Common ENTP fears and how to deal with them

I’m going to list out things that I’m afraid of. I’m going to try and avoid virtue-signalling and be useful to myself.

I’m afraid of making mistakes. Why? Because I’m afraid people will think I’m stupid, or incompetent.

Reality: It’s okay to make mistakes, the worst mistake is to be paralyzed with inaction. I don’t need to make big public mistakes. Instead, I can share my work with people I trust and get corrections and recommendations before I share it with the world at large.

I’m afraid of making decisions. Why? Because I’m afraid that I’d get things wrong.

Reality: It’s better to get some things wrong than to do nothing at all. If you want to have a good life, you’ll want to make as many good decisions as you can. And it’s a good idea to just practice making as many decisions as possible. Live an intentional life, don’t defer to the default setting. When you were a kid, you didn’t trust yourself to make good decisions and you were willing to drift along. But you’ve learned now that you can get better at making decisions, and that drifters don’t drift anywhere great. Nobody drifts to the Olympics, or to the top of a mountain, or to anything worth doing. As Chris Hadfield said, don’t let life kick you around into becoming a person you don’t want to be.

I’m afraid I’ll never accomplish anything great.

Reality: That’s a good fear. But that doesn’t mean you avoid trying. Great things are achieved with baby steps. What are the baby steps that you need to take in order to achieve the great things that you want to achieve?

I’m afraid I’ll never be able to become a productive person, that I’m cursed to constantly be playing catch up with my life.

Reality: Other people have had this fear too, and overcome it. It’s all about learning a new skill. Didn’t you once believe you’d never be able to squat your bodyweight, or that you’d never be able to play music? You can become a productive person. You just need to be clear about how and why.

You already know that obligation debt is a painful, miserable thing. You have a very good reason for becoming a productive person. You’ll be able to contribute more. You’ll be able to be a force for good for everyone in your life. You can challenge and inspire your friends to become better. You can repay debts to everyone that you feel obligated to. You can come out on top and have a net surplus. So that’s that for the why’s.

Now, the more important things – the How. Listen, I know you look at your history and you see a series of mistakes. Like every minor success is just a stepping stone to the next failure. But here’s the thing, that’s entirely a function of your perspective. (Your perspective in turn is colored by things like your physical state, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercise, healthy food, human contact and so on– because if those things are on the fritz then your perspective is going to shit).

Decide that you’re going to level yourself up. That you’re going to learn how to do things that you weren’t able to do before. You are capable of learning and growing. You’ve learned to cook, haven’t you? You’ve learned to navigate an unfamiliar environment (the kitchen), to use unfamiliar tools (pots and pans), to work with unfamiliar material (pasta, meat, oil, spices), to put them through an unfamiliar process (cooking), and you’ve created something amazing – food that’s so delicious that you actually look forward to eating it again. You did the same thing when you bought a squat rack to teach yourself how to squat.

You can do the same thing with your time. Remember how scared you used to be of food prep, of going into a kitchen, feeling like an idiot about it? Now, remember how scared you used to be of schedules? Of deadlines, and so on? It’s the same thing as the kitchen. You’re going to navigate an unfamiliar environment (clocktime), use unfamiliar tools (calendars, task plans, sub-steps), put them through an unfamiliar process (careful monotasking interspersed with reflection) and create something amazing – an output that exceeds your commitments. And you’ll feel great about it. You vaguely know this to be true from moments of accidental or incidental effectiveness. Let’s make it your new default state, as if you were going to be cooking every day. As with cooking, don’t start out with massive expectations of getting everything done. Just think of it as dipping your feet in unfamiliar waters. You just want to get used to what it feels like, and then you can start experimenting.

I’m afraid I don’t have enough time, and I’m afraid to face that so I have this habit of ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. Of course, it never goes away, but eventually I get too tired or exhausted to be able to do anything about it, and then nobody can fault me for it because I sat there and ran out the clock. Nobody will ever have the patience to spend their entire life policing me; they have their own life to live too. So as long as I’m sitting here running out the clock, I have some sort of autonomy or control over my life. It’s a very shitty, limited autonomy, like a tiny-ass blanket that doesn’t cover anything, but it’s all I knew at some point.

Reality: You already know the answer to this. Yes, you don’t have enough time, but that doesn’t mean you give up and avoid your problems. That just makes things worse. If you don’t have much time, you’re going to have to be smart about it. You’re going to have to renegotiate. Simplify things. Do some bare minimum for each thing. Make some progress. Let go of this sad life of misery and guilt. Throw away the safety blanket – set it on fire and watch it burn.

Why sleep late

What’s the real reason why insomnia is such a thing? Why do ‘ENTPs’ sleep so late? (I need a name for this group of people.)

Superficially, it’s about devices, internet, distractions.

But underlying it I think is the fear of not having time for oneself, the fear of spending all our time and all our life just working (badly), screwing things up, making mistakes and falling short. Life seems relentless and escapism is tempting.

My theory is that it has to do with the silence and appeal and allure of the night. People leave you alone at night.

Todo: Zoom out, see the big picture, make changes, accept discomfort and unfamiliarity (it will hurt less)

Sleeping early -> waking early.

reminder: you make good decisions when you wake early
it’s pleasant to start the day at your own pace
it sucks to have to rush to start the day

Bad sleep

  • Cigarettes – low blood sugar
    • How to quit?
      • stop buying
      • deal with triggers
      • get an app
      • tell friends
  • Screens – Work incomplete / want distractions
    • How to change?
  • Lack of exercise – Tedious / unsatisfying
    • Why? How to change
  • Don’t feel like waking up
    • Why? Life is painful, hard, work, endless obligations
      • Want to get out of obligation debt

Don’t eat late

Visualize your day, visualize going to sleep

change your limiting beliefs about not being a morning person

move your body, get up get out go for a walk

Word vomits

0386 – soooo sleepy – I get rambly sometimes when I’m sleepy.

0215 – why do I not sleep better? I don’t make it a priority. I worry that I won’t have time for myself in the mornings, and so I try to squeeze out as much time as possible at night – often on my laptop or phone, which is a horrible thing that makes things worse. But the devices are symptoms, not the root of the problem. The root of the problem is that I feel like I don’t have enough time for myself. I need to address that feeling. I should experiment with sleeping early for a month – but those experiments have failed in the past because I didn’t have a hard and fast reason to sleep.

0117 – sleep – “I don’t really care for resolutions but I’m going to experiment with a month of sleeping early. (2014 edit: HAH.) I’m starting now to get a running start. I believe it will make me Fitter Happier More Productive. I believe it has worked for me in the past and I believe it will work for me moving forward. I find that when I sleep before 11pm, I wake up earlier AND more well rested. This was most clearly evident during my NS days and during other brief periods.”

0075 – sleepy and unfocused – “Have been a bit sleep deprived or something the past couple of days. Maybe dehydrated too. Wasn’t very productive at work. This is frustrating because I love my work, I should be progressing much faster!”


What is the real reason we sleep? | Hacker News

Why ProductiveENTP?


There are literally millions of productivity blogs on the Internet. Why should this one exist, and what makes it different?


The why is simple – I somehow managed to go through over 22 years of life without being diagnosed with ADHD, without having someone recognize that I was just different, rather than a nuisance or a problem.

I want to write the blog I wish existed when I was a teenager.

How is it different?

1 – The target audience are people who fit the ENTP stereotype – people who are highly scatterbrained, like to do a million things all at once, have trouble focusing, and very likely have ADHD.

2 – I’m going to focus on my personal story and experiences rather than dispense advice.

3 – I’m going to try and dig into the details that most people don’t quite seem to capture.


Categories include…


  • Fitness – meatbag maintenance. Breathing. Sleep, food/diet, nutrition, hydration. Exercise is psychoactive.
    • Sleep.
  • Mental health. How to think about it.
    • Respect your time.
    • What are values and principles?
  • Execution.
  • Money. How to think about it.
  • Career. How to think about it.
  • Peopling – Marriage, family, friendship, colleagues, acquaintances. New strangers. Broader internet.

More soon.