Written by David Davenport – Contributing Author Healing Arts Institute
Learn How to Reach Your Goals by Defeating Your Fears
To be successful in any area of life, we must know what we are working toward. If we are trying to build wealth, we must define a series of steps to attain it. If we are working towards personal healing, we must recognize the parts that need to be worked on.
These individual steps that we complete are called objectives and the successful completion of a series of related objectives will lead us to the attainment of our GOAL.
Defining our goals may seem like a great idea. The problem is that even with well thought out objectives, many people never actually reach the goals they set out to achieve.
The simple answer is that they do not take the actions needed to reach their goals, and the biggest reason is fear.
Fear of trying something new, fear of losing what they already have, or perhaps even fear of how different their life may become if they succeed.
Fear not loyal readers! We are going to help you to define your fears and prove to you that they are not so scary after all.
Continue reading to download free worksheets that will help guide you through this process.
Fear can be useful in certain situations. It helps us to recognize the danger and avoid potentially life-threatening situations. It can also paralyze us from taking action and living a happy and fulfilling life.
Download the worksheet using the link below and follow along.
To Defeat Your Fears, You First Must Name Them
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself” is an iconic quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural address in 1933. It exemplifies the idea that we become paralyzed by the idea of fear rather than the actual dangers posed by facing it.
To defeat your fear, you have to know what you are fighting against. You have to recognize and define what you are afraid of. Entrepreneur and author Tim Ferris proposed a simple system for defining your fears called Fear Setting.
These worksheets are based on Tim’s Fear Setting system.
On page one of the worksheet, list a fear that is preventing you from taking action in an area of your life that you want to improve. Be as detailed as possible in describing the fear, write what you BELIEVE will happen if those fears become reality.
Example: I want to change careers and make a living in a different industry. I feel trapped and am afraid that I am too far into my life’s path to make any changes. If I do, my family will hate me and I will lose everything I have worked for. I will never find meaning or fulfillment in my life.
In this example, the fear of ‘losing everything’ is preventing a positive change to find meaning and fulfillment.
As you are writing, do not edit yourself. Just let your thoughts flow naturally.
For each of the fears that you define, write AT LEAST one way that outcome can be either avoided or at least reduced in severity. Don’t worry about being too pragmatic and write whatever comes to mind no matter how outlandish or unlikely it may seem.
Example: I can start by taking a job in a different department in my company to learn new skills. I can take classes online as a backup or get my foot in the door with a new company. I can start a small business at home at night and on weekends.
Lastly, for each fear, list ways that you can bounce back if the worst-case scenario occurs.
Example: I can always go back to my old job for a while until I am ready to try again. I can reduce the monthly cost of living by removing unnecessary expenses. I can ask friends and family for help while I am transitioning into my new life.
Consider What Will Happen if You do Nothing
The second page of the worksheet will help you understand the cost of maintaining your current path. Write down the impact of doing nothing at all. How will continuing business as usual affect you physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally? On a scale of 1 – 10, rate how your life might look if you do nothing at all.
Example: If I keep my current job, I will feel horrible. Every day I am emotionally drained and tired. I don’t feel as if I have the time or energy to spend with my family. I don’t feel good about myself. I am miserable.
My life will be 4/10.
It’s Not All Black and White
Look at page 3 of the worksheet. Here you will think about all the possible benefits you will receive from even attempting to do those things you are afraid of. Take your time and consider all the positive outcomes you will experience, both for successful completion and even for an attempt. On a scale of 1 – 10, rate how beneficial achieving this outcome will be for your life.
Example: If I change careers, I will be more engaged with my work and feel more fulfilled. I will be a better mother/father/spouse because I have found more meaning in what I do for a living. I will be happier and can focus more on improving other areas of my life. Even if I’m not able to make the switch now, the courses I take will expand my skill set and boost my confidence.
My life will be an 8/10.
Size up Your Fears
Compare the benefits of taking action (8/10) with your life outcome if you do nothing (4/10). Is a better and more fulfilling life worth the risks you may have to take? This process can help make these decisions easier to consider. Complete this worksheet and share it with a friend or therapist.
See Your Fears for What They Are
Your fears may seem like a terrifying imposing shadow in the dark ready to pounce and devour you at any moment. When applying a logical system to analyze the source of those fears, you may discover the imposing monster is just a harmless little mouse projecting its shadow through the window.
Applying this system will help you to identify your fears and see them for what they are.
You can learn to befriend your fears and work with them instead of allowing them to control your life.
Ferriss, Tim. “Fear-Setting: The Most Valuable Exercise I Do Every Month.” The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss, 15 Nov. 2020, tim.blog/2017/05/15/fear-setting/.
Kim, John. “6 Ways to Conquer Your Fears.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 30 Sept. 2020, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-angry-therapist/202009/6-ways-conquer-your-fears.
Stephens, William O. “A Stoicism for Our Time?” International Journal of the Classical Tradition, vol. 6, no. 3, 2000, pp. 438–446. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/30222588. Accessed 5 Jan. 2021.