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031: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Scared

Lessons I’ve learned from 100s of people living ‘the dream’

Howdy folks,

Last week I got to be a dog sitter. Vaidile and I got to look after 3 super cute doggos while staying in a friend's villa while she was away for a religious ceremony.

I had such a nice time and got to experience what it would be like to have a few dogs while living in a villa in Bali. I even created a silly little video here about it.

But a thought came to me a few days after we got back home.

I've met so many people who seem to be "living the dream". People who have built their own luxury villas, online businesses, who are in incredible shape while living on tropical islands or megacities.

I've met millionaires, health coaches, YouTubers, agency owners, start up founders and surfers who've made £100,000s working a few months a year.

How do these people do it? Is it some magical gift? Is it a supreme confidence that they're able to do this? Do they even get feelings of fear, doubt and insecurities?

This is where today's thoughts came about. It's all about not being afraid to be scared and why I think this is the key to success.

Let's get into it, shall we?

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If you want to see the villa & cute doggos I got to doggy sit

here's me talking about today's topic live on YouTube

What does it take to get the most out of life?

If you did a poll you’d probably get a range of answers.

Hard work, discipline, luck, motivation, habits, growing up in a wealthy family, where you were born, the education you were given.

All of these play their own part in what makes you uniquely you. But one area that is not talked about enough is the fear, stress and anxiety that comes along the journey with us.

I feel like these emotions and feelings have got a bad reputation over the years. So today I’d like to share with you an idea of why being scared, fearful and a tad anxious is okay.

In fact, I’d say it’s essential if you want to get the most out of life.

The fear paradox

Hands up if you have felt some fear over the past few years?

I’m pretty sure every single one of us has felt like that at some point.

But that’s normal, isn’t it? It’s been a wild ride we’ve all been on. A roller coaster none of us signed up to.

Like a roller coaster we got dropped into a world we have never experienced before. The twisted feelings in the stomach the anxiety in the chest. You wouldn’t question it if that was a roller coaster. You’d be like - "did you see that vertical drop?!"

So these feelings are normal. It’s our mind and body's way of coping with the situations. (No I’m not going to comment that this is normal or undermine the intensity and severity of these feelings.) it’s just that it’s a normal sensation. (Let’s all agree it was a bit too much for all of us and move on to the next point)

If fear, stress, and anxiety are all part of the human experience. How can we use it to our advantage and not let it trap us?

The answer comes from not being afraid to be scared.

We all get these feelings. But what I’ve seen from the 100s of people I’ve met working and travelling around the world.

The people who are ‘living the dream life’ didn’t get there by pure motivation, confidence, hard work, being from a certain country, being handed money etc. (Not that these things didn’t come into play)

But often it was people who overcame the odds and made things happen despite the tough conditions they were coming from.

No matter the reason it never came from a place where they felt 100% great, happy and joyful.

The motivation came from dissatisfaction, a fear an anxiety. Often it came from a breaking point. A place where they would go “I just couldn’t live like that anymore”

Making a leap into the known comes with uneasy feelings. You need a lot of character to step into that space. But this is what I feel like every single person I’ve met has done.

They stepped into something new, even though they were afraid.

I’ve found some success in life, a lot more failures. But the common theme behind everything that has gone ‘right’ in my life was a result of something that felt ‘wrong’.

  1. it took me a month to build up the courage to talk to my girlfriend Vaidile. But overcoming the fear and go talk to her for the 1st time was the start of our story that has now been 5 years together.
  2. I was terrified of listing my 1st product online to sell. I was imagining all the things that could go wrong. But it’s now been over 7 years and 100,000+ products sold and counting.
  3. I landed in Thailand with no job, home, no friends & stayed in a hostel. I was terrified. But that was day 1 of my digital nomad journey 7 years ago.

I don’t believe that getting the most out of life comes from chance. It isn’t from natural born gifts, talents, erk ethics, countries or race.

I’ve met too many people from all walks of life who challenge that idea. All ages, circumstances and backgrounds.

But if there’s 1 common theme it is that it was scary. These people are the ones that still went ahead even though they were afraid.

So don't be afraid to be scared.

The worst place in the world

I genuinely believe the worst place you can be in life. Is in a place where you’re unhappy but not unhappy enough to take action.

You’re in a limbo state.

If you were a bit more happy you’d just be content, happy and joyful with your current life. This would be amazing.

If you were a bit more unhappy you’d reach that point where you would be “okay this is enough - I need to make a change here”

Being stuck in between these states is the toughest place to be.

Discomfort is part of growing

If we train a muscle it gets sore before it gets stronger.

If we start a new hobby we suck before we start getting good.

When we cut out sugar it’s sad before we start to feel better.

It’s normal

Okay so if you’re on board with the idea that it’s okay to be afraid to be scared

Here are some ideas that I hope you can take away with you today.

  1. It’s okay to be scared. Let’s not undermine uncomfortable feelings. It’s part of life’s journey.
  2. The most successful people in the world didn’t get there without fear. They felt it but still were able to go ahead.
  3. If you’re afraid of something you’d like to start right now. It’s okay to feel like that. I’m fact it could be a sign you’re making the right decision.

How to overcome fear?

  1. Acknowledge & accept it’s part of life
  2. Take courage from people who have been there before as well
  3. Take the 1st micro-action step
  4. Practice and get used to the feeling of being afraid but still doing the thing

Sure ice baths can help build this muscle.

But everyone’s experience of what is fearful is unique to them.

It will be scary. You’ll be afraid.

But the scariest place you can be in life is a place where you were too scared even to try and live.

My first rugby game with the big boys

I was 16 I’m high school. I was pretty decent at rugby which got me in the 1st team of the school. which meant I had to play with and against mostly older 18-year-olds guys.

They felt like fully grown men to me at the time. I was used to playing with boys my own age but not against men. I remember just looking at the height and size of the arms and legs of some of the big guys - I couldn't imagine playing against them. They had beards!

It was my first competitive game playing in this team and I was friendly with one of the guys from the year above.

He probably saw that I was nervous. So he comes over to me and asks me.

“Are you nervous?”

I didn't try to hide it and said that I was

What he said to me after that has stuck with me for 16 years.

He said “That's good that you're nervous, that means you care”

When I think back to that memory it always brings a smile to my face. He was so right. He wasn't saying suck it up - there's nothing to be nervous or worried about.

It was acknowledging the feeling and understanding this is normal, natural and in fact it is an important part of the journey.

Stay awesome




It was that 1st rugby match I was put on the wing - I remember the moment when I got passed the ball right in the corner. And ran in to score my first-ever try for that team. The fear & nerves quickly turned into excitement, happiness and joy

But that's it for this week - here’s wishing you a badass week ahead.

🔥 Interesting Finds

1. Poor Things

Watched this film on Sunday with Vaidile. It's wild, artsy, bizarre and brilliant. If you're not into weird films like Everything Everywhere All At Once I'd avoid it as it's pretty raw and graphic. But if you're into want to watch something out there - then I'd recommend it.

From filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos and producer Emma Stone comes the incredible tale and fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.

2. Share Your Work

I've been coming up with some new logo ideas for Start Designing Life. I shared it across socials and loved the responses and feedback I got from people mostly on LinkedIn

📚 The Book Club

Here's what I've been reading or listening to lately alongside some little nuggets I've picked up through the week.

📖 Mastery: Robert Greene

You must understand the following: In order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious.

📖 Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock

Pulling together the myths, legends and stories handed down from generation to generation, all around the world, Graham Hancock presents his own, unique interpretation of history in this fascinating audiobook.

🎵 Music I'm Loving

I love music. Listening, playing guitar & finding new music. Here's a cool song I've found and some Spotify playlists I've created to fit all types of moods. They're based on all the places I've travelled and the vibe I've felt there.

From 🧊 Vibe | Bali Beach Bar at Sunset Playlist

1. 🧊 Vibe | Bali Beach Bar at Sunsetdiscipline

2. 🔋 Energy | London Rave at 3am

and that is it for this week's newsletter folks

wishing you a great week ahead as always

let's chat soon



Stay awesome ❤️


A bit late posting this week. Hope to have another update for you in a few days - hope you're having a chill Sunday


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