From the author:
The limits of your comfort zone
Do you know that queasy feeling in your stomach that warns you of a new, potentially risky situation? This is the limit of your comfort zone. Within this zone, there is little uncertainty as you repeat known processes. Whenever you overcome your anxiety and expand the boundaries of your comfort zone, you grow as a person.
An everyday life with repetitive activities in turn means stagnation. It means conformity. As long as you are compliant, have a steady income and a good hedge, you can keep the risk to a minimum. As in the saga of Icarus, the widespread opinion teaches us that we should not fly too close to the sun or too low over the water.
Life is a journey
Your life should be a journey with constantly new challenges. If you really want to feel alive, then you have to grow a little every day. Finally, eat healthy, stop smoking, write a book, start a blog, strengthen relationships, have interesting conversations, train for a marathon, travel to new countries, or implement an idea you've been thinking of for a long time.
Too often, we invent new excuses so we do not have to move out of our comfort zone, where we've made ourselves so comfortable. If we then have enough courage to take a risk, then our environment lets us know how naive we are.
Are you familiar with that? We Germans are known for tirelessly insuring, standardizing, testing and certifying. This is intended to minimize residual risks as much as possible, which to a certain extent is certainly desirable.
On the other hand, this constant desire for stability ensures that we cling to the status quo and perceive changes as negative. While we should be aware of the consequences of change, we should not be against it until every little residual risk has been thought through and resolved. John G. Bennett put it very aptly:
“If risk could be calculated in advance, it would no longer be a risk.”
Deal with fears
Holmfriebe and Sascha Lobo wrote:
“The ability to endure a certain amount of fear and uncertainty about the future is, in a way, the basic requirement for living in the digital bohemian.”
Exactly that is generally true for all self-employed. Once you choose to live outside the care of employers and the state, you must learn to deal with insecurity.
With the entry into the self-employment you can knit your safety net however. You no longer have to rely on a supposedly secure workplace, but you distribute the dependency on multiple clients or - better yet - on the masses of customers, readers and fans.
Uncertainty is a brain reaction that tells us something important is happening in our lives - our body's own alarm, so to speak. Depending on your overall optimism and willingness to take risks, it will be easier or harder for you to ignore or qualify this warning of your body.
Embrace the uncertainty
Perceive the feeling of insecurity as something positive. It is the harbinger of a new experience in your life, for something with real meaning. As a remedy for uncertainty, Jonathan Fields recommended in his book “Uncertainty” the use of a “Certainty Anchor” that gives a familiar feeling (for example a morning routine).
In addition, it is always good to make you aware of the worst possible case - the so-called worst case - and get an accurate idea of what could happen if your plans do not succeed as you have imagined.
The worst case is not that bad
In general, the worst case is less serious than previously thought. The confused fears in your head are drastically reduced as you rationalize them. Be aware that there is always a way back to the old life.
Emigrants return to Germany, unsuccessful online entrepreneurs return to permanent employment and at worst can be temporarily stayed with a friend on the sofa.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960763
English version: ISBN 9783965960770 (Translation notice)
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