How to Kill Fear

Dear friend,

I’m the most fearless person I know, certainly not the most humble, but I wanna share with you some of my personal remedies on how I overcame my fears in life, to become the best version of myself.

I. Identify your maximum downside

First of all, the first tip is this: know what your maximum downside is.

For example, taking risks in life isn’t gambling. Rather, think of taking “calculated risks”.

For example, if you make a financial investment, know what your maximum downside is. If you invest $100,000 into something, is there a real chance that it can go to $0? Or can you create a “stop loss” on your stock investment, so you can only lose a maximum of 10% of your investment, which is a maximum downside of losing $10,000?

In street photography, what is your maximum downside? Will someone actually punch you in the face? In theory, it is possible. But if your maximum downside is getting punched in the face, it is actually not so bad. I’ve been punched in the face and made unconscious, and therefore I’m not afraid of it. A good assignment: take a boxing class.

Lesson: Vividly imagine your maximum downside and ask yourself,

If my greatest fear actually happened, would it be so horrible?

II. Shoot street photography

Honestly, street photography is the best way to conquer any of your fears in life. A shortcut is just to attend one of my expensive ERIC KIM WORKSHOPS.

But to be honest street photography has helped me conquer my personal fears in life. If you can make a photo of a stranger, you can take more risks in life.

Street photography has helped me build personal confidence in my everyday. No I have no fear asking strangers for directions to the coffee shop, I have no fear making small talk with a stranger in a cramped elevator, nor do I fear asking people very personal questions like “What is your life story?”

The reason why it is good to conquer your fears In life is that you will learn how to take more risks, and have the chance to see what your personal maximum is.

For me, I’m just curious. I’m curious to see how far I can take myself and my skills, and my life.

I’m curious to see how much money I can earn in my short life. I’m curious to see how much I can deadlift (currently 400+ pounds at a body weight of 155 pounds). I’m curious to see whether I can become #1 on Google for “Photography” (I’m currently #1 for “street photography”.

III. Your iPhone battery is at 5%

Life is short. At best you might live to be 100. At worst, you might die today in a texting while driving accident. Don’t waste your life. Figure out how much you can achieve in this short life of yours, in order to become the best version of yourself, while seeking to empower others.

For me, I can care less about my resonate needs and wants. I just need black clothes, a bed to sleep in, and espresso. My passion is to write, share ideas, read, philosophize, photograph, write poems, share my life with my friends and family, help empower Cindy, and to empower others and the whole of humanity. I cannot do this if I have personal fears about my finances, looking stupid, or anything else.

A homework assignment for you, ask yourself, “If my iPhone battery was at five percent what would I not do in life?”

The iPhone battery is an analogy for your life.

If my phone battery was at five percent, I get anxious. I tune out distractions, put myself to airplane mode, and only do meaningful things. That means, writing blog posts, enjoying leisurely dinners with loved ones, not being petty, and showing Cindy how much I love and appreciate her.

IV. Be an asshole.

To be frank, a lot of false humility is what holds us back. I know it did for me.

Now, I’m like fudge it, I’m gonna be an asshole. But an asshole to help the greater good.

I don’t email anymore. I don’t check my finances. I don’t care whether I’ll upset or hurt the feelings of others.

I just focus on myself, and my work.

I’m egotistical enough, and self centered enough to believe that my work is meaningful, and will help empower humanity. I’m a narcissist. But so what?

I used to defend myself. Now, I don’t defend myself. I try to talk less in real life, and just focus more on helping others. I don’t care about morality no more. I just follow my own internal code of ethics. If someone does something to me that pisses me off, I won’t do that to others (the silver rule). Also if I criticize others for being addicted to their devices, I have to make sure not to use my iPad while having breakfast with Cindy.

Homework assignment: for a month, just think that you’re an asshole. And follow your own rules, and see whether that will make you more confident, or less confident.

V. Publish more.

I don’t know what it means to be a more confident artist. But I know what it means to publish more.

My personal rule:

When I have something that is 80% “good enough” (according to my own personal taste) I hit publish.

If you’re a photographer, and you have a 80% good enough photo; just hit publish.

The same goes if you’re a blogger, or videographer. Just publish more “imperfect” or “shitty” stuff.

For me, the more I publish, the more confident I feel.

Another thing: don’t worry about spamming people. If people don’t like what you’re making, they can always unfollow you.

So another rule:

If people start unfollowing you, it means you’re heading in the right direction.

My biggest fear as an artist was worrying about people unfollowing me. Now, I realized, it really doesn’t matter how many people follow you. Rather, it matters the quality of your followers.

For example, I’d rather have 2 influential people follow me, rather than having 200,000 random people follow me. Because that one influential person might be willing to invest $1,000 USD in one of your art pieces, or attend your $10,000 workshop. Or offer you $250,000 USD to do a commercial.

So the lesson is this: if people start unfollowing you, rejoice. You’re heading in the right direction, friend.

Conclusion

You can safely ignore everything I say. These are just personal remedies. I don’t wanna super impose on anything on you. You’re your own free person.

But try out some of these assignments to help you build your personal confidence and to kill fear. And of course, this is an advertisement for ERIC KIM WORKSHOPS to conquer your fears and meet new peers. And oh yeah, buy a HENRI NECK STRAP or HENRI WRIST STRAP so when you’re shooting on the streets, and you feel afraid to shoot a certain photo you can ask yourself:

What would Eric do?

Be strong,
Eric

Scroll to Top