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Dealing with fear & failure

It’s been an interesting month being away from home the entire time, which turned out to be a great time for reflection. I don’t know about you but I always feel being on vacation gives me the reflective mindset I need to be able to contemplate on what I am doing and what’s holding me back.

This time around I pondered about my relationship with fear. My fear and I are always in battle, no matter what I am doing. Fear challenges my actions on a daily basis and I am constantly considering how much power I let it have on my day. When on vacation this battle results in me doing ‘adventurous stuff’ like climbing boulders and proving to myself I am not afraid of doing scary things. It’s a struggle.

Inspirational Art poster with spiritual quotes by Iris Alta Jönsthövel DEALING with Misplaced Fear and Failure.

When looking closer at my own fears these last few weeks I’ve come to realise most of them are misplaced and ruining my experiences. It made me wonder how super-successful people deal with (misplaced) fears and failure; and instead of being paralysed reach new heights of growth and innovation.

So I set out to examine two wildly impactful people living on our planet right now, climber Alex Honnold and business mogul Elon Musk, and analyze what they do differently in dealing with their fears. I have come up with four main lessons to learn from and I can honestly say they’ve already had a huge impact on the way I now deal with my fears.

The short version of these four lessons come down to this:

Free Solo Climber Alex Honnold has taught me to

  • Focus on one move at a time

  • When uncertain, move back two moves and find a different position

…and Elon Musk about

  • Reasoning from first principles to allocate misplaced fear

  • Treating the world like a lab and your life like an experiment session

For the longer version of why these four lessons can have such an impact on how to deal with our misplaced fears, I’ve created the video below. It’s my deep dive into the brains of these two highly electrifying personalities (in my opinion) and my attempt at explaining their way of thinking.

I hope this video serves you as well in bringing an end to your battle with fears and feelings of failure. I'm rooting for you!



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