Cape Fear

Everyone needs a compass, but most of us don’t know how to use it.

Daily decisions that seem small are what cause us to veer off course.

It’s not about making monumental changes but small microscopic alterations in our daily decision-making to change the future narrative.

But why do we have a hard time doing it?

→ FEAR…Fear holds us back.

Fear of Success – This is a confidence issue. We don’t feel we are ever worthy of having what we want and we let the unknown potential “success” stifle our growth.

Fear of Letting Ourselves Down – Trying and failing is hard to deal with and it feels much easier to handle the regret that might come afterward instead of “at the moment” discomfort. Regret can be delayed if we trick ourselves into thinking we might do it at some point.

Fear of Judgment From Others – We put so much stock into what others think about our lives that it can impact the decisions we should be making to live a more enjoyable life.

Fear of Thinking the “Thing” Is Bigger Than It Is – Almost nobody is going to see our initial output but we think the masses are going to scour at it and ridicule us. We think that this is the most important thing to human existence and therefore overthink it.

Fear of Poor Execution – Paralysis by Analysis. If it’s not perfect we won’t put it out. We need to have it formed exactly right before the launch in order to appease others who might see it.

Fear of Rejection – If we put ourselves out into the world we can get rejected because we might act differently from how we think the world perceives us. That causes a rift and might bruise our ego. Acceptance good. Rejection bad. ****That’s how the world tells us we should feel.

Fear of Getting What We Want – Because then we have the responsibility of managing it and committing to it. That puts a lot of fear into us because now we must take action. And with action could come (insert any of the above Fears).

Which one holds you back?

Once we are able to accept ourselves for who we are and understand what gets in our way we can start leading our lives in a direction filled with less stress, anxiety, and fear.

That’s when the journey gets really fun!

Cape Fear2023-11-19T20:59:20-04:00

Even The Greats Are Scared

Will Ferrell was sitting in his trailer while filming the iconic movie “Elf” and he said something to the extent of “Where am I going to go from here after this thing flops” (paraphrasing a bit).

Even the people considered the “greats” don’t have it all figured out. They question their decisions. They have fear of how they are going to look to others. They have moments of weakness.

“Elf” didn’t flop, as we now know, but there was no way he could’ve known that then.

He had to put on his yellow tights one leg at a time, walk out of that trailer, and show up as the best performer he could be.

We don’t always know what will happen. That’s part of what makes it exciting.

When it does work out we have the opportunity to look back at all of those low points, the times we doubted ourselves, and realize that it was a part of the process.

It was a part of our growth.

It’s like standing on top of the mountain and seeing all of the hills and valleys we had to climb over to get here.

We gain confidence and conviction with each one.

We believe in ourselves.

The game is set up to separate the ones willing to go past the point of fear, uncertainty, and doubt and progress forward versus those who close up shop and quit at the first sign of adversity.

Showing up because we believe in what we are doing becomes a great tool to lean on during times when we think we aren’t good enough.

Even The Greats Are Scared2023-08-03T18:43:17-04:00

Constructing Fear

Fear creates walls around us.

Walls where we hope, by constructing them, we don’t get harmed by perceived threats.

For added measure, fear puts a roof overtop us to shelter from any potential future storm. There are no windows or doors. We fortified the fortress.

Better not even walk outside, there is some probability it’ll rain at some point.

Fear limits us. We are confined by these walls. We think they are keeping us safe but they are actually stifling our growth.

We need to spread our wings. We need to be free.

It doesn’t mean we have to sprint out of the house and frolic in unchartered land. It just means we need to inch ourselves forward, create an opening in the foundation, and peak out.

There are many ways to deal with fear. The first is to understand that it’s all made up in our own heads.

It’s a fictional story.

It’s an imaginary friend.

Try just one small thing today to lean into fear and then ask yourself “Did this really cause me any harm?”

The answer may surprise you.

It may give you the confidence to try it again tomorrow.

Who knows, you might be playing outside your comfort zone in no time at all.

Constructing Fear2023-04-07T14:24:35-04:00
  • Mike Lewis Profile Headshot

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis Profile Headshot

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Episode 336 features Mike Lewis, Author of “When To Jump: When The Job You Have Isn’t The Life You Want”

Find Mike Online:





Mike’s Story:

Technically, this project started when I was 24. Only I didn’t know it then. What I did know was that I was at a crossroads.

​I was sitting at my desk in Boston, thinking about my longtime dream: take a break from corporate America and play the professional squash tour. I wanted someone to tell me when to go, but no one was gonna say, “Mike, it’s now July 1, time to go chase your dream, remember?” I could feel it slipping away.

Before letting that fear totally take over, I realized I couldn’t be the first and only person to be in this position. So I boiled it down to a simple question: should I stay the course in something comfortable, or take a risk to chase my passion? This seemed like a simple enough question. I wondered what others had done.

So I asked. I tracked down anyone who left something safe, whatever that was: a job in consulting or social work, in teaching or engineering. Through these conversations, I began collecting stories, with the common thread being that each person left something comfortable to pursue a passion. I stumbled into people from all over: ex-bankers, electricians, scientists, journalists–people from all walks of life who left the safe inertia of their own circumstances to try and do what they really wanted to be doing.

So I boiled it down to a simple question: should I stay the course in something comfortable, or take a risk to chase my passion?

After a while, it became clear that this was interesting stuff. I was compelled to share. I began passing these stories along to friends and family, bus passengers and bartenders—others who were at their own crossroads. The stories caught on. They were helpful and inspiring. I thought of a better way to get them out.

So that is what I am doing now. This project is about jumping. Sharing the amazing stories and ideas of those who have jumped into the unknown. Without them, I wouldn’t have been encouraged to jump. These stories enriched my life and I hope they enrich yours too.


If you enjoyed this interview you may also like my Just Get Started Podcast Interview with Seth Godin, Author, Blogger, and Founder of Akimbo

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If you enjoy this episode I’d be grateful if you would leave a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts, if you believe I’ve earned it.  Thanks for listening!

Mike Lewis2023-04-11T19:52:05-04:00

Make The Attempt

Failure is just an attempt. Let’s not romanticize it anymore otherwise, we overthink trying.

We failed to talk until we didn’t.

We failed to walk until we didn’t.

We failed addition until we didn’t.

We failed to ride a bike until we didn’t.

We failed to throw a ball until we didn’t.

We’ve failed countless times so why is this next attempt any different?

We are better off because of all of it; the success, the learning, the pain, and the suffering.

Nobody is throwing a perfect game in life.

Just act like we’re playing catch in the backyard.

It’s supposed to be fun even if we make a poor attempt from time to time.

Make The Attempt2023-01-19T20:45:30-04:00

Being Human

One of the more liberating thoughts we can have is knowing that not one single human being has life figured out.

We all struggle with insecurity
We all compare ourselves to others
We all go through periods of depression
We all think we aren’t close to good enough

We know we’re going to fail
We know we’re going to fuck things up
We know we’re going to beat ourselves up

Accepting these emotions frees us up to be fully present and aware.

Willing to give it our all knowing there’s a good chance it might not work out.

The effort is all we can control.

We figure it out from there.

Being Human2023-01-07T17:02:56-04:00

First In Line

We all experience the first-day jitters.

First time speaking in front of an audience.
First day of a new school year.
First time getting in the game.
First date.

The first day of anything new can make us feel all the things.

We’re not different than anyone else. We’re human.

Embrace being nervous and get excited about what could come of it.

Nothing great happens until we experience it firsthand.

First In Line2022-10-17T20:00:04-04:00

Fear of Anything

We’ll always have fear if we don’t understand something.

If we are struggling with moving forward because of fear, curiosity might be the helper we need to call on.

Why is this fear present?
What past “information” has led us to this conclusion?
Could there be more information we haven’t considered?
Would we be willing to accept it if it is different from our current beliefs?

I remember when I used to be terrified of flying. From the night before the flight until we landed, I was a mess. Fearful with every bump. Gripping tightly. Counting every second until we landed safely.

Until I decided to overcome that fear.

To do that I gained knowledge. I asked questions like…
How do planes work?
How are pilots trained?
How safe are planes?
Why does the flight crew choose this as a career?

Once I became curious, it opened up my mind to learn. Once I learned, the fear subsided. Then, to fully overcome the fear I had to face my past beliefs head-on.

As I took my next few flights, every time there was a bump or rattle or weird noise, I would ask myself if this was a part of my past belief or a part of what I have newly learned. What seemed more logical?

In time, my fear went away.

There is no more anxiety before flights. I enjoy takeoffs now. Every once in a while a big “bump” in the sky will get my attention but I think it’s my past fears waving to me and letting me know they miss me. It is normally short-lived.

I overcame my fear of flying by being curious. That curiosity led me to knowledge that led me to a different belief.

I’m not saying it’ll be easy but if we want to give ourselves the opportunity to change then we might think about questioning our old beliefs.

They hold many unfounded “truths” that may be best to leave in the past.

Fear of Anything2022-08-23T08:50:39-04:00

Escape Room

Decisions are made through a mix of past experiences, current conditions, others’ judgment, fear, etc.

Being decisive is a key element to knowing if we are on the right path toward understanding who we are and what makes us happy.

Because indecision comes from our inability to make clear choices.

We want everything.

We feel we are missing out if we choose one thing over another.

We get stuck.

When we continually question ourselves and our decisions it shows a lack of focus on a vision for our future. We have no idea what we actually want and therefore will get paralyzed with fear and anxiety when having to make decisions, especially ones that appear difficult.

We can’t let ourselves go down this path. We have to be willing to stand our ground and be comfortable and confident with who we are and what we believe in. If we aren’t there yet then we have to be willing to put in the work to understand why.

It’s okay if we are different from everyone else in the room.

Have we ever considered, that maybe we are in the wrong room?

Be okay with making the decision to walk out and find a better one that fits the life we want.

Escape Room2022-06-01T15:39:15-04:00


I’m starting to question if the fear of starting is partly that we don’t want the responsibility of what could happen if we actually succeed.

Comfort is the warm blanket over us as we hit the snooze alarm. Getting up and doing something actually creates a whole new set of unknowns.

Best to stay tucked in for a bit longer, I guess, so we don’t have to deal with the discomfort.


The Long Lost Friend

Failing takes up such a small finite space in time. It exists only to be a placeholder for the next achievement, one that wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the failure that preceded it.

It begs to reason, then, that we should welcome failure with warmth and kindness.

“Playing it safe” actually becomes a fools’ errand. It makes us believe that we are working in our best interest to protect ourselves from harm. In reality, we are starving ourselves of exactly what we need to achieve greater happiness; facing failure head-on and coming out stronger.

Like a long-lost friend that showed up unexpectedly, we should welcome the failures with open arms.

The Long Lost Friend2022-03-18T17:32:52-04:00

Fear Factor

We fear rejection only because we forget about its benefits.

If we don’t get rejected directly, it may cause us to worry or a loss of focus wondering why we haven’t gotten a response, why we are being treated a certain way, or if we did something wrong.

But rejection is actually freeing.

When we are rejected we may mull it over for a day or two but then forget about it for a lifetime. It becomes an afterthought because we now have closure.

Rejection can definitely be painful but let’s not forget about all of the stress and anxiety that comes from not knowing where we stand in a given situation.

Which one is actually worse?

I know which one I’d rather have.

Fear Factor2022-01-18T16:09:30-04:00

Fear Setting

We fear heights but most of us have never fallen. 

We fear rejection but when it happens it barely affects us more than for a short time afterward.

We fear failure but what have we really lost when we failed before?

Yes, self-limiting beliefs since childhood will do it. But, maybe it’s the story we tell ourselves about the “event” that hasn’t happened yet that we fear to be doing. 

Fear is daunting. But it’s the stories that are the problem, not normally the “event” itself. 

We are the problem that is holding ourselves back from exploring and experiencing more. 

We just have to get out of our own heads about it. We have to have the courage to reframe the situation.

We have to relish that, whether good or bad, we’ll grow from this experience. 

With that reframing in our heads, the possibilities are endless.

Fear Setting2021-11-01T16:26:04-04:00

A Little Goes A Long Way

Starting anything can be intense and overwhelming. We’ve been great at other things and are comfortable in those environments now. It’d make sense to keep doing those things.

It’s sort of weird being the novice and having no clue what most of anything means. But that’s where the growing happens!

In times like these, it often helps to pull from your past experiences and remember how you started before. To be great at anything there had to be moments when you weren’t.

When we learned to ride a bike, it was the act of getting the helmet on that was the first big feeling, not riding down a hill at top speed with no hands.

When we learned to swim, it was just getting into a new body of water that felt different, it wasn’t doing cannonballs off the deep-end diving board.

We psych ourselves out from starting because of the fear of the unknown but generally the unknowns we truly fear are way down the road. If we started small, incremental, and took baby steps we’d develop knowledge as we moved along and the fear would subside as we built confidence.

We shouldn’t try to bite off more than we can chew at the beginning. A little movement in the right direction can go a long way to finding something that challenges us, inspires us, and fills us with happiness. That’s the whole point of starting in the first place.

A Little Goes A Long Way2021-08-01T20:31:47-04:00

The Same But Different

Today could be that day. Maybe it was yesterday or it could be tomorrow.

At some point, there is a beginning to something new.

A new relationship.
A new endeavor.
A new way of thinking.

We’ve been here before. It’s not new, just different.

So when fear creeps in to limit us from the potential of asking out that person, taking that trip, or starting on that novel we must remember that it’s not always the “fear of the unknown” that stops us but it’s forgetting that we’ve been here before even if it might have been a little while.

We all have been curious or interested or excited at various points in our life. Don’t let today’s decisions be crippling because we forgot how exhilarating it was to go down a new path.

Because we’ve experienced all of this before.

It’s just different now.

The Same But Different2021-05-09T18:49:27-04:00
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