Fear Setting- How to Eliminate Your Fear of Failure

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Fear Setting- How to Eliminate Fear of Failure

Fear Setting- How to Eliminate Your Fear of Failure

As I shared in “Fear of Failure Keeping You Down,” many of us business leaders/entrepreneurs have an innate fear of failure and believe that if things go wrong, we will be left without a way to bounce back and recover.

True success actually requires failure – and that’s why the world’s most successful people are actually not afraid of failing, but, rather, are quite happy to regularly go out on a limb to take risks.

In my prior post, I shared some tips on how to begin managing your fear of failure. Let’s look at another technique for eliminating fear called “Fear Setting.”

What is Fear Setting?

Fear setting is a technique that was first popularized by Tim Ferris in his book The Four Hour Workweek. The overall idea is to ‘set’ your fears in the same way that you would normally ‘set’ your goals. By doing this, your fears, which may seem abstract and vague, are turned into something more concrete and real.

Here are some basic steps to Fear Setting:

  1. Write down your fears and contingencies in a list. Write down everything that could go wrong and why you’re afraid of it.
  2. Write down all the ways you might deal with those things going wrong and write down how likely each of those things is to go wrong in the first place.

Maybe you’re thinking, “But won’t doing this make it worse?”  While it might seem like following these steps would make matters worse, in fact, the opposite is true. The reason is that writing down your fears and making them ‘real’ often strips them of their power – especially when you have a plan in place for how to handle them and you realize they’re rather unlikely to occur in the first place.

For Example

Say you were considering finding a new job.  Maybe you have the following fears:

  • You’ll get laid off from your current job and end up with no money
  • You’ll hate your new job
  • You’ll end up losing steady income which your family needs
  • You’ll find out the new company doesn’t provide the same benefits

But how likely are each of these things to happen or could you make them less of an issue? For instance, maybe you could tap into your savings for a little while? Or maybe you could get help from parents, siblings of friends for a while?

Another option is to look for work without leaving your current job. It’s also likely that you’d be able to get go back to your former company, assuming you didn’t burn any bridges if things went south with the new job.

Let’s face it, many of our fears are somewhat unfounded. Fear setting allows us to see this and, as a result, helps to mitigate these scary feelings.

Have you tried fear setting? How has it worked out for you?





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