How To Leverage Fear To Get What You Want

Let’s face it. We are all a bunch of pussies when it comes to our fears. And yes, I am in fact one of these pussies.


The question is not, how do I sack up and overcome my fears? It is, how do I properly leverage what I fear to get what I desire?


If you are like most you probably are not even sure what the heck that is supposed to mean. Instead of explaining it myself, I’ll let one of my favorite people do it for me. Will Smith put it best:


“I’m motivated by fear. I hate being afraid to do something, so what I developed in my younger years was an attitude to attack things I was afraid of”


Okay, I lied…I’ll help with the explanation. If you break down what Will Smith is saying you can find some pure gold in his wisdom. First of all, he is “motivated by fear”.


If I was in a room with 1,000 people in it and I said to them “say ‘I’ if you feel excited and motivated when you think about your fears.” I can almost guarantee that I can count the amount of people that said ‘I’ with one hand.


This is extremely disappointing because it means that for the majority of us, we let fear limit our desires. Will Smith conversely has done the exact opposite to everyone else which has amassed him great success, fame, and fortune.

Step 1: Let Fear Drive Your Goals

Ask yourself these two questions:


1. What do you fear? (List everything)
2. What do you run away from at every opportunity? (Be specific)


This may seem like a simple exercise, but think again. It may take you several hours for your stubborn brain barrier to admit you have fears and actually write them down.


Once you have created your two lists, make connections between the two. For instance, within your fear list you may have written “I fear public speaking”. Check your second list for direct correlations to this said fear. Within this example, your second list might read “At every opportunity I run away from getting outside of my comfort zone”.


Using the above exercise transform your found correlation into a coherent fear statement. It may look something like this “I fear public speaking because I avoid stepping outside of my comfort zone.”


Now flip-flop your fear statement: “I need to step outside of my comfort zone in order to tackle my fear of public speaking”.


Lastly, turn your amazing discovery into an actionable goal. For the sake of congruence I will use the above example again. Your actionable goal in this case may read “By January 1st, 2018 I will be the lead on Project X and will be the obvious choice due to my exceptional public speaking skills learned through my daily efforts of proposing ideas at my place of work”.


Within this exercise, you will be able to leverage fear to help identify an important goal of yours with the necessary system in place to achieve it.


Do not forget these words; when turned upside down, your fears become some of your most important goals.

Step 2: Approach Fear Like You Were 6 Years Old

Why are people so afraid of what they are afraid of? As Franklin D. Roosevelt so famously said:


“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”


Personally, I blame society for this. Think about it. REALLY think about it. Before we were all immersed in the insanity of social constructs, we were children. We virtually feared nothing.


We would explore unknown forests, pick up strange small creatures, blurt out our honest thoughts, and all around did whatever the fuck we wanted to.


As we grew older and were dragged through the school system something detrimental started to change within us. We feared deeply how others viewed us. As we all know, this only gets worse with age and continues on into the work world if you let it.


To circle back, Will Smith had said “what I developed in my younger years was an attitude to attack things I was afraid of”. Will Smith had this amazing ability to look at fears in a different light. He did not see fear as something to be afraid of, but more so an adventure to be curious in.


How oh how is he able to do that!? I’ll give you the answer…he looked at fear through the lens of a child.


When I was six years old I would see a snake and think to myself “that snake looks like a lot of fun to play with!” I would then proceed to pick up the damn snake.


Jump ten years into the future. Sixteen year old me would look at that same snake and think “holy shit..holy shit…it’s moving towards me!” I would then proceed to run away like a little girl.


Do you see the picture I am painting for you? As we go on through life we increasingly become more fearful due to all the floating opinions, theories, ideologies, blog posts (I know I know), etc.


We live in a world that is overloaded with information, so much in fact, that we do not know what to believe or even how to think for ourselves. Essentially, we live in fear due to paralysis by analysis because of how goddamn knowledgeable we are!


This is my suggestion to you — throw out all that useless knowledge crap and start thinking for yourself. When you are up against a fear of yours, approach it like you were your six year old self that didn’t know any better than to just give it a good ol’ try! When you do this, your fears will slowly transform into exciting adventures for you to both enjoy and experience.


Step 3: Tying It All Together

Excellent work! You have made it this far…now give yourself a pat on the butt. At this point you should have successfully turned a fear of yours into an actionable goal. That in itself is 90% of the battle.


You have also learned how to properly address your fears when they arise…like a 6 year old of course! Now you just need to start putting the two together and execute the shit out of your goal.


How To Execute Like A Boss:


1. Write your fear driven goal on one side of an index card. Flip it over and write 3–5 daily or weekly systems to achieve it.
2. Visualize achieving your goal several times a week. Truly see yourself living out your goal. Feel it and see it happening within your imagination and soon you will see it before your very eyes.


3. Do as all Olympic athletes do when the pressure is on — trick your mind to label ‘nervousness’ as ‘excitement’.


4. Obstacles will be thrown your way and doubt will fill your soul. The most important rule for executing like a boss is to continually believe in yourself and persevere until the end.


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
— Calvin Coolidge

Why I Write

I truly believe we are all here for a reason, we all have a purpose. Mine is to inspire one billion people across the globe to take a chance on their dreams.
If you felt inspired by my article today please share, and subscribe below 🙂