Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

When You Don’t Know What to Do

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Life is full of uncertainty. Risk is a part of every choice. The threat of failure looms around every corner. If you’re not careful, these hazards can stop you. You can get stuck before you start, not knowing what to do.

So what do you do when this happens, when fear assails you? Do you stand still or start moving? Do you hedge your bets or go “all in”?

Cliff Diving Photo

Photo credit: John O'Nolan (Creative Commons)

The struggle

As a writer, I face this decision every day. Do I wait for perfection? Or do I decide to publish? Do I stall or ship?

When trying to make these choices, my mind goes through the following process:

  • What if I fail?
  • What if this sucks?
  • What if no one cares?

These fears can lock me dead in my tracks. I can think myself into a hole and before too soon, I’m stuck, immobile.

The way out is painful, but necessary.

The process

How do you act when the promise of failure seems so real? The main trick, I’ve found, is confidence. When you aren’t sure what to do, be sure of what you’re doing.

How do you do that? Here are three steps to making bold decisions when you don’t have all the information:

  1. Just pick something. Be honest. Very few choices in life are make-or-break decisions. Hard to believe, but sometimes there is no wrong choice. You just need to do something.
  2. Move forward. Don’t get stuck in self-doubt or feeling sorry for yourself. The best way to beat indecision is to build momentum. No hesitation, just motion. Move.
  3. Accept the consequences. If you fail, own it and move on. There’s nothing productive about wallowing in self-pity. Don’t be burdened by regret. Fail forward. Learn from your mistakes. And move on to the next choice.

The more decisions you make, the less scary deciding becomes. Turns out the fear part is entirely up to you.

The choice

The reason you don’t know what to do is you haven’t learned how to act. Once you start getting things done, the doing isn’t as hard as it once was. In fact, it becomes habitual. You may even enjoy it.

There’s a “snowball” effect that happens here: once you start moving, it gets easier. Doing begets more doing. You stop seeing life as a series of danger signs and instead view it as a canvas.

So go. Create something beautiful. Start deciding.

Challenge: Share one brave choice — big or small — you’re going to make today. Leave your answer in the comments.

*Photo credit: John O’Nolan (Creative Commons)

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About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • http://christyfarmer.wordpress.com/ Christy Farmer

    This is a wonderful post, Jeff! One that I think every writer should read. 

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    I face this often. I write blog posts. I have several to choose to publish and will stall wondering if anyone will care. What I have found is that is that most of my readers are gracious because they either do the same thing or they like the fact that I at least “put it out there.”
    I get paralyzed sometimes by not knowing what to do next. But somehow I keep pushing. Now I am the point of wanting to take your advice and write some sort of manifesto or e book to give away. That’s what I will start today

  • mechelle luster

    This is crazy. I was just saying to myself this morning that I needed to make some choices soon. Thanks for the confirmation.

  • Laura McClellan

    I will choose a topic for my next blog post and write the thing despite the fear that nobody’s reading it and nobody will care.

    • Marilynluinstra

      Hi Laura

      Hi Laura!

      Your comment
      makes me laugh in a I-get-you kind of
      camaraderie.

      I am a newbie,
      oh yes, and it is fun/scary to write out my process, my feelings and the risks
      I am taking.

      The difference between you and me is that I feel less fear and more boldness with the absence of a readership. And this is just the way I like it–for now.

      Hey why don’t you put your blog address in here and I will read your post for today?

      Marilyn Luinstra

      I am at, itssupposedtobehard.blogspot.com. But, I am moving. I am taking Jeff’s blogging course and he recommends WordPress so I am unpacking my boxes there under the name, thisisslavery.wordpress.com soon it’ll be just This Is Slavery.com I’m in the process.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Good encouragement. I don’t know if it was Seth Godin or Jeff or Jeff quoting Seth (or someone else entirely) but he noted the fact that it’s good to have no real following in those early writing days. It’s like your first baby steps, when you fall, it’s not so far (and we all fall).

        With no audience, you have time to develop your focus and your voice. You’re locked into nothing so you’re free to do anything.

        So why not just write a journal?

        Because writing a blog develops your public voice. It also gives you deadlines (although you can miss them, but I recommend taking them seriously–editors do, publishers do, so why not be like them).

        The other thing is writing a blog helps you learn how many articles to post and how often (I’m a consistent 2-articles a week; others write more or less).

        I’ve blogged for almost a full year now and I look at that first step last spring as one I’m glad I took. I wish you well in your writing journey. God bless and good writing–Tom

        • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

          I think I got that from Acuff.

        • http://twitter.com/EditorJamieC Jamie Clarke Chavez

          I am often surprised—and Tom, I know you check in with me, so maybe you have noticed this—to see more comments on the posts I thought were my weakest. But I am still in the “I don’t have far to fall” stage. (Jeff, THAT actually is a song by Skip Ewing—fairly obscure as a recording artist but well known songwriter—and I wonder if that’s what you’re thinking of! Hahahah.)

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

             Jamie, I think I’m more surprised when I’m the first to comment on an article that I read and feel makes a strong or thought-provoking point. Of course apparent silence doesn’t mean we’re not out there thinking about a well-written piece. And I read your posts because I connect with a lot of what you write and I often learn something helpful. You lead me into novel experiences. ;-)

      • Anonymous

        Loved Jeff’s lessons! They were SUPER helpful! 

  • Ariane Trelaun

    Wow, clearly this is a message I need to read this morning since it’s hitting me on two channels: first, in Peter Bregman’s book 18 Minutes, opened this morning to the next chapter, “What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do,” and now your blog, “When You Don’t Know What To Do”!  I’m all ears now.  And committed to keep on doing, doing what I’m doing, creating something beautiful every single day on my blog http://www.theforceexpansive.com, avoiding perfectionism, no matter who reads, no matter who doesn’t.

    Thanks so much!

  • http://marcellapurnama.wordpress.com/ Marcella Purnama

    I just got the “nicest” feedback ever (read: a very negative feedback) from my tutor on my writing, and guess I think that I have failed (oh, I’m a journalism student). It does make me wonder if I’m good enough to become a writer, or do I actually have the talent to pursue this kind of career.but you’ll never know until you try.

    • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

      Pressfield said it and it’s true- “You are a writer when you say you are. ” Whether or not you get paid for your writing is dependent on how stubborn you are and how much you want to devote yourself to it.  

      I think you can’t bet the whole farm on feedback from one person either. I just received some really positive feedback on something I did from a group of people. My opinion of it was the work was really, really rough at best.  What if the first person I sent the work to said it was terrible? I would have probably believed it. The less I listen to the voices in my head, the better I usually do :)

      I can’t remember who said it, (could have even been Jeff) but “there is no such thing as writing, it is all rewriting.” 

      • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com/ Melody Harrison Hanson

        wisdom speaking.

        • http://unknownjim.com/ Jim Woods

          Thanks Melody, I really appreciate it. That’s so nice of you to say. I sincerely feel like I’m just learning all of this myself. 

  • Argee

    I will simply write. I will not aim for perfection :) 

  • Allenhmarsh

    I have to have a difficult conversation today that could shape the future success of my job. This must be done, but there is a lot riding on it. Makes me nervous for sure, but there is only one way to make sure it is a success. That way: have the conversation! Without it failure is certain.

  • http://donkily.com/ Scott Reyes

    I just read “Decision Making And the Will of God” and it got me thinking hard about this. We get to choose our decisions, not the outcomes. It is freeing.

  • http://www.learnexploreshare.com/ Heather Koshiol

    My brave choice was hitting Publish for today’s blog post 30 seconds ago; my heart is pounding. Thank you for this post. It’s exactly what I needed to hear this morning!

  • http://www.christtribe.com/ Bob Holmes

    You can’t direct a parked car.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       mmm hmmm. so right.

  • http://www.chadgibbs.com Chad Gibbs

    “just pick something”  Love it Jeff.  I feel like I’ve maybe made three important decisions in my life.  And maybe my nonchalance towards almost every decision has got me in trouble once or twice, but I wouldn’t trade it for paralyzing indecision.  

  • http://www.bethszimmerman.com/ Beth Zimmerman

    I chose to embrace a challenge to be vulnerable in my writing today and wrote about being 17 … http://www.lookingfortigger.com/2012/03/13/at-17/

  • http://sarasmusings.wordpress.com/ Sara’s Musings

    I’m going to look for a new place to live which isn’t easy when I’ve been unemployed for almost three years, have no income, and not a whole lot of money.

    • http://sarasmusings.wordpress.com/ Sara’s Musings

      I forgot to mention . . . I’m in the middle of yet another blog post so I plan to finish it.

  • http://twitter.com/Milw_Mac_Guy Jeff Johnson

    Easier said than done…but I always liked what Herman Melville wrote: 
    It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. 

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/ Ryan Hanley

    Jeff,

    Really great stuff.  One thing that I have found when stuck with the “What do I write about” or ” Is this important or powerful” questions… Is this.  JUST PUBLISH IT!

    Even if what you wrote STINKS the feedback or the non-feedback will be a good lesson.  We’re going to produce crap content now and again.  Understanding how to learn and deal with that is just as important as learning to be successful!

    Thanks!

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

    Jeff, this ranks up there as one of my favorite posts from you.     I’ve been working on an ebook (ironically it’s about failure) and after reading your words earlier today I opened it up and moved forward.  I might discover that I “failed forward” but at least I can say I was moving and not standing still.  Thank you. 

  • http://mindfullyhealing.com/ Kim

    I will *try* to write about what’s going on today, even though it will be hard.  

    I loved your three steps…something I can apply in ALL areas of my life, not just writing.

    And I LOVE “fail forward”.  I’m hanging on to that today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd400 Todd Smith

    I really liked that thought of , “just pick something, there is not always a wrong choice.  Thanks for sharing.

    Todd Smith
    lifeatlivinghope.blogspot.com

  • Rich Epiphany

    i have taken on a project in a field I have never worked in before and I am nit scared of it anymore:)

  • Anonymous

    The funny thing is, this completely inspired me in a personal issue in addition to a creative one.  So, my brave choice for today is to continue to reach out to someone and not let the what if’s keep me frozen.  Thanks so much-this post is timely, to say the least. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s awesome Lyssah.

  • Brooke McGillivray

    I need to have a difficult conversation with a family member.  I can do it.  Beyond that I just need to sit myself down today and write!

  • http://godtreasure.blogspot.com/ Dorci

    I made my brave choice yesterday.  It was scary as heck, but I did it.  Months ago I had the chance to join a group of women who all take turns posting for a devotional blog.   I’d been putting it off for various reasons, but one is that it was scary.  I was writing my latest post for my own blog when I felt God prompt me to post it on the other one instead.  One that has a much higher readership than I’m used to.  My first thought was, no, I can’t do that to them.  Insecurity oozed.  But I did it. I didn’t die and no one laughed me off the blogosphere. I did it, and so far I’ve gotten a couple of very nice comments.  But the main thing is…I did it! 

    • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

      I love this, Dorci.  Crazy how the fearful “what ifs” end of being so much worse than the reality.  

      • http://godtreasure.blogspot.com/ Dorci

        So true!

    • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com/ Melody Harrison Hanson

      What’s the devo blog?  I’d like to read it. 

      • http://godtreasure.blogspot.com/ Dorci

        That’s so nice, Melody.  Thanks.  It’s innerfulfillment.wordpress.com. 

  • http://logicandimagination.wordpress.com/ Melody Harrison Hanson


    The reason you don’t know what to do is you haven’t learned how to act. Once you start getting things done, the doing isn’t as hard as it once was. In fact, it becomes habitual.”  

    Brilliant in it’s simplicity, thank you.

  • Meg R

    Bite the bullet and be brave.  That’s exactly what I had to do this morning.  I was notified that I had to have a report in by the next couple of days.  What??!  When they knew 3 months ago what the next date would be, why leave me hanging out to dry like that?  I was going to ask for an extension to see if maybe it make my point, but instead I just wrote the thing and sent it.  It is honest.  It was confident.  If it comes back to bite me, I guess I’ll own it.  But, that’s not today, so I’ll leave that as a future worry.  I have plenty of others for now.

    Thanks for your timely post,

    Meg

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Two images come to mind when you talk about the importance of taking action.

    When Dave Ramsey talks about getting out of debt, he says to start with your smallest debt and pay that off first. Why? Because you gain momentum through acting in a small way which leads to acting in a bigger way.

    I also think of a football team with a new defensive coordinator (I’ve coached defense so I notice that side of the ball more). Early on the players act but in choppy ways. They don’t quite get the concept but they do it anyway. As the season progresses and the system gels, the defense gains confidence and reacts quickly. Why? Because head knowledge has been practiced and acted on enough to become instinctive.

    Small victories encourage larger risks. That first published article in the local newspaper. That decision to post for the first time. That first chapter of a novel. All those small steps, when taken, lead to momentum which leads to a whole novel, movie rights, a 6-figure advance … Oops, got a little carried away there.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    The question of “What if no one cares?” haunts me. It is based in a paradigm where I find my significance in other’s reactions to what I do. Sadly, the reaction I seek, if it occurs, lasts only a moment. It is only temporary. If instead I ask “What if I don’t do this work?” then the paradigm shifts. I can focus on creating something that matters. 

  • Anonymous

    I am going to choose not to stress out about job hunting and just focus on getting home in May. One day at a time. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Excellent

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    My favorite example that I always use when talking about this process with people is the idea of standing in two different spots in the same room.When you take a step forward, the view changes. You’ll see things you didn’t see before.  You make lots of little bets, fail, discard the things that don’t serve you and keep charging.  We’ve been shipping like crazy for BlogcastFM in the last few weeks. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Love that analogy.

  • Amelia B

    This is exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks Jeff!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Great!

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    I hear that song “Moving Forward” in my head as I read this, and I am excited. Jeff, you have no idea how many times I read this blog and get confirmation about exactly what I need to be doing next. Awesome does not begin to describe the way I feel about this blog and you right now. 

    Now… what is the “brave” thing I am doing? I am becoming more disciplined. Not just to write everyday. That is a joy, and like breathing for me, necessary. I am disciplining myself to get up off my butt and do the dishes, wash the laundry, call the friends I haven’t called in a while, make my kids do their chores, weed the garden, do all the little things we put off when we get in “the zone”.  Want to know why? 

    Because I figured out that I can’t get “launched” into the next thing until my launch “pad” is clean.  This is a hinge issue for me, I believe the next step depends on my faithfulness to follow through here. 

    So I am being brave as I leave the Land of Lazy and move forward into the Land of Gumption! Here goes everything!  :D

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Perfect. And thank you.

  • http://autumnthewriter.wordpress.com/ Autumnroseimages

    I am going to share my short story I do not like at all (and I think is weak writing) at my writing group tonight. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Awesome

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Can our families move to Hawaii next year count? Great post Jeff.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Yep

  • http://charmaineyip.wordpress.com/ Charmaine

    I think fear pushed me forward, so I can relate. It was fear that made me do something else so I can be occupied and more productive – therefore, I have done so much more since.

  • Kksine

    I love this
    What if I fail?
    What if this sucks?
    What if no one cares?I just started blogging recently and I thought I was the only one who thinks this way before hitting the publish button. I am glad I am not alone. 

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I think we all do.

  • http://the-beginning-writer.blogspot.com/ Kelly Leiter

    This is a great post! Just what I needed to hear right now. Thank you!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Thanks Kelly!

  • Bonnie

    Have you been following me around today! I just told someone that I’m experiencing the other four-letter “F” word that transcends all others–F-E-A-R! Decisions are hard sometimes. Jumping in has its consequences, but so does not remaining in the status quo.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Yep! ;-)

  • Laura

    I am a shameless introvert, thus large crowds of people make me cringe. Instead of sticking to the walls today at a conference, I challenged myself to introduce myself to three people. (Surprise! I didn’t die. Amazing, that.) The reward was that I met three wonderful people who were just as in their own worlds as I was – two of them writers with whom I may collaborate in the future. Taking risks pays off sometimes. Thanks for the bravery boost.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Very brave.

  • http://rebootingworship.com/ Jamie Kocur

    “Fail forward.” Love it. 

    I actually already did my brave step today. In addition to writing and blogging, I’ve been working on songwriting. I finished a song a few weeks ago, and recorded a rough copy on my phone. About an hour ago I uploaded it to Youtube so I can share it on my blog on Thursday. I wanted to keep the Youtube settings private and only available to those who had the link, but I stepped out on the limb a bit and set it as public. Yikes.

  • Stacy

    I am going to upload my first post on my brand new blog. I’ve edited and re-edited enough. Feels like you were reading my mind. Thanks for this post!  I’ll be “moving forward” at http://www.blueskyobedience.com

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Excellent.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this post, Jeff. I needed that especially this week. As a newbie writer, the  fear of failure often slithers at the fringes of my mind. Yes, it immobilizes me, causing me to procrastinate and focus on other activities to keep my mind off writing. The question of not being good enough often surfaces when validation for my work is slow. But I realized that writing is like breathing and I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else. Validated or not,  it should not stop me from writing and still move forward.  Thanks for the boost, I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this struggle.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    It’s a little late for me to do something brave today but I loved your blog post. I think taking action is one of the best things you can do. Even if it doesn’t pan out the way you would like it to.

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    Thanks for this today, Jeff.
    It really hit home.

    Is it better to have written a blog post and have no comments, or not have written one at all?

    Personally, showing up always feels like the better choice to have made.

  • Rebeccashirey

    I choose to publish my first blog post. I’ve written several, but haven’t published any.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       love this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=567383372 Jher Triñona

    You don’t know how much comfort this post has given me. Thank you.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       you’re welcome.

  • http://paperplatestudio.com/ Tracykpratt

    It’s funny – odd – how fear has so paralyzed me after a freeflow of writing and drawing in journals and creating for a purpose, such as a gift for a friend, a script for an Easter or Christmas production. Last year I took a course with Tara Gentile (Scoutie Girl), the Art of Action. Through that I realized my creativity has always taken some form of being picked like a mentioned above – even my journaling. Now it is time to vounteer. The paralysis is consuming. Grateful to find your site, Jeff. I have a website on wordpress paperplatestudio.com  that I will use to “Go. Live. And write about that.” (from one of your posts). My first post “Showing Up”

  • http://paperplatestudio.com/ Tracykpratt

    It’s funny – odd – how fear has so paralyzed me after a freeflow of writing and drawing in journals and creating for a purpose, such as a gift for a friend, a script for an Easter or Christmas production. Last year I took a course with Tara Gentile (Scoutie Girl), the Art of Action. Through that I realized my creativity has always taken some form of being picked like a mentioned above – even my journaling. Now it is time to vounteer. The paralysis is consuming. Grateful to find your site, Jeff. I have a website on wordpress paperplatestudio.com  that I will use to “Go. Live. And write about that.” (from one of your posts). My first post “Showing Up”

  • Pat Wooldridge

    As part of Jeff’s Intentional Blogging course, I’m preparing to set up a new blog site and move from my current blogspot location.  I surprised myself with my  ‘write something dangerous’ topic, which is in first draft stage because huge enthusiasm caused a more ‘dangerous’  :)) , way too long, piece, and I scared myself, which doesn’t take much.   Before I post, I want my new blog site ready to go.  To me, that is very high-tech and beyond challenging, but I’ll get there soon.

  • Divenita Er

     :) I will write the story that  is hidden!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       love it!

  • http://bit.ly/wQ99IO Mike

    I needed to read this today! I definitely have been struggling with doing something as opposed to letting fear consume me. You definitely wrote some encouragement for me that I needed to experience today!

  • Anonymous

    I like number 1 especially. I was caught in trying to do the perfect thing all the time, but now I see that’s just a myth. Be free!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

       amen.

  • http://itsakoolife.wordpress.com/ rebecca koo

    So, it took me a day longer than I planned, but I celebrated my readers on my blog today. It felt a little cheesy, and I am not a super-big fan of cheesy, but I went for it anyway. I was excited about the new feature of WordPress showing the different countries blogs are accessed in and I wanted to thank my readers for taking time for me. So I did it. 

    Usually I am deep and soul-ful on my blog, but this one was light hearted and fun, so I also was practicing that different style-thing you mentioned a few days ago. I was giving it a shot, anyway. 

    And I have been going through the questions you ask on finding your voice. Very challenging and extremely clarifying. Thank you for all of your help!

  • http://granbee.wordpress.com/ Rose Byrd

    One foot in front of the other!  Mimic the centipede:  one micocentimeter at a time!  The turtoise won the race, not the hare!  Your wonderfully instructive post put all of these images in my mind–good going, Jeff!

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jeff, I appreciate your words very much today! 

    I’m a Methodist preacher in the process of stepping away from active pastoring  and being a “civilian” for a season to have more time to work on some family concerns.  This is one heck of a jump… and I’m still mid-air!  

    I really like your description of life as a canvas instead of a series of danger signs.  It took me many years to overcome my danger-sign paralysis – and now I am having to help my wife through the same process.  Quite a challenge.

    You’ve blessed me much. Blessings in the same measure to you!

    Russ

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000327340450 Allyson Garland

    I’m going to start moving! Not just sitting here everytime.

  • http://geraldthewriter.com/ Geraldallenbarrett

    I am committing, starting today to replace the statement: “I like to write” with “I am a writer”

  • http://www.frymonkeys.com Alan Kay

    Making decisions to do something in the face of uncertainty is a great capability for humans. It’s especially true for organizations. I wish I could remember who said it, but a Scottish mountain climber put it this way, ‘Once you make a decision and a commitment all kinds of possibilities open up…’.

  • Marcella

    one brave thing that i did today… i finished my 16 pages short story of how i first met my bf, and as today is our first anniversary, i managed to send the story to him despite how nervous i am, thinking of his reaction… but i did glad i hit that send button :)

  • Maggie S.

    “Stop seeing life as a series of danger signs.” — thanks for that.  It will be repeating in my head for a long time.

  • http://twitter.com/asadul30 Asadul

    So nice!

    Get The Florida Standard

    This is a wonderful online magazine.

    http://www.thefloridastandard.com

  • Technicolorpanda

    Hi there! You have a really great article here, but have you ever felt like no matter how many articles you read and no matter how many knowledges you’ve acquired, you still can’t change? I would appreciate any advice that could get me through this

    Cheers

  • Sandip joshi

    Thanks
    this the only word i have for you right no.
    i really got such motivation to do something.
    previously i was feared but now i am not
     

  • http://twitter.com/Prathiiiii Prathipa

    Wonderful post Jeff! I m in need of this post like a person dying of thirst …finally found water! Gracias! :)

  • Sherry Siska

    Fear of failure or fear of success?  Really, it doesn’t matter, it’s still fear and I let it hold be back for YEARS. NO MORE!  This is my emancipation from fear declaration.  My job is to write it, make it the best it can be, put it out there, and let go.  Wow, though, is that ever hard to do!  Thanks for the continuous reminders.  

  • Iramana1

    Is a very beautiful text. Thank you, sir

  • Nestor

    Thank you! For doing what you do, pushing with out regret i have always been pretty confident. But every now an then you need to be reminded about life. You win some and then you try. The hardest part is find what you like to do. And even if you doing what you like u need to be reminded about the joy it brings you. Failure is the definition o doing nothing success is for those who think something most be different and keep trying. Once again thank you. Tomorrow I’m gonna start again building, thank you for inspiring others

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re welcome, Nestor!

  • movin

    Now that’s a blog post

  • Heidi

    I don’t know what to do, so I do nothing. I lost my job, my husband, my kids… Because I am sick. I have awful pain in my head, insomnia, short-term memory issues, severe weakness – especially in my face that makes it hard to open my eyes or speak, trouble chewing and swallowing, and now after failing to fix any of thar – I am in a severe state of depression. I depleted my savings attempting to find a diagnosis. Nothing…I don’t qualify for government assistance, am on the verge of being homeless. I lost my career of over 15 years that I enjoyed. Everything that meant anything to me is gone – nobody cares, my “friends” evacuated, I can’t do most things without help – so not much gets done since I have no real help. Yeah… At the point that I don’t know what to do. Can’t find anything on the web that may help.

  • wonderlense

    I moved to the Czech Republic on a irrational whim after a bad break up with a boyfriend. Regardless of advice to go to grad school for international relations in America, I deiced to study in a random country (Czech Republic). You’re right, I was not completely sure of this move, but I JUST DID SOMETHING. So many beautiful things have happened here, I made many Russian friends, traveled to remote villages and am now involved in various United Nation’s Academies. I failed I failed I failed, and this failure lead to something beautiful (Failed forward). I’m not sure if employers or the government in America will recognize my new ING. title with a post-soviet maters degree, but it was worth every moment.

  • Ajinkya Soitkar

    I’ve left my job just to travel in and around India. That is one decision that I’ve taken which is giving me goosebumps. :)

  • http://proeditingservices.ca/ Rhonda Kronyk

    I am developing a program to help disadvantaged youth succeed in university. It’s scary, it’s a financial risk, and I am all kinds of excited. The concept of failing forward is taking hold – probably because it is so useful. It gives us permission to take risks, as long as we learn from them.

    Great post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dinh.honghao Hao Hong Dinh

    Wow there’re 101 comments already. Mine would be 102 so no wonder it wouldn’t be read.

    Hi, I’m from Vietnam. I just want to share my excitment of stepping out the border for the first time in my life last April 29, 2013. And I made it alone. It’s absolutely a blast! Even though that’s just a 6-day trip flowing quickly through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos but means a lot to me for some reasons:

    1, Travelling abroad is not popular in Vietnam, especially with backpack style.
    2, Travelling alone is a terrible idea. If my family knew I went abroad + alone, they’d block me forever. One VN-ese guy even commented on facebook “Then I’m not sure if you’re still in virgin after all” – that hurts me somehow.
    3, Since I shared my dream of travelling around the world, everybody thought me insane, especially my family.
    4, I use completely couchsurfing to find a place to crash instead of guest house. It’d be awesome to meet new friends and locals!!!

    That’s just a small jump but promise a certain change in the future. I do have a dream and it might come true. Yay!!! :)

    Thank you for great article, Jeff.

    • Divya Jyoti

      Hey Hao!!
      I must say its a good start to your dream!! I come from India so I can understand that why it is this big a deal!! Do not worry about what others think, It’s your life. Either you’ll cherish these moments or you’ll learn from these experiences. So its win win both ways. Keep u the high spirits!!

  • http://twitter.com/Patricia_Mojito Patricia Storbeck

    The brave choice I made two days ago was to sail across the Golfe de Lion and not around, which would have taken days. The weather was perfect, we motor-sailed in 30 hours from Barcelona to France. We certainly felt brave and very relieved having navigated to most treacherous area of the Mediterranean safely.

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