Ch. 04: Overcoming Fear, , heading 1

When we think of the archetypal warrior, we will almost certainly be sure to think of someone that is brave, courageous and seemingly fearless. This is the kind of person that will walk into the line of fire. That will speak out against injustice, that will take on enemies that are much greater than them. 

In our personal lives, there are no real dragons to slay. Rather, they take on many other forms, whether they be illness, whether they be debt, or whether they be the struggle of going to the gym every day3 Full stop 

How to Use ‘Fear Setting’

If you’re a fan of reading self-help literature then chances are that at some point you will have written down your goals. This is something that almost every guru seems to advise and that many claim can help you to accomplish your dreams by better defining and visualising them. 

But in Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Workweek this advice is turned on its head somewhat. While Tim doesn’t necessarily have a problem with goal setting per-say, he also recommends doing essentially the opposite by ‘fear setting’. And he claims it can do a great deal more than goal setting when it comes to realising your aims and getting more from life3 Full stop 

What is Fear Setting? 

The general idea behind fear setting is that you’re defining the fears that are holding you back so that you can face them. In most cases Tim postulates that after doing this you’ll find that your fears are actually relatively unfounded and thus will move forward and past them. Normally our fears are of ‘irreversible’ negative outcomes, but actually these are rarer than you might think3 Full stop

So what you do is to write down the absolute worst possible outcomes for doing whatever it is you want to do, and then write down all the ways you’d cope with the situation or possibly reverse it. 

An Example: Changing Career

Let’s take changing career as an example. This is something that a lot of people want to do, but feel held back by fear of the potential repercussions. By defining those fears though, you can minimise their potency. 

So if you were going to write down the worst possible outcomes for changing careers, it might well look something like this: