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May 30, 2017

“We still have a caveman brain. Now we don’t have a saber-toothed tiger to run away from, we conjure things up to be afraid of.” Joey Tork

Fear: all us humans suffer from it, yet almost exclusively when there is nothing to be afraid of. Branching into the field of workplace psychology, Joey and Jason divide Episode 002 between discussing fear of success and fear of failure. Both chew over their own experiences, admonishing their former afraid selves whilst acknowledging that fear is not something that can be permanently erased - as always, the key is in how one copes with it. 

Success is up first, which, as discussed in the last episode, is “messy as a motherF-er” (in Joey’s words). The more you succeed, the more work you will have to do, the more people you will have to deal with, the more risks you will have take, and the more you will drop the ball. Your brain will tell you to be afraid of all these things - and yet “fear of success is just fear of failure at the next level.”

Joey confesses he is failing to hit his 15th Protocol* goals and as a result the protocol dictates that he must turn up the heat on his team. He has had to overcome fears of the consequences of this approach: on the runway of success, many others would choose to pull the throttle back rather than pushing it forward and letting the plane take off. 

Chiming into this is the fear of how you are perceived by others: will success make you resented? Will people see you differently? What will they make of your new Cadillac? For Jason: “The reality is for the most part people don’t give a shit.” Meanwhile potential partnerships get squandered as many are too afraid to pop the question to talent employed by other firms. Joey overcame this fear through some tough self-love: “I’ve said to myself this week: Joey, you are a pussy right now.” Predictably enough, he has found there is nothing to be afraid of with very few individuals responding negatively.

Our hosts acknowledge the biological inevitability of being such a pussy, with fear written into our DNA in order to keep us alive. Unfortunately our brains struggle to distinguish between genuine my-life-is-threatened fear, and what Jason eruditely calls the ‘bullshit’. “You have the same reaction when running from a bear as to when you’re making a sales call: but what are you afraid of?”

The guys conclude by admitting there is no magic wand that will rid your life of this biological quirk - but each time you overcome fear, you take a further step towards success. “You should strive to fall flat on your face and get yourself back up, learn from that, and do something bigger and better.”

* - The 15th Protocol is a strategy of having preset actions that will immediately go into effect on the 15th of any month in which you’re not at least halfway towards your predefined goal.

Remember The Name by Fort Minor (Warner Bros. Records and Machine Shop Recordings) a capella and musical tracks are licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 license and have been remixed for use in this show. All rights that are not expressly granted under this license are reserved by Fort Minor and/or Warner Bros. Records and/or Machine Shop Recordings.