Writer | Marketer | Creative

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Why It's So Frightening to Work Hard


A few days ago, I was the only one left in our office. My 4 o'clock coffee had just kicked in. It was the perfect situation for creating something fantastic. Thankfully, that's exactly what happened!

Everything was connecting just so. I ended up with a finished product that I've got high hopes for! I made something I felt was very solid, and crafted a plan to make it spread like wildfire. I was really excited about this piece! Then I started thinking.

To set this up right, to put all the pieces in place for this fire to spread, there's a lot of steps that need to go well. There's a lot of preparation that needs to go into this. It's not that I can't do it. But what if it's all a waste? What if this firework fizzles out before it has a chance to light up the sky?

Working hard can be really frightening! The more effort you put into something, the more you have to lose. The higher you try to climb, the farther you could fall. The harder you work, the bigger your failure could be. But everyone knows this. The scary part is what happens if everything goes well, and you actually succeed!

If you don't do anything amazingly, then any growth you have will only be gradual. But if you're continually working your tail off, putting in the extra effort to make something big happen, eventually something big is going to happen!

This sounds great, right? A real motivational piece. It is great! But there's a caveat. Instant success like what's depicted here, should any of us be so lucky to experience it, comes with instant pressure. If you do nothing monumental, no one looks at you. The moment you do something big, you're a public figure living up to the expectations of your followers!

I was thinking about all this on my way home from the office that evening. What if I actually do something right? Sure, it would be huge for us, and for me by association. But then I have a standard to live up to! What if I can't live up to the standard I set for myself?

The idea causes me to hesitate, to think about doing less just to avoid the potential fiasco. Fear is often irrational. There's no reason whatsoever to not work hard, in everything you do. But this situation and this thought process is not unique to me. Countless people go through this very same thought process! Many buckle under the perceived pressure.

I know many of you can relate to this, and so I believe the response I'm giving myself could be helpful for you as well. It's simple, but I find it encouraging.

You've got to keep doing the right thing, despite what fears and apprehensions you might have. If you know you need to "get over it" for the betterment of your team and yourself, then by all means get over it!

Keep working as hard as you can. Keep making all the right moves. Keep putting in extra. Keep crafting the best work you can. If you're afraid of failing, or even succeeding, that's okay!

The worst that can happen is you let a few people down while genuinely trying your best. That's admirable! The best case is that you forever change your life and the lives of those around you by stepping up precisely when you need to.