How to Use Fear to Unlock Potential
Instead of Running From It
Happy Halloween and welcome back to… THE JAILBREAK.
(along with 666+ readers 👻)
What’s In This Newsletter? 🗞️
WE’RE WRONG ABOUT FEAR: Use Fear Instead of Running From It
UNREASONABLE FEARS: How to Conquer Them with USE Method
FEAR SETTING: Free Template for Defining (and Preventing) Fears
We’re Wrong About Fear 💀
Fear is the best teacher I’ve ever had.
In a world where many of us are safe from evolutionary threats and don’t constantly fight for our survival, fear is not designed to keep us safe.
Fear is designed to show you what you think your limits are.
If you’re afraid of something that has no real life-threatening consequences, this is just fear telling you that this is somewhere you need to grow as a person.
There’s nothing inherently dangerous about public speaking but so many people are absolutely terrified of it — I call these “unreasonable fears” because failure has basically no pain involved.
If you can find and overcome these “unreasonable fears”, your skills and confidence will grow faster than you ever thought was possible. You’ll start actively seeking out these fears just to destroy them and level up IRL.
And to prove I’m serious about this philosophy, here’s a photo of me conquering my biggest unreasonable fear… 🕷️
The tarantulas name is Rosie—she was nice. Yes I got a sticker.
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How to Conquer Unreasonable Fears (USE Method) ⚔️
1. (U)nderstand Your Fear
Begin by recognizing your fear and its impact on your life. Understand that your fear is an emotional response, not a reflection of reality. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of pain, death, humiliation, and judgment — Stop us from doing what we are truly capable of... But understanding that fear is the first step to beating it.
Example: I started learning how to skateboard 2 years ago and I’ve always been terrified of dropping in on a quarter pipe. I stood at the top of that ramp so many times. Again and again, I would get scared and have to slide down on my ass in self-defeating embarrassment. I wasn’t afraid to fall and get hurt, I was afraid of failure. Afraid that I wouldn’t be able to learn this trick.
2. (S)eek Support
Don't hesitate to seek help from friends or family because their support (or even just their presence) can give you the boost you need to conquer your fear. If you’re dealing with lots of fear, it might also be worth seeing a professional who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help you understand and reframe those fears. (It has helped me tremendously.)
Example: In life, you need something to FORCE yourself down that ramp… So I invited my girlfriend to the skatepark to record me while I dropped in for the first time. Essentially forcing me to commit… or have my ego shattered by doing the slide-of-shame in front of the woman I love. Just having her there made it infinitely easier to get over that initial fear.
Slowly and safely expose yourself to the fear in a controlled way. Start with imagining the scenario, then look at pictures, and gradually move towards facing the fear in real life. Ignorance breeds fear. The more you understand, the less you’ll fear.
Example: I watched skate videos, drop-in tutorials on YouTube, and did 100’s of kickturns on the ramp before climbing to the top. It still took at least 5 full minutes of me standing at the top and adjusting my skateboard but I finally overcame my fear and committed. Here’s the full video where I conquer this fear.
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Fear Setting 😱
Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of pain, death, humiliation, and judgment — Stop us from doing what we are truly capable of... But there is an antidote to this.
Learn more at RIGSMethod.com
Fear Setting is a method I learned about from Tim Ferris that helps you deconstruct those fears, making them tangible, and creating strategies to overcome or mitigate them. You can do this exercise yourself by checking out the Notion Template below.
In this column, write down in detail every fear you have related to your goal.
If you want to conquer your fears, name them. For instance, if your goal is to start a new business, you might fear losing your savings, facing criticism from people you respect, the possibility of the venture failing, or even the fear of it succeeding. In as much detail as you can, write down everything you’re afraid of encountering on the road to your end goal.
In the second column, write down everything you can do to prevent those fears from coming true.
If you’re afraid of losing your savings when starting a business, you can take courses on financial management or budgeting, or even consider getting a financial consultant to guide you. These things would at the least create a buffer between you and your fear.
The final column is for you to write down everything that you can do to repair the situation if those fears were to come true.
Often, we overestimate the lasting impact of our fears, thinking they can cause irreparable damage. But in most cases, there are steps we can take to remedy or, at least, lessen their negative impacts.
For instance, if you do end up losing all your savings, your repair actions might include moving back in with your parents, getting a loan, or even considering a part-time job to help cushion the financial blow.
Another strategy is to seek mentorship or guidance. Connecting with a seasoned entrepreneur or joining a business incubator could provide you with the guidance needed to navigate challenges.
Thanks so much for reading another issue of THE JAILBREAK! I hope this helped to reframe how you think about fear and gave you the tools you need to conquer it once and for all.
P.S. Happy Halloween 🎃
Til next time, Nomads. ✌️
- Jack Ross
Jack Ross (Data Engineer, Writer, Nomad)
Chat with me directly by replying to this email, follow me on Twitter for regular updates, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for travel vlogs, tips, and insights on unlocking freedom in the digital age. ❤️