Assaf Luxembourg
Assaf Luxembourg

Time and Overcoming Fear

Photo from:
Photo from:

I recently came across a post on LinkedIn by Jenny Sassoon of UnleashingU! about beating your inner Gremlins. Since I get to mentor many young professionals with regards to entrepreneurship, leadership, and their personal career paths, Jenny’s post naturally got me to “nod and smile” while reading it.

The way I see it, the key to “hack” yourself into taking control is to think about time. This post explains how.

Understand why you lack courage

Following up on Jenny’s post, the “Gremlin” – your “Yetzer Ha’ra” – is only able to control you when you do not take control yourself. This allows fear & doubt to grow, which then gets you to victimize yourself, and not act.
Here’s an example. Imagine you want to talk to your boss about more growth opportunities for you at work. You want to do it, but… you don’t. Because you’re afraid. Afraid of how your boss may react, afraid of unknown and unexpected consequences, etc. So you ponder. You say to yourself: “Oh, my boss will never understand”, you think of reasons why this is a bad idea. You sell yourself the narrative that your employer does not respect you, doesn’t know what you’re really worth, and that this could never change. It’s hopeless. Thus, it’s either to accept the reality – or quit your job. Quitting is scary too… So, you do not act, and then you become sad. You take Ben&Jerry’s ice cream and sit and watch useless TV shows. “Let’s not think about it… Let’s delay this for later… It’s just work…” And by that –  you’re wasting priceless time.
Fear & doubt prevent you from taking control. Then, in order to feel better, you actually believe you have no control. This prevents you from acting, trying, doing daring… And then, you become sad.
“I’m not afraid of death. I’m an old physicist. I’m afraid of time.” Dr. John Brand, from the movie “Interstellar”. Photo from:
Thinking about time is the solution
Time is not just another asset. It is the most precious one you have. It is non-accumulative, non-purchasable – and you keep losing it in a constant rate of one second per second. It’s an open wound that keeps bleeding. It’s a sand clock you cannot stop and reverse. You also never know how much of it you have left.
Your fear and doubt could be eliminated and removed with more mental strength. Your illusion of “I’m not in control” could be dissolved with a bit of coaching work. You could grow the courage you need to make the right move in your life. But you could never restore the time you lost in the process.
Now, here’s the funny punchline: Once you understand that – you don’t need to deal with your fears, “Yetzer”, Gremlin,control issues, courage… I will say you could actually overcome all of that pretty quickly – because you have to stop losing time! Once you actually get your head around the idea that your time is your life, and is within your responsibility and yours alone – who the hell has time to “deal with issues”?! Let’s just not waste too much time!
Takeaways from this post:
  1. Thinking about time is a great mental hack to grow courage, overcome fear, and reclaim mental control of your own life.
  2. Claiming responsibility for your own loss of time helps you grow entrepreneurship and leadership skills, which give you the mental strength you wish you would have. It’s all within you already.
  3. Once you think about “losing time”, you begin to act, and act faster.
  4. This helps you discover more opportunities, such as looking for the “Gold” in the “Gray.”
  5. It also helps you take decisions faster, using tools like the Regret Test.
  6. You rewire your mind to take actions when “s#!t hits the fan” by becoming mad, not sad. Mad is better than sad.
  7. “Moving faster” not only becomes a state-of mind, it manifests in everyday practices which improves your efficiency.
  8. I believe that this “entrepreneurship as a state-of mind” is not only a “nice to have” in order to thrive, but rather a mandatory in order to survive in today’s world of work, in which we are all business units.
About the Author
Assaf is passionate about promoting business in and with Israel, helping and mentoring entrepreneurs, advising young professionals with career planning and self-fulfillment, and more. Assaf acts as a brand ambassador of Israel as 'Start-Up Nation', speaking to thousands of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, young professionals, students and others, both in Israel and around the world. Assaf also works as a business development and marketing consultant to Israeli start-ups and others.
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