The podcast about pushing past the fears that stop you from doing awesome things.
5. What if the grass isn’t greener on the other side?
Hey, I’m Kurt Sanders, and welcome to another epis
She gave me her number.And I called.“Ben, you need to get on Bumble,” my Manager said.I got a match.And I asked if we could speak on the phone.“Sure.”I called - and she declined it.And replied with, “Sup?”Call me old school, but I prefer voice over text.The truth is I tried all the dating apps.And they all failed me.It’s a best-selfie contest.With people advertising their Instagram and Snapchat.I don’t care if you can make the best duck face.Or own the cutest dog.I’ve realized these apps objectify men and women.I care about you as a person.Especially, your values.And selfies don’t translate to values.I may not be as active as some of my peers on these dating apps.But I’m sticking to my guns and building authentic relationships.I may have fewer dates.But at least don’t meet people off a few texts.If you’re doing anything important with your life -Your time is worth way more than that.As an entrepreneur, I know better.I don’t settle for what’s there.I chase what could be.
So that was a real LinkedIn post posted by a real human. I think. Look, I shouldn’t bag people out, Unfound Fears is a safe space. But that LinkedIn post, if you care, had an insane amount of positive comments and thousands upon thousands of that mystical currency with more value than Bitcoin right now, something known as likes. Yes, I gagged a little at these wise words. But on the whole they are adored, cheered and even aspired to. And I get it. Emotional content evokes in most of us a response. But these long, winding roads of keyboard wisdom bring something else with them. A face behind the words. A 40 Under 40 recipient, a serial business owner who you just know would have the word “hustle” tattooed to their fingers if only it contained 5 letters, one for each finger. Someone who has contributed to Forbes Magazine, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, NPR, Adweek, WeakAds, Woman’s Day, Beige Knitting Patterns Quarterly, you get the picture..
We see all these things and we react, be it with envy, jealousy, a snicker or boredom. Some worship at the altar of it.
In episode 1 I asked you guys to send in the thing you fear the most, but only using eight words to do it. I got some brilliant answers, some similar to my own and some that, well, may not be suitable to mention in this podcast. Let’s just say there are certain places you shouldn’t put a toy car. And thank you to firstname.lastname@example.org for sending that one in. Trolls are a vital part of the internet and I endorse them wholeheartedly.
But one in particular came from Carlie, who got in touch and shared a fear that is, for most people, fundamental in our decision making around taking risks, happiness and fulfillment. I’m going to use more than eight words to say it but Carlie’s fear was this:
What if i take a risk and the grass isn’t greener?
OK, that was totally too dramatic, but it’s so goddamn true. For so many of us it’s a killer. What if I go broke? What if I lose something precious to me? What if I fail so badly that my entire life falls apart? What if, what if, what if.
But it did get me thinking. What is it about the grass being greener that we’re so attached to? Is it as simple as suggesting things might be marginally worse or is it that things could get a lot worse? What is the level of greenness we’re willing to accept? How do we even judge the greenness of the grass? Why do we even care and what drives this fear?
So I started digging. It turns out the original fat man himself, Buddha, had a red-hot take on this that has probably graced a million Pinterest boards throughout history. Buddha, in between bites of a huge bowl of roghan josh no doubt, said that the key to happiness was pretty simple: learn to want what you have and not want what you don’t have.
Thanks Obama, I mean Buddha. Helpful stuff.
But does that really help us here at Unfound Fears? We’re not here to settle, we
4. What’s your Ikigai? (or why you should embrace life like a funeral director)
Have you ever heard of the Japanese term Ikigai?
So there’s this study that was done by National Geographic that shone a light on the people of Okinawa in Japan.
Okinawans lay claim to what I think is a pretty awesome statistic: on average, they live 7 years longer than people in the United States and about 4 years longer than us Aussies. Also, they have more 100-year-olds in their population than anywhere else in the world.
Is it their diet? Their living standards? Medical facilities? I’m sure they’re all a factor in some way. Even a bite of a hot dog off the streets of New York can chip a year off your life.
But there is another data point that creates an interesting correlation, if you you can indeed draw one. Okinawans are considered some of the happiest people in the world.
And the study from National Geographic attempts to correlate that happiness may be related to Okinawans uncanny ability to live a long life. And they say it has something to with the term ikigai. So what does it mean?
It roughly translates to “a reason for being” or “a reason for getting up in the morning”. Purpose. Satisfaction. Happiness. Fulfillment.
Pretty much all the things we here at Unfound Fears are trying to achieve through shunning fear, anxiety and stress. So is this it? Have we found our answer to an even longer and fulfilling life? Can I shut down the podcast now? Have we conquered death? Well before I do that, we probably need to talk about death in context. Or, more to the point, how death can help us put our fears into perspective.
3. Little victories: Why they can help your overthinky brain
Adrian is the co-founder and CEO of Pitchblak, a company that helps business founders prove their ideas, get funding and launch companies that disrupt things. And yes, it has proven chops. Glen Richards, of Shark Tank Australia and Green Cross fame, reckons it’s the best model for getting new ideas off the ground that he’s seen. And that’s big kudos. But what does any of this have to do with your Unfound Fears? Well, quite a bit. In episodes 1 and 2 we talked about what happens chemically to your body when you feel fear, and on a macro level, why the fears you feel about doing certain things are almost always worth it in the end.
But in Adrian’s work, he sees people experience tens, maybe hundreds of fear micro-moments a day. And that, he says, is a good thing. The right thing. Because what better way to overcome fears than in a bunch of small steps, rather than a massive leap.
So in Adrian’s experience, little victories and non-biased results are the things that help push your fears aside when you’re starting a business. And like the theme from the rather excellent 80s sitcom Step by Step suggests, it’s done in increments, not giant leaps. Some could say the giant leap is starting the business in the first place.
But the thing I like most about Adrian’s approach is this: it’s the non-biased results that create your little victories, not hype. That first order, that first investment in marketing, turning a customer complaint into a positive, launching your website, buying your domain, even hiring a virtual assistant - they’re all little steps that get fear off your back bit by bit. And, as Erin Hegarty said in episode 1, exposure is the best way to defeat the things that stress you out or produce anxiety. Doing them again and again in small steps makes them automatic.
2. That time you gave up a cash-money career to build rad headphones
Meet James Fielding, the founder and CEO of Audeara. One night in March 2017, the team from Audeara, a headphone startup company with a unique twist, was preparing for the biggest moment in the company’s short but highly watched, highly publicised and extremely buzzworthy existence.
Turning to Kickstarter for funding is often scoffed at, the success rates for large amounts of funding severe to look at. But not for Audeara. The company was ready. Its founders fortified by months of preparation. They’d done everything right - engaged marketers and public relations pros who knew how to make crowd-funding campaigns pop; their product was buzzworthy, yes, but more than that it was a thing of beauty to audiophiles, music lovers and to those whom the startup’s founders deemed to be the most deserving of the beauty that music and sound can deliver - people with hearing loss.
They were ready to hit go, ready to open the floodgates, ready to see this milestone come to life. And then, Kickstarter crashed.
1. What the hell is fear (and why your amygdala is a bit of a jerk)
Hey, I’m Kurt Sanders. When I put the thing that scares me most into just eight words, it comes out like this: I habitually fear things that haven’t even happened.
And I reckon it’s all too common that people make this their default setting. It’s so easy to tell yourself all the reasons why something won’t work instead of that big, lovely, wonderful reason as to why it will. And that’s why this podcast exists. Welcome to Unfound Fears.
I have a theory that our stresses and fears about doing things that make us fundamentally happier in life are mostly unfounded, or at worse a small price to pay to achieve true fulfilment. But, I’m also a journalist and marketer by trade, and am far from qualified to make the assumption. So I’m on a bit of a mission to find out more about fear, what makes it weigh heavy on us, why we allow it to stop us from doing things that could bring joy to our lives, and how people brush it aside to achieve big, money-making things and also the small, but potentially more crucial, emotional things.
So stay with me for the full episode because at the end I want to know what scares you most - but only in eight words.
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