The Fear Problem

Fear stops you from succeeding. It gets in your way. It prevents you from accomplishing your goals and living a better life.


  • A talented young woman wants a career as a singer. She has an amazing voice and writes wonderful songs. However, she is terrified of performing in front of people, even on YouTube. Because of her fear, the world never hears her beautiful songs.
  • A computer scientist loves to program phone apps, but is afraid of making mistakes and being criticized. He spends so much time looking for bugs he never releases his brilliant apps.
  • A single woman wants to have a family and raise children, but she is afraid of men. Because of her fear, she never talks to men. Or maybe, she marries someone who is wrong for her, just because he does not scare her.

Fear comes in many forms. Any of them can ruin your success: fear of rejection, fear of angry people, fear of asking for money, fear of prison, fear of looking stupid, fear of pain and so on. See list below.

  • If you want to run a business, you cannot be afraid of making important decisions.
  • If you want to be a doctor, you cannot be afraid of sick people.
  • If you want to succeed as an athlete, you cannot be afraid of hard, painful practice.

If you were afraid of nothing, what goals would you set? What could you accomplish?

Bob’s Fear of a Promotion

For example, Bob is terrified of speaking in public. His boss says, “Hey Bob! I want to promote you to Head of Sales. You’ll need to give workshops to the sales team each week, okay?”

Bob has five options:

  1. Avoid it: “I don’t need a promotion.”
  2. Ignore it: “I’ll think about it.”
  3. Alter it: “The sales manager shouldn’t be required to conduct workshops.”
  4. Run away from it: “I’m taking a two-month vacation.”
  5. Face it: “I’ll get my wife to practice the workshop with me until I’m ready. It may take 10-15 hours, but I’ll do it!”

If he avoids, ignores, alters or runs from the fear, he fails. If he faces the fear, he succeeds. He becomes a successful sales manager.

You can do the same with any of your own fears. You might think facing a fear will make the situation worse. You might think that facing the fear might even kill you.

Yet letting fears control you is not a very fun or successful life.

Facing your fears makes life worth living.

How to Control Your Fears

“To be happy, one only must be able to confront, which is to say, experience those things that are.” — L. Ron Hubbard. In other words, when you look fear in the face, you gain strength, courage and confidence.

It takes work and courage to face your fears. If you persist, it gets easier. If you continue to face a fear, the feeling eventually disappears.

You take control, solve your fear problems and succeed!

Eight Easy Steps to Controlling Any Fear

1. Pick one of your fears. It doesn’t need to be your biggest fear, just a fear to take control of.

2. Decide you will now face this fear.

3. Imagine how it will be to eliminate this fear. Make a list of benefits you will earn and enjoy.

4. Break down the fear into small pieces or some tiny steps you can take to face the fear.

5. Take action with one tiny step! Face one of the small pieces. Even if you try and fail you are making progress.

6. Keep trying to face this one small part of the fear until you succeed.

7. Repeat with each part of the fear until the fear is no longer controlling you.

8. Persist for as long as it takes until the fear is no longer a problem for you.

Show an Example: How Abdul Handles a Fear

How Abdul Handles His Fear of Traffic

Abdul likes to drive in his small home town where the roads are never crowded. People make jokes, like, “I had to wait for two cars and a tractor at a stop sign today. I hate these traffic jams!”

Because Abdul wants to move up in the world and get rich, he finds a job opening near a big city and decides to drive there for his first job interview. As he nears the city, he is shocked to see how busy the roads are. After five minutes of stressful driving, he starts to sweat. His face turns white and he feels sick. He calls and cancels the interview appointment. He turns his car around and goes home.

Because the jobs near his home pay very little and have limited futures, Abdul realizes he will not get rich until he learns to drive in heavy traffic. So he follows the Action Step Recommendations and picks this fear for Step 1.

He does Step 2 and decides to face this fear.

He does Step 3 and imagines how wonderful it will be to drive in traffic with no fear. He writes the benefits. “I see myself earning a lot of money! I find a beautiful, loving wife. We buy a beautiful home.” Abdul enjoys this daydream and is motivated to face this fear.

For Step 4, he breaks down his fear into these parts:

  • Noise of many engines
  • Angry drivers
  • Not sure where to turn
  • Honking horns
  • Confusing road signs
  • Large vehicles like busses and trucks

Next, he does Step 5.

  • Go to a place near busy traffic and just look at it. Face the noise and confusion. Sit there until I feel relaxed.
  • Ride a bus in busy traffic. Track the progress on my phone maps app. Take pictures of the signs and the turns to the destination.
  • Drive toward a city until the traffic is stressful then just drive around the area and leave.
  • Drive to the job interview location, park and just sit in the car until the fear is gone. Drive home.

Abdul takes a few hours to face each piece of his fear, but he does it. He persists. Soon, he drives without fear. He gets the job!

Show: 20 Signs of Fear

20 Signs of Fear

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, look for an underlying fear. You might be delighted and surprised how great you feel after you face and conquer that fear.

  1. Shyness
  2. Procrastination
  3. Constant worry
  4. Discrimination against others
  5. Feeling slightly insane
  6. Forgetful
  7. Feeling a need to hide
  8. Panic
  9. Nervousness
  10. Seeking excuses
  11. Dishonesty
  12. Hateful
  13. Sweating
  14. Irresponsible
  15. Expecting disaster
  16. Feeling violent
  17. Eating or sleeping problems
  18. Easily controlled by authority figures
  19. An addiction
  20. Rage

So, are you ready to conquer a fear?