What Are You Afraid Of?

Over the next 12 months I'll be sitting down with 12 different people and asking them all the same question, "What are you afraid of?"

Paul Jun, 04/06 - Comfort.

Paul is afraid of how easily we can fall into the trap of comfort, which leads to stagnation, then feeds the ego and kills creativity. He’s afraid that even being self-aware, he’ll realize his level of comfort too late—almost like dehydration. A creative mindset is about embracing a beginners mindset—the posture of a student. He shared that for the last year he lost sight of that, and instead chased rewards and praise. We talked a lot about a trip he took recently, where he reevaluated his goals, his habits, his priorities. On this trip he realized he had forgotten to be humble, to be hungry. We agreed that what matters most is constant growth, continuous evolution, and curiosity. 


Dan Rubin, 2/28/2018 - Torschlusspanik.

Dan answered with this - Torschlusspanik, a German word I’ve never heard before. It’s a combination of three words, and literally translated means “gate-shut-panic”. Today, it’s used metaphorically to describe the tick tock of a clock, biological or otherwise. Dan is afraid of opportunities passing by, windows closing, and time not feeling as everlasting as it once did. He shared that as he watches those around him grow older, the realization sinks in that he's growing older too, and he's afraid of running out of time. 


Camille Trust, 2/13/2018 - Commitment. 

The weight, and the impact of a commitment, a promise, scares Camille. I said hey, me too. We agreed that what’s frightening is change and commitment combined. Perspectives change, likes and dislikes change, and therefore commitments do too. Much of our conversation revolved around the ongoing search for things we want to be committed to, and how finding those people and places and things that you love creates a space where commitment is not only needed but desired. 


Brian Cason, 2/12/2018 - Disappointment. 

When I asked Brian what he was afraid of, he answered disappointment. Specifically, disappointing others. I prompted him to give a deeper description, and he shared that he's afraid of letting people down: people he loves, people he works with, anyone in his life. He told me that his fear brings along anxiety, but also offers him ambition and drive. This segued into dailogue about just how many fears have this characteristic, offering two sides to the same coin, and the chance to be constrained but also the opportunity to be inspired by your fear. 


Justin Aharoni, 1/30/2018 - A Life Not Lived. 

Justin answered with this - not living while alive. He's afraid of letting things get in the way of fully experiencing life, and the happiness + sadness + frustration + joy that it brings. This fear is his inspiration, the motivation behind how he spends his hours, his days, his time. Justin is the only human I’ve met who has more of a sweet tooth than me. Feel free to send him Oreos. 


Molly Tavoletti, 1/26/2018 - Failure. 

Molly defined failure as things left unachieved, goals not reached, success not had. For her, the fear of failure is the fear of not husting hard enough, and the fear of not realizing what you are truly capable of. She credits New York City with providing the motivation and the spark for her ambition. 


Red Gaskell, 1/10/2018 - Doubt & death. 

Red answered first with death, doubt followed. I asked why doubt, and he shared that he wasn't afraid of doubt exactly, but how it can get in the way. His fear of doubt stems from it's potential to stop him from pursuing his passions, his dreams; it's ability to undermine his ambitions and desires. His fear, broken down to it's core, is the fear of not realizing his potential, not achieving all that he wants to acheive in the limited time that he has.