if they stand near the edge of a building or look to the ground from the 10th floor for example. I think that it is about the quantity of reference objects and their physical relationships (volume and distance) to each other and to the subject. During free fall (skydiving, paragliding, etc. NOT BASE jumping) for example you can't even feel your real speed (which is approx 200km/h [130mph]) because there is nothing that your brain can compare your relative location to...

      So I think that you can do some of these activities...
    • Jul 18 2011: Hi Pat,

      I suffer from fear of heights too. Yet I had a career as aircrew. For me the fear was actually of falling, not the heights themselves. Anywhere I feel secure, like in a plane or even in the harness of a hangglider, the fear is usually absent and always manageable. I wonder if it's similar for you?

  • Jul 23 2011: I am afraid of the word "fear", because I might stop doing the thing which I like because of some fear.... I want to do everything and anything with my whole and soul in it... I would enjoy even a small thing if I did so....
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    Jul 23 2011: Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
  • Jul 23 2011: I have always dreamed of singing, but never tried. too afraid. I would also love to dance whenever the music is right. I am always self conscious and never let go. I am afraid of being rejected again...
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    Jul 23 2011: i wish i could leave all my academics behind and ride all the way to leh on my bike, lie under a clear blue sky and listen to led zeppelin..............fear????????? .............................CAREER
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    Jul 23 2011: I want to start my own consulting firm, everyday i wish that i can leave my job and start my consulting and skills development classes, but there is a fear, what happens if it didn't work out. There is a potential still a fear hinders my wish...
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    Jul 23 2011: I wish I could look in the mirror and not see a work in progress, but I guess that's life.
  • Jul 20 2011: I've been conditioned to be deathly terrified of making mistakes, and I do need to learn to get over that because I know it's the best way to learn. Success is another thing. I get anxious when plans go too smoothly, and I usually pull back when I've almost got it. Unfortunately I've been conditioned to be motivated with fear, shame, and guilt. Anyone else have the same issues, and how do you get around it?
  • Jul 18 2011: i very like animals,all kinds of animals,i like pet them ,enjoying the fellings of petting.
    however,i very fear snake,i want to pet snake ,but ,i am afraid of snake,afraid to pet it!
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    Jul 17 2011: I fear nothing said the truly free man. When we become aware that we are all one conciousness then we discover that there is nothing to fear because all there is out there is inside us before being projected into reality.

    just things I like to remind myself when scared of taking on new challenges and when stiff learning curves makes us get discouraged.
    before I can help my fellows i need to be ok with myself, be happy is the key to become a postitive change in the out of balance human society we live in today.
  • Jul 17 2011: I want to fall in love. :D Deep, stupid, emotional, scary, unpredictable love. It's the only thing I've ever had faith in for these 21 years of my life. I'm not sure if it's happened or not to me, but I am sure I would enjoy it.
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    Jul 16 2011: Act and perform. Both take a level of skill and consciousness to master. To be a great actor/actress one must be able to find the character they're playing in themselves at the same time letting go of any attachment of self (our defenses) and be vulnerable, which is super duper scary. Actors perform with emotion and intellect--sometimes only with emotion and no intellect--which is hard to balance. I'm afraid of not being able to get out of my head. I want to be good at it, but I'm afraid of sucking at it. Every time we don't do something we want to do, it is always because of fear. The root of it is fear.
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    Jul 15 2011: Fear can be a good thing... I am afraid to tell the "truth" in many situations, opting instead to remain silent, give a diplomatic answer, etc.
    Fear of punishment, fear of disgrace, fear of being rejected - all of these are ultimately a positive thing for me...
  • Jul 12 2011: Wanna serve society but fear what would happen to my business if I got engage in this, Me and my family depends on my business.
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    Jul 8 2011: i have fear of failure, but not sure what the reason is. most of time i trust god in his way leading my life, and i fear to do any thing anger him.
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    Jul 8 2011: The basic cause of fear as I concerned is "Emotional Attachment". Because I don't have any personal fears and always tried to enter the Fear Zone ( I dare to go beyond my comfort zone) and in most cases I succeeded. Few, like my anti-corruption activism I was quiet tied up with the bond between me and my family. Once I complained about the anti-social elements to the Director General of Police stating that "No Policemen is patrolling and what's the need of setting up a station in our area and please don't ignore us from the protection". This could stirred him and later Inspectors of Police, SI's came to our home in police vehicles and shouted from the streets (I'm residing in second floor) calling me, WITHOUT DISCIPLINE. They gave me a paper and asked to write a letter to DGP mentioning that "Patrolling is regularly carried on by the local Police". My parents feared as cops shouted severely from the streets and also said that they won't support in such cases.

    This was happened even in RTI (Rights to Information) issues too. I don't mind about threats - but this emotional bonding stops me. So now I'm initiating my own business TO DO WHAT I LOVE. AND I DARE TO DO (esp. anti-corruption activities).
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    Jul 7 2011: I wish I could make a monumental difference in making the world better, but I'm afraid I don't know how to do it.
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      Jul 7 2011: Do not worry about being afraid.
      No one is truly without fear.
      Find courage within yourself and be the change you want to see in the world.

      All the rest will follow after.
  • Jul 7 2011: I would really want to do sky-diving alone, without an instructor! That would a huge step to overcome fear.
  • Jul 7 2011: we will to try all that come the happiness. The life is a surprise, but the most important is to be happy, always.
  • Jul 5 2011: Hmm... Most everyone here seems to fear many of the challenges that accompany modern-day life: falling in love after heartbreak, leaving an unsatisfying job, having kids. Still young, I suppose I wouldn't know much about any of these, but these strike me as opportunities rather than obstacles. My own fear is more of a confrontation with nature, than a struggle of self.

    One thing I would love to do is a Wingsuit Base Jump. For those of you who don't know what that is:

    There is a rather large problem standing in my way though: my fear of heights. I am not completely sure why I am afraid of heights, I just get uneasy and this sick feeling enters my stomach. I suppose one possible explanation for this is that heights are an easy place to fall from, and falling is an easy way to die. In this case, my fear of heights would translate into a fear of death. But I don't fear death.

    I've considered Wingsuit Base Jumping many times, and I can only ever picture myself doing it as something to check off the bucket list when I am old and decrepit. Would I be fit enough? Agile enough? Strong enough to handle it? I don't imagine so. At that age, this would likely be the last thing I do. But I don't fear death.

    Now then, I wonder: why am I always an old man in these fantasies? What if I do this while I am strong enough, agile enough and fit enough? It is rather likely that I would survive, but not certain. Anything as extreme as Wingsuit Base Jumping come with considerable risk. I don't fear death, but does it matter when I die? If I die young, what fulfillment would I have gained if I have never opened up my heart to another? Never taken a gamble with my career? Never seen the smiles of my children?

    My greatest fear is that I may never get the opportunity to experience those same fears, thrills and choices that many of you are experiencing right now.

  • Jul 4 2011: Well, I really want to get away with the situatin now, and become a world traveller. I am not saying that i am not satisified with the life now, it seems perfect for others: a satible job, a apartment for living , the support from friends and families. I am really afriad to chase this dream,is different with my family's vaule and is different with other people's life track (like most of people will get marriaged and settle down in a certain age ), and i believe if i done that my families will be disappoint of me.I am so scared to handle the disappointment from the lovest ones.Besides thoes reasons ,there are few more : i don't know how to support myself in finanically and emotionally for become a world traveller.
    It is always a huge gap for me to distinguish illusion and reality, it sounds like unaccomplish dream and it never going to happend.
  • Jul 4 2011: Can we please stop with the fairy tale stories here? We all fear taking risks because there are very REAL consequences to them. If you want to make a change in your life (career or otherwise), you run the risk of failing and being left out in the cold. The best tactic in my opinion is to first make sure you get a firm footing in your goal (so yes you have to stretch yourself thin and do both at the same time), and then you can assess if you can make the full leap.
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    Jul 3 2011: To travel.
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    Jul 3 2011: the one thing that everyone wish to do but are too afraid of doing so is telling TRUTH in each every aspect of life. human is a social animal but he is social to such extent that if he wish to tell the truth about an issue but can't because of many constrains.
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    Jul 3 2011: I wish I could go and live on my own but I'm afraid that I'm not yet up for it. It's scary and not to mention expensive.

    There are a lot of things holding me back at the moment. I'm sure I'll be able to do it soon, although, it takes time. I have to address all of my fears and concerns first.

    In connection to this, have any of you read the book called "How to Stop Self-Sabotage"? I'm currently reading it and I think it has some nice insights about getting past our own personal fears. Here's a link to its site:
  • Jul 2 2011: I wish I could tell the absolute truth all the time...... But........
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      Jul 7 2011: I once held a giant hissing cockroach. It was fascinating! Go for it!
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        Jul 8 2011: Yuuuuuk.. I would love to catch a lion instead... :-)
      • Jul 23 2011: How about a hissing snake instead.:D
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          Jul 23 2011: I work for a company that has a 'pest care' division. I was the only one in the room who had never seen a cockroach and thus I had no preconcieved ideas (Canada's colder climate apparently is inhospitable to the creatures.
          The giant hissing one was from Africa and it was the length of my palm and half as wide. I am glad I had the experience but lions and snakes are not for me.
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    Jul 2 2011: I want to make a helicopter as a project in my college, but I am afraid if it doesn't fly after investing a lot of money and time, then what would I do. My project will be marked as incomplete and criticism by other people is obvious.
    • Jul 2 2011: Sometimes in life there must be failure in order to succeed. It is only in failing that we gain the clarity we need to move forward. Perhaps your helicopter will not fly and yes, perhaps your peers will criticize, but your professors will see your lack of attempt as indecision and noncommital attitude as a detrement yet should (and probably will) applaud your efforts and reward you for this. I would suggest to keep on trying! I always say - if you cannot find the answer by yourself, ask someone for help (even your profs!) ...its all about perspective! Good luck Akshay!
    • Jul 2 2011: I agree with j.

      When you try new things, sometimes you fail. It's impossible to succeed anytime and is dificult to succeed many FIRST times. If you fail and you stops here you are out. You must learn about it, solve the mistakes and do it better, then you get the results and get in.

      About others criticism that's a thing you will met very often. Think about this, their incapacity to accept mistakes don't get them the power to avoid making mistakes, it only makes the learning about mistakes more difficult to them.

      Nobody like to fail, but that fear can't paralyze you and block a probable success.

      I encourage you to have projects, to keep with them, to accept the success and to learn about an occasional failure.
      • Jul 3 2011: That sounds great and all but the decision is a bit more difficult when failure means losing everything you have worked for in college. There is a good reason people don't just throw caution to the wind and chase their dreams. We are not all in a position where that is an option. The cost of failure, contrary to what Disney tells us, can be significant and devastating.
        • Jul 4 2011: I never insinuated it was easy.
          I am an entrepreneur, I started a business from zero and it was very difficult. I started other things and many worked well and others fail causing me loses and mistrust. I really know the cost of failure.
          I need ask you on one Point. What do you mean when you say "losing everything" o "devastating"? Do you mean if you fail your proffesional career is ended or something like that?
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    Jul 2 2011: I wish I could escape of the microscope of scrutiny my social environment facilitates. I don't know what it is. Am I scared of judgement? Maybe I lack the initiative and assertiveness. Perhaps it's all in my head and I am the only one judging myself. In any case, I wish I could make the decisions I want and keep the people I want happy, happy.
    • Jul 3 2011: we attract those around us that are a direct reflection of ourselves. Instead of planning for failure (in this case a fear of scrutiny), embrace whatever it is that is making you unique. Only with being true to who you are will you start to attract those that will see and believe in you for what you believe you are! (as they say..."walk the talk and talk the walk!"
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    Jul 2 2011: I can speak for larger Audience but always fear to start eye-to-eye conversation. Especially with the ones I barely know. I think I've missed lots of opportunities that way.
    • Jul 2 2011: Realize one point: New people you met don't know you.

      Your troubles about your next conversation or about the other speaker are only in your mind. The other don't know you, and you don't know the other thinking. You can start a conversation with any prejudged idea and see how it goes. Soon your troubles will start disappearing.
      Judge later if it was a good experience or not.
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      Jul 4 2011: Remigijus! Practice with people who you know care about you. Expand your world gradually and with decision. Start next with less important relationships and expand again. If you can speak to audiences many will find you fascinating one on one. Life is within reach!
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    Jul 1 2011: I am too afraid to pursue the things that I think would be best for me. With the constant pressure teenagers, and especially students, face every day, it's hard to do things that they want to do either for fun or even self-improvement.
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    Jul 1 2011: For me it's mostly logistics and people I wish I knew, and money I wish I had. I've come up with several cool ideas I later saw implemented by others who had what I didn't have: connections and capital. So, I file the ideas away, and continue dreaming. I have this idea that I'm on the planet for "bigger reasons" than what my reality really is, but even that's not an original thought. So it's not "fear" that stops me, it's frustration that to do some things I'd like to do takes way more resources than I have.
  • Jul 1 2011: Asking girls is one of the hardest things to do. I am not shy but the more i like a girl the more i clam up. I guess fear of rejection is strong.
  • Jul 1 2011: My fear is upon the success,Competition,Challenge.Daily i experience fear on many things.For example,today is my department paper semester exam and today morning around 4 i feared about passing in the examination and even though i read everything perfectly yesterday, but the revision that i did today morning made me satisfied about the preparation.I finally say that fear and compromising are not friends.If you compromise in the work you are preforming or going to perform then there rests no fear with you.If you don't compromise then fear starts in you.
    My final suggestion to success is "No compromise,No fear".
    Follow this principle and float in success.
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    Jun 30 2011: I'm afraid of having children. I don't know if I'd give them the neccessary guarantees to face up this world and the consequences that it'd bring for the planet.
    • Jul 1 2011: Children are a great burden but you are not supposed to guarantee their future. That is something they will have to do by themselves. All u need to do is make a home they can return to. Someplace solid. An anchor in their lives. If a kid doesn't have that he or she will not be able to spread their wings and reach for the skies.
      (I know by experience)
    • Jul 3 2011: Your mind trouble is beautiful. If you decide having children You will be a good mother.

      Neither of us knows the problems that future will face next generations, so you should focus on give them a good education, critic thinking and love.

      My best wishes
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    Jun 28 2011: Quit my financially lucrative job and devote my life to writing poetry and fine art, as well as serving other writers and fine artist with an online literary/art magazine. What is holding me back? A wife and three kids that need my income to help support our life style which is paycheck to paycheck middle class.
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    Jun 27 2011: i really REALLY want to join a commune, but its a huge decision and im not sure yet if i am ready to give up everything i have to do it.
  • Jun 26 2011: I would love to trust fully that my dream(-job) will come true and I will have a good life.
    But I have the fear of failure, and that I might end up in a worse position than if I had taken a safe path in life.
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      Jun 29 2011: I understand your sentiments.

      There was a time when my darkest fear was chasing my dream. It's wild and bizarre that the thing I loved most could incite such great terror, but I feared trying my best, giving it my all and finding, in the end, that I wasn't good enough. That despite my best efforts my dream would flop and I would come to nothing.

      I was, also, equally afraid of accepting this idea and picking up instead a mediocre, boring life which I knew I could succeed in.

      There is no real satisfaction here. This is not living.
      What was I, then, to live for?

      It was a crisis par none.
      Don't let me fool you, it still is in some ways and it's not easy.
      But here's what I've figured out and it's given me something real to live for:

      I no longer see success as a place to be, like standing atop a hard earned mountain. There is no such place. I see, instead, success as the thing that exists in trying. To endeavor persistently IS to succeed. It is never in the end result, for there is no such thing, but in the trials to reach an end you desire, that success is made.

      Put another way, the only way to truly meet failure is to stare down your dreams and tell yourself that you're too afraid to try. That, rather than shoot and miss, you convince yourself that shooting was never REALLY your thing...and so it goes, settling instead for mediocrity where discontent and dissatisfaction are often masked by this or some similar web of lame excuses.

      Staring down my demons rocked my to my core.

      For you, I say
      Dare yourself to face your darkest fears. Dare yourself to try.
      If you can do this, if you can attempt it everyday and for once feel the burn of your own honesty, then much truth, beauty, and wisdom are yours.

      While difficult, it may be the only life worth living
      and the only life that can truly be lived.
      We only get one shot, and I, for one, will die trying.
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        Jul 2 2011: man oh man this post is so amazing. Your redefinition of success is so very inspiring! Although I have that you tell us to take up the challenge of facing our fears, I cannot tell you how many times I've thought about giving up the standard path of going to medical school and pursue my love for dance. however, coming from Cameroon, Africa, we are told from a very young age that our lives are not our own and we do not to live only for ourselves. I was always reminded that there are many people who are counting on my success and failure is not an option. Pursuing the instability of dance is therefore not the ideal path for me because it does not guarantee the money and stability that I need to lift my people out of poverty. what's a girl to do?
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          Jul 4 2011: Very true and tough to answer!
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          Jul 12 2011: Dany,

          I believe that each of us has unique gifts and that success involves developing these gifts to improve our world. If we ignore our gifts, we may limit our success.

          Improving the world is best accomplished by helping others develop their gifts. This can be done in many ways. Sometimes we look for quick solutions to “fix” things by providing direct service. The road to bringing about lasting improvement is less clear, so we may feel we need to “sacrifice” in order to provide that service. While this may be true in a short-term crisis, to “sacrifice” one gifts over the long-term would see to me to be more of a disservice to our world since true success involves everyone developing their gifts.
        • Jul 18 2011: believe yourself !,and konw what you really want ,just do it!
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        Jul 13 2011: Michael wrote: " I see, instead, success as the thing that exists in trying."

        I’m not sure I agree with this statement. If we try doing something that persistently does not work, trying harder and longer is not necessarily helpful and can be harmful.

        I would define success as developing our potential to improve our world. Success requires understanding, compassion, empathy, and humility so that are efforts match the needs of changing situations we face.

        We don’t achieve success. We live success.
        • Jul 17 2011: Hi Bob, no disrespect intended! But I see in your words (and your picture) a person that spends a lot of time in the corporate world, living that life, and probably very successful and fairly well off. Your opinion of Michael's post is a "corporate think" opinion. Michael was describing how he has managed to overcome his fears, in his words, in his way. Bob, I feel you are actually coming across as very negative, because you are trying to redefine Micheal's post in your terms. You are trying to say that his words are invalid. You are trying to put his thoughts in your little corporate boxes. It doesn't work. All of us have widely varied lives, experiences and educations. Michael was trying to share how HE overcame HIS fears, and you are seemingly telling him that his words are not valid. If his words don't apply to you, perhaps you should just let them be. Your methods have clearly worked for YOU, but they don't necessarily work for others. Just my 2 cents.
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        Jul 17 2011: While reading Michael's post I couldn't help but think of my favorite Emily Dickinson poem:
        "Finite to fail, but infinite to venture for the ship that struts the shore. Many's the overwhelmed gallant creature nodding in navies nevermore"

        I think what you were saying really puts understanding in that poem. To predict you will fail or convince yourself to not go for your dreams halts the dream from ever coming true. Not trying is in itself failure or an end. But "infinite to venture" success is infinite. It keeps going as you keep trying. When you've ultimately reached your goal or dream you reap the benefits of your success forever. There is no end.
        • Jul 18 2011: agree with you!
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          Jul 19 2011: Thanks for sharing this verse, Malarie. It gave me a new perspective on trying. I tend to think of trying as pushing myself, which I have learned tends to narrow my focus and easily leads to frustration and burnout. "Venture" makes me think of "adventure" and changes the definition of trying to a sense of exploring - "try this" rather than "try harder."

          Failure can continue to loom large as we try harder but the chance of a final verdict of failure becomes much smaller if we venture forth and continue to explore our gifts and potential. A venture may have setbacks and course changes but it eludes failure with openness and hope.

          This brings to mind these lines from Emily Dickinson:

          Hope is the thing with feathers
          that perches on the soul
          and sings the song without the words
          and never stops at all
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        Jul 17 2011: Phil Brooks wrote: "Hi Bob, no disrespect intended! But I see in your words (and your picture) a person that spends a lot of time in the corporate world, living that life, and probably very successful and fairly well off."

        Thanks for the good laugh and feedback on my need to write more clearly, Phil. Actually I have spent the past 35 years working with disadvantaged people, earn considerably less than most professionals in my position and spent on third of my career working for a poverty program at very low (and, for a year, no) pay. I built my own house, heat with wood I cut, and grow much of my own food. I live simply, in a very rural area nowhere near any large corporations and have never worked for profit-making organization. The picture happens to be one of the few I have of myself and is a reject from those taken for a book cover. (I go years without wearing one of my three ties)

        I respect Michael's struggle to live his dream and agree with the thrust of his point that process is more important than outcome. I just wanted to share my belief that success is less a matter of trying harder than developing a clear sense of our potential and how it fits with the needs we see around us. Helping people to do that has been my life's work. "Success" to me is living with heart. This is less a process of “trying” than of letting go and realizing who we are, what we have to offer and how that fits the needs around us.
      • Jul 23 2011: wow.... you are too good in defining a sucess that convinced me after my 19 years of life...
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      Jul 13 2011: I am wary of dreams. Dreams are different from passion. Dreams tend to be precise and specific. Passion pulls us in a direction that has many unknowns. Choosing to pursue a dream is an either/or proposition. Choosing to follow a passion is more like deciding what to take with us on a journey, what to explore, be open to and cultivate when possible.

      We can foster the growth of our passions without directly pursuing a specific dream. This allows them to develop, mature, and adapt to our changing situation. Our passions become part of who we are rather than something we wish we could do.
  • Jun 26 2011: move away from my family and continue my education.

    take chances
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    Jun 26 2011: Not be afraid.
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      Jun 29 2011: Be careful how you consider this.

      As best I can tell, everyone is afraid.

      The key is to search yourself for courage, and this is something you can work at.
      Courage and fearlessness are not the same.
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    Jun 26 2011: Quit my job, buy a travel trailer and explore the country.
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    Jun 26 2011: Hello there Lydia! Fascinating question. There were moments in my life that I felt and thought that I feared nothing except of course of practical and rational fears of self-preservation as our fellow Tedsters noted. I had also so felt irrational fears like the fear of ghosts but today I'm just fascinated about it that I would rather probe it than run away.

    Today I practically don't fear anything because I believe I had put forth the principles that I think would guide me in my understanding and finding meaning in everything that I do. I am willing to understand any perspective and at the same time have a firm intuition of the underlying unity of our convictions and consequently our power to transform our world.
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    Jun 26 2011: I can often find it difficult to put forward an idea that may benefit the workplace (with more work for my self and my peers) in fear of how they may view me after it is implemented.
    Is this just me thinking that I am more willing to work harder than they are?
  • Jun 26 2011: The one thing i wish I could do is bungee jump (the feel of flying in the air)
    but too afraid due purely to fear of... maybe death?
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      Jun 26 2011: I am afraid of bungee jumping, because my first thought about bungee jumping is that it can cause cerebral hemorrhage. I'd love to skydive and I have been thinking about getting a tattoo for quite some time. But although I am a little scared of these two and I don't do them for reasons of pure rationality, I wouldn't say they are THE things I want to do in my life. I think the typical answers to such a question would be: leaving everything behind to launch a project that can change the world, going on a journey round the world, adopting a child from another continent etc. -- but for me, the biggest change would be to let go a little more. I became quite a disciplined person and sometimes, that hinders me to enjoy certain things a little more.
      • Jul 3 2011: Well said Simone.
        I know very interesting people who recommend doing things that scare you. I mean things like touching a big spider, bungee or things like that, and I think "well, is not about fear is about acting with caution". I consider skydive too for a while, but when i realized a fail becomes irreversible I didn't do it.
        Let myself go is very difficult to me. I tend to think about everything too much. It's not related about fear.
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        Jul 23 2011: Simone, I would have to agree that there is a difference between weighing risk and fear. I always asked my own kids to weigh the risks vs. the rewards. There is no harm in that. My wish to love again is tainted by experience and I don' really believe that is a valid basis for my reticence. so while I will not be bungying (my education tells me about cerebral hemorages too) I will be hoping to be courageous enough and fortunate enough to find the chance for love again.
  • Jun 26 2011: Nos décisions relatives aux choses que l'on doit faire ou que l'on ne devrait pas faire dépendent avant tout de la nature de ces choses (objectives ou subjectives)! si ces choix sont de l'ordre de l'objectif, leurs choix ressortissent du domaine du rationnel (de la raison , du droit et à des degrés moindres:de la morale et du bon sens). Dans le cas contraire(subjectif),ces choix relèvent du domaine du Subjectif , du sentimental (donc de processus relevant de la personnalité profonde :"subconsciente")!!! beaucoup plus compliqués...
    Vous avez raison de parler de peurs à différents niveaux: car en effet il y a plusieurs il y a aussi...l'angoisse!
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    Jun 26 2011: To migrate to another country.I'm still young though.Who knows what the future might be,right?