How “Fear-Setting” Leads to Goal-Setting

By Katie Corbett

It was a few days after a really big women’s conference, and I had just met a woman who could help me bring my product from idea to reality. I sat at the computer keyboard, getting ready to email her and reconnect. On the one hand, I was excited, because something I thought was merely a dream was so much closer to becoming a reality. On the other hand, I was terrified—because something I thought was merely a dream was so much closer to becoming a reality. The only thing to fear is fear itself, right?

I’ve found that when I’m setting a personal or professional goal, especially one that seems daunting, a million questions run through my head: What if my project is a complete failure? What will other people think if I set out on this journey and don’t achieve this goal? What if I do achieve it? It turns out, answering these questions is often just what I need to get me started.

In his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss suggests a strategy called “fear-setting.” He asserts that brainstorming your worst fears and coming up with solutions to them can be the catalyst for you to feel more prepared to start working toward your dreams. I found this to be true when working to develop that allusive product I keep talking about.

After defining the absolute worst that could happen—someone stealing my idea, the product failing, me never getting around to making it in the first place—and finding solutions to each situation, I decided it was better to try than to do nothing. Plus, I had met this woman who could help me, so the universe was begging me to start, right? I know it sounds too good to be true, but I seriously wouldn’t be doing what I am today if it weren’t for the fear-setting exercise. That’s why I’m going to tell you to check out the questions for yourself.

Yep, that’s right; I’m dying to share Tim’s fear-setting exercise with you, but I’m not sure what is required in terms of copyright law compliance, so I’ll include a link to Tim’s blog post about it so you can see the questions. Read his post, answer the questions, and work toward tackling those long-put-off goals. If you don’t start, who will? No one cares more than you

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