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As part of my year (lifetime) of doing absurd and untried things, I’m attending an acting course.

My acting tutor, the lovely Jamie Irvine, frequently stresses the importance of overcoming one’s inhibitions and fears. He says there are three main causes of fear: the fear of looking foolish, the fear of saying or doing something crass, and the fear of, well, I forget what the other one is.

He’s fond of referring to the seminal self-help text Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway (apparently, you may just as well read the cover a few hundred times, as the book largely restates that message over and over. I just saved you a tenner. You’re welcome) – and we’ve discussed, my acting group and I, how irrational many of our fears are, baseless and restrictive.

Bertrand Russell says

those who fear life are already three parts dead

But it’s a hard lesson to learn. “Don’t be afraid. Be bold. Take risks. Just do it” are all noble calls to action, but they don’t answer that small internal deeply primal voice that says “what if…what if I screw up, look stupid, get fired, lose my love, fall down, fail, get eaten by bears…”

So when I found this wonderful manifesto that talks not about just doing it, taking leaps into the unknown, but rather a view of life as perpetual beta, I thought I’d share it. Baby steps…

The Cult of Done Manifesto

  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

Thanks to Damana who prodded me to blog more this week. Consider it done. Or half done.

4 thoughts on “There goes the fear: on feeling it, and doing it anyway

  1. Pingback: What we are reading « imadvertising

  2. Pingback: What we’ve been reading – IM

  3. Pingback: Best of Linkness | Self help edition. | NEXTNESS

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