Saturday, June 30, 2007

Facing fears - essence of optimism for entrepreneurs

Growing up watching the likes of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf play great tennis in their hay days, the curiosity about the game in my mind only grew with me. While I wanted to try my hand at it in my childhood, I was always afraid of a remark from my friend. He said "If you play at a wrong angle, the game has the potential to break your nerves." God, did I believe that. Perhaps it's true and perhaps it's not. But that stayed in my mind and I never even attempted it. But seeing many people in my apartments playing it, I thought why would I be the only one to break my nerves. I played tennis for the first time yesterday, and boy, did it feel good. I felt I had more exercise than my daily walk on a treadmill burning 450 cals gave me. And also playing a game does makes the difference, because you are not doing it for the sake of doing it (like walking), you are doing it because you love to do it. And what great way to love some physical exercise other than a game like tennis.

The point here is not playing tennis or doing some daily physical exercise. The point is breaking the long associated fears in a person. if I did not take up a racket and stepped on the court, I would have died some 50 years later still thinking I would break my nerves if I played at the wrong angle. Or probably I would have done it some other time in these 50 years but I would have lost all the time in between. So I guess the right thing for a person to do is to actually go there and do it. Many of us hear many a thing from childhood which have such strong thoughts implanted in our minds that we should not do 'this' for this might happen. Until we do not try it once, we will have no idea or proof to base that upon. No, that doesn't absolutely mean that you should try jumping off a roof to clear your fear of heights :) I am only mentioning about smaller fears in life.

Many a time you hear many people say 'This idea will not work out' or that idea has no scope. Never believe them. Approaching any situation with blatant optimism is the right way. I once saw a guy wearing a T-Shirt which said 'I haven't failed. I only found 1000 ways that don;t work. That's the spirit we need to possess. Fear of failure should not stop one from actually attempting something. If we don't have optimism and belief in ourselves, we have nothing. You want to be an entrepreneur, ignore those thousand guys who tell you the idea you have won't work. Try it and check it, you might fail a hundred times, but the 101th time, you have an idea of 100 ways how not to fail. It was definitely not an idiot who said 'Try and try till you succeed.' Faith in yourself, your idea and your capacity to implement can only make you a successful entrepreneur. It's not just about entrepreneurship. It's about anything that appears daunting to you at the first look. Until you try it yourself don't let others' opinions dictate what you want to do. Time to break some fears isn't it!!


AnneK said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

The Optimism is not a way of this world now..Intuitive Optimism makes some sense. If u think ur optimist and can beat any one in their forte that takes u no where. Optimism with cunning edge with some Intution may probably work out.

The Familiar Challenger

Karthik said...

@anneK, Thanks for your encouragement :). You asked for it, so don't blame me if you find more of such posts :)

@anonymous/ The Familiar Challenger: Elaborating on your comment on beating any one in their forte, here is what I have to offer. If you start off with a belief that you can beat the best, then you would probably reach half of the best at the end, but the belief when you start that is what I term as optimism. But as always, since we are two different people, we are bound to have two different views. Also I do agree with what you say. Intuitive Optimism is really good in a lot of scenarios