What is “fear-setting” and how can you use it to chase major goals?

What is “fear-setting” and how can you use it to chase major goals?

In business, we often imagine our worst-case scenarios - “What’s the worst that can happen if it goes wrong? How can I avoid the situation? How can I fix it?”

Uncertainty and the prospect of failure can be very scary, and many people will opt to be safe than to be brave. But fear can be your friend, and when used correctly fear can catapult you to reach your biggest goals! The only way to get better at fighting fear is to fight fear head on and take on board Tim Feriss’s approach of “fear-setting”.


Conquering Fear = Defining Fear

The first step is to distinguish between situations where fear is a useful guide and where it is holding us back. Both fears are equally real, and it can guide us in the right direction. Sometimes the fear can be the unknown and sometimes this fear can be an indicator that something is more important to us than we may have realised. When analysing fear, we find that fear stems from the fear of failure. In business, it’s important not to let fear hold us back. Instead of protecting our egos we need to see the bigger picture, put on those rose coloured glasses and see what potential tackling fear can provide us in the long run. By eliminating the physical and physiological baggage you can see yourself achieving and doing better than ever.


Uncover Fear Disguised as Optimism

It is important to understand that there is no difference between a pessimist who says, ‘Oh, it’s hopeless, so don’t bother doing anything,’ and an optimist who says, ‘Don’t bother doing anything, it’s going to turn out fine any way’ because either way, nothing happens. At times we can all fall guilty of wishfully thinking our fears away, and when fear arises a lot of the time, we create an excuse of inaction. If you were really confident you wouldn’t need to question things so much, true? This is fear of the unknown disguised as optimism. It is important to uncover all kinds of fear, as fear won’t improve by itself and you won’t be better off in the long term if you continue to push it back of mind.


Making the Leap and Facing Fear

Fear-setting ultimately comprises of three fundamental parts: thinking about the fear, thinking about the benefits of success, and thinking about the negatives of inaction. By firstly identifying and defining the fear followed by planning the three parts of fear-setting, it allows us to create an effective plan that isn’t driven by the outdated impulses that typically trick us into making a sub-optimal decision. The overall goal is to train yourself to feel the fear and push through it. Let the fear motivative you and inspire you to achieve your goals. It’s a muscle that you can grow and it’s a skill that you can enhance by exercising fear-setting goals; to make you stronger, more resilient and driven to tackling fears and achieving goals.

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comments ( 4 )
  • Kathleen
    09 Jul 2019

    Fear of failure is the cause of procrastination and inaction and as a student, I see firsthand and have experienced many examples of it. Fear-setting sounds like a workable solution to this, I'm definitely going to try it when that fear takes control again.

  • Sarah
    06 May 2019

    Nothing changes if nothing changes. Fear hinders us from taking on new opportunities and chances. The best way to grow and achieve extraordinary things is to change our attitudes and do new things which we had once feared.

  • Michael Virga
    Michael Virga
    23 Apr 2019

    The perception of fear needs to be altered. Most of the population sees fear as a deterrent, rather than a crucial asset to help guide and steer your decision making into a means of productivity and growth. Another great blog!

  • Juliana
    23 Apr 2019

    I think fear is a drive that can push you to do things out of your comfort zone and reach bigger goals. It's definitely important to overcome any fears you have in order to go onto greater things and when you do, you're able to learn, prosper and grow when you didn't think you would have before.