I get scared every time I do a podcast. I’m shy and I’m afraid I’ll seem stupid and that the guest won’t like me.

I’m afraid they will not like me. I’m afraid they will yell at me. I’m afraid they will think I’m unprepared.

Or that the listeners will hate the show. That I’m not doing a good enough job.

Every guest intimidates me.



I get scared every time I start a business. What if I fail? What if people think I’m a loser? What if I go broke?

What if I can’t afford to raise my kids after I go broke? What if nobody will like me after I go broke?

I get scared every time I do stand-up comedy. I’m going on a stage like a clown in a room full of strangers.

What if they don’t laugh? What if they laugh AT me instead of with me?

What if they heckle me and hate me?

Even worse: what if they are silent?

What if the other comedians and the booker at the club sees how bad I am when I bomb?

What if something I’ve loved all of my life is something I’m hopelessly bad at?

When you are on stage you are all alone and the audience is the lions.

What if they rip me to shreds and destroy me?



I get scared every time I hit publish on an article. Or even worse, a book.

What if it doesn’t do well?

What if people think I’ve lost my touch (or… did he ever even have a touch?)

What if people think, “he’s been telling the same stupid story for years”?

What if people read it and hate me for it and start posting hate messages about me?

What if friends stop talking to me because they disagree?

What if I lose any skill or talent I’ve had and now I have to spend the next 40 years wishing that skill was back?




When scared, don’t worship the mediocrity of giving up. @jaltucher (Click to Tweet!)

When scared, go forward.

Change fear into growth.

Go on stage and be different than everyone, prepare for the podcast better than anyone else will, write every day so I’ll be the best. Bleed all over the page.

When scared, that’s the place where nobody else is. Go there.

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Shan Shan xiao.