On Your Grind - Kyle Collins, fear

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it’d be a good time to start talking about two things that make my palms a little sweaty and that I, personally, would just rather ignore: fear and ego.

They’re two things that need one another to be at their full power. Kind of like Thelma and Louise, but evil. Kimye, but nastier and thirstier (if you can imagine that). And, when they’re at their strongest, they’re a deadly combination that can wreck anything good you have going on in your life. Scary, right?

I wanted to start off this VERY SCARY Halloween post, also, by letting you into my life a little. I realized the other day that any ol’ random Uber Pool co-passenger of mine might know more about me than you guys do, which (unsurprisingly, that’s how fear works) touches on two things that happen to scare ME. This weekly column is four months old. It’s time for me to open up a little.

What we’re doing here: Let’s share what scares us most. And not like ghosts and goblins, but those thoughts inside your head that rattle around and make you seize up in fear, about you, your life, your success. They threaten your faith, your hopes and your dreams (big things) but also keep you from being as efficient as you can be on a day-to-day level (the small things that make big things happen).

The first way to deal with the monster under the bed is to look at it. And if we all cop to the things that scare us, perhaps we’ll feel less alone (#1) and remember the ways we can actually deal with those things, #2. Plus, it’ll go against that need-to-look-perfect trap that we can all fall into sometimes.

Because I shouldn’t ask you for something I’m unwilling to do myself, I’ll go first, this week, with what scares ME, in random order. Besides snakes, walking over subway grates, and when subway trains go under water (an engineering feat that just can’t be possible, right?), here’s what really scares the bejesus out of me sometimes:

I get scared when: 

I feel bored, tired and “blah” for too long.

I get concerned when I’m not interested in the things around me. People, places, things or ideas. I love being into things, to think about things and get excited. When that’s not there, it’s like the lights are off, and I don’t know who I am. I’ve experienced depression in the past, so a couple of days of not feeling great always leaves me a little nervous, hoping the fog will lift quickly.

My fear-facing tactics:

On Your Grind - Kyle CollinsNothing super magical here, in terms of what I do (when I do what I need to): I keep the lines of communication with friends and family open. Self-care. Being very aware if I’m hungry, angry, lonely or tired (the H.A.L.T. thing). Shower, still. Let things be. Focus on the good, without needing to create a narrative about it all that paints me as either the victim or super victor (that can be an ego thing). Move around, even if it’s just a walk around the block.

I get scared when: 

I am overwhelmed, with too much work to do. Sometimes, when you’re really into something and you ask for lots of responsibilities, people will give them to you. And those things can stack up really quick, filling your day with lots of (mostly unsexy) to-do’s. God will move mountains, but it’s up to us to do the paperwork and all the laundry, right? Talk about SCARY.

On Your Grind - Kyle CollinsMy fear-facing tactics:

Start saying no. Steal back time: cut hour-long meetings into 30 minutes or similar, wherever possible. Remind myself of that the real opportunity in a situation is always to learn or grow. Be compassionate (with myself, too). Focus less on the immediate task: it will pass. “Remember,” I tell myself, “You’ve been here before, and you got through it.” Pep talks can work.

I get scared when: 

I feel isolated. In my head. Like I’m talking to myself only. Am I just shuffling papers and re-quoting genius things other people are saying? Have I had any insights of my own? Am I putting them to use in my life, or is it just talk? Does any of this matterrrr??? How is JLo still SO GORGEOUS? (Insert Haagen-Daz here.)

On Your Grind - Kyle CollinsMy fear-facing tactics:

Open up, like a big window on a fresh Spring day. Let people in. Be vulnerable. Be grateful for things; sometimes a hunt for more makes you overlook great things that are right in front of you. Ask for help. Get people’s opinions on what I am thinking or doing; get their insights and opinions on what can be done to make a situation better, if it’s something specific I am working to dig through.

The biggest opportunity, when any kind of fear strikes, is to just acknowledge it. To not beat yourself up if and when it’s there. Maybe to not even expect that it will somehow, magically, go away entirely. Though I wish that it would. Elizabeth Gilbert says (in Big Magic) fear is just part of the equation, as creative people.

“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome,” she says.

She talks to it.

On Your Grind - Kyle Collins“By all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job… which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring.”

She allows her fear to go along for the ride. She gives it a voice but not a vote (which feels really good right about now, election mayhem and all).

Let’s really put our fears on blast and take the power out of them in a post for next week. Tell me what scares you, and what you do to manage them (if you know; it’s OK if you don’t). I’ll compile them, kind of like I did for the Best Ways to Beat Stress article.

Ways you can talk back to me:

  1. Fill in the form below.
  2. Email me:
  3. Tweet me: @KyleCollins
  4. Instagram: @KyleInterviews

And as you go through the next couple of weeks, let every pumpkin, painted face, and piece of candy corn serve as reminder to you: YOU GOT THIS. And you have a community of people behind you, here to help you, as you’re on your grind.


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