Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter – Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson
Take it from Curtis Jackson, otherwise known as 50 Cent – there is no room for fear in the heart of a hustler. If you have goals, passions, or ambitions, you can’t succeed without first learning how to deal with fear.
Even if you have all the other qualities of a hustler, fear can be a major setback. It can even stop you from succeeding. Jackson’s Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter explores the real problem with fear and the damage it can cause you. It also lays out how to know if you’re being controlled by fear – and what to do about it.
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This lesson from the streets all the way up to the top of the entertainment industry is essential for anyone who feels stuck, stalled, trapped, or otherwise unable to move forward in their journey.
Don’t get comfortable with fear
Imagine getting shot nine times. Now imagine surviving it, going through the therapy to recover, and feeling the intense pain of every wound for an extended period of time.
You might be afraid of feeling pain like that again. You might be afraid to go back to the place where you got shot.
It all boils down to a simple truth: Fear isn’t the problem. Getting comfortable with fear is the problem.
Fear Part 2
Being OK with your fear is a form of complacency. It’s impossible to grow as a person, in a career, or in pursuit of a dream if you’ve simply found a way to avoid being in contact with your fear.
Say you, like most people, are afraid of public speaking, but your job frequently requires it. Maybe you find a workaround – such as having a coworker present in meetings – or simply avoid any voluntary public speaking.
Sure, you’ve found a safe, comfortable way of existing. But you won’t advance, and people who are less qualified than you may get promoted faster because of their willingness to do what you’re too afraid to confront.
Being Comfortable: The Flip Side
The flip side to that feeling of safety and comfort is that it’s actually a prison. When you cave to fear, you’re stuck. You’re trapped. If you want freedom, you can only find it on the other side of fear. And that freedom is where you need to be in order to create, innovate, grow, or advance in any way.
The biggest problem is that many people who are comfortable in their fears would deny it if you asked them. They don’t see themselves as afraid. If this is you, there’s a way to identify whether you’re being trapped or controlled by your fears. And that’s if you find yourself changing your routines or behaving in a way that runs counter to your best interests in order to avoid something.
The risks are worth it
If you frequently veer into the stairwell because you see an intimidating boss stepping into the elevator, you’re avoiding fear. Not going to an audition, saying no to an invitation that could help you network, not raising your hand in class when you have the answer – these are all examples of avoiding fear.
So first ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?” Then ask whether the risks of confronting your fear are more important than the potential upside. Chances are, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find that the risks are worth it.
Moving past fear
The first step you have to take to get past fear is to acknowledge it. Name it. What are you afraid of? Maybe it’s a fear of a physical threat that could legitimately happen, or maybe it’s a fear like public speaking. Regardless, acknowledge it and look it in the eye.
The next step is to make a choice. Are you going to be comfortable with your fear and simply avoid it? Or are you going to overcome it to reach your goals?
If you choose to overcome it, you don’t have to do it alone. Speak to someone. Get advice or mentorship. If you’re afraid of a physical danger, maybe you need to hire protection. If your fear is speaking up in a meeting, you can benefit from simply talking about it to a trusted friend, colleague, or mentor.
The Big Moment
Now, you need to prepare for the big moment. The audition, the confrontation, the interview, the speaking event – whatever it is, do the work. A hustler harnesses their passion for their goal and digs deep to do the work it’s going to take to get to the next level.
Besides gaining the skills you need to overcome your fear, preparation also gives you confidence. It doesn’t completely remove your fear, but it does bring you peace. That peace is rooted in the knowledge that you’ve done everything you can.
The Mistakes to avoid
Finally, just do the thing. Preparation and counsel are important, but eventually you have to take the leap. Overpreparing is just another way of avoiding, so rip off the bandage and make it happen.
You’ll experience fear at different levels throughout your life. Being a hustler means knowing how to handle it. The cost of getting comfortable with your fear is your dreams. Doing the work of being fearless may not only remove the roadblock to your success, but also help you grow as a person.
Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to accomplish, you will encounter fear. And the one thing you absolutely can’t do is get comfortable with that fear. It’s important to understand that everything you want is on the other side of your fear, so you have two choices: get complacent, or get past the fear.
When you decide to confront your fear, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Make sure to prepare properly for whatever it is you need to face, but don’t overprepare. At some point, it’s time to just jump in and do what you need to.