Let’s be clear, fear needs no introduction. Every single one of us knows it well though it shows up for each of us differently. It might be a tightening in your chest, sweaty palms or a dreaded nervous rash.
But even without any visible signs, everyone, at some point experiences it. And whilst fear can occasionally save our lives, more often than not, it paralyses us and keep us living small.
Which is why I want to talk about it.
Because the chances are you’ve dismissed an opportunity or avoided following your interests because to act would be too risky. Or too hard. Or not worth the effort. But, the truth is – those aren’t the real reasons you’re not going for it.
The real reason is that little voice in your head. The one that keeps you wondering ‘am I good enough?’.
And that niggling voice my friend is fear. With its hushed tones, it manages to put self-doubt and catastrophe in our heads. It feels horrible and it can stop us from doing anything meaningful with our lives.
But here is the thing – fear is never as bad as we think it is.
So what if instead of getting overwhelmed or panicked by fear, we were able to use it as a guide and motivator to take action?
Well, you can. You just need to do this one simple thing – define exactly what is it you’re are afraid of. And here’s how…
Defining your fears
While fear can have a debilitating effect, defining what it is your afraid allows you to engage your rational thought process and consider the probability and consequences of what could go wrong. To make the process easy, I’ve developed your free worksheet here.
This idea of defining fears or ‘fear setting’ was popularised by Tim Ferris’s TED talk in 2017 where he explores stoicism and provides his personal technique. In essence, defining fears requires you to answer the following questions:
- What is it that you are anxious to pursue?
- What is the worst thing that can happen if everything went wrong?
- How probable is it that the worst-case scenario will occur?
- How could you do to minimise the risk?
- What is the best-case scenario if everything goes right?
Answering these questions helps us understand that thing are much worst in our imagination than in reality, and allows you to objectively review your choices and move ahead.
Remember, if you allow fear to control you, you’ll never have the life you dream of, so get into action now with your free worksheet!
P.S. If you’d like another great resource on managing fear, be sure to check out Elizabeth Gibert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.