The Panic

Last year, Seth Godin wrote a wonderful, concise post about titled “How do I get rid of the fear?”

Úll 2015 is the 8th conference that I’ve had a hand in organising. Last year I joked about nightmares I was having in the run up to the conference.


The nightmares are typically related to some kind of organisational blunder. Something didn’t arrive. I slept in. I find myself in the wrong side of the country on the last day having completely forgotten when the conference was supposed to start.

This year, the panic is even greater. There’s more riding on the conference. We have a reputation to uphold. We want to outdo ourselves.

No matter how many times I do this, the panic never goes away.

Seth Godin’s advice runs: “Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy.”

This year, with the panic greater than ever, I have felt quite paralysed. It’s a vicious spiral. Thankfully, since I work with such great people, we’re able to pull each other through.

In that context, I really love Seth’s analogy: ‘the right question is, “How do I dance with the fear?”‘

The vicious spiral isn’t there to paralyse. It’s music. Music to dance to. Panic, fear, apprehension: those are defence mechanisms against creating something terrible. Pushing through the fear, dancing with it, helps make sure that not only do we get stuff done, but that we filter out the bad ideas as nightmares, leaving the good ideas behind.

Let’s dance.