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Ask 100 makers what they want to do more of and the answer is always to ship more work. Ask them why they don’t, and the common response is fear.
It’s a common issue that all makers face. You face it when you release a new product or upload a new video. I’m facing it now with this essay. We all get scared when it comes to submitting our work to the public.
We fear we have nothing to say, that it has already been said by others and that everybody already knows and understands it. We’re scared of judgement from strangers, that people on reddit will think we’re stupid. That nobody will show up and read our work. We’re anxious that our English isn’t good enough.
All of these “what-ifs” run through our heads and stop us from posting. We get paralyzed by the “Upload” or “Post” button. We sit down and watch TV instead. Consume more content rather than produce it. That way we don’t have to face the fear.
You look at all the other makers out there and think they are better than you as they don’t have the fear of shipping. You see them writing blog posts, sending newsletters and shipping new products. They mustn’t face the same fear as you right?
They have just learned one secret.
The anxiety of shipping never goes away. It just affects you less the more you ship.
The rate at which we ship things is directly proportionate to the amount of anxiety we feel when shipping.
It’s a very catch-22 situation. You are scared to ship, but the only way to get over that fear is to ship; and to do it often. The reason why you see makers like Justin Jackson, Brennan Dunn and Paul Jarvis produce so much stuff is because they consistently press that “post” button and so they are less anxious each time.
With practice and consistency you too will reduce the fear. It won’t ever go away completely, but you will learn to live with it, and next time you hear the little voice in the back of your head telling you it’s not good enough.
Don’t listen to it.
Press the “post” button, ship your work, and reduce the fear for next time.