Fear fascinates me…

Fear… What is fear? Where does it come from? How many lives has fear ruined. How many lives has fear saved.

Wikipedia:Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger and flee from it or fight, also known as the Fight or Flight response. Some psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that fear belongs to a small set of basic or innate emotions. This set also includes such emotions as joy, sadness, and anger.”

Wikipedia: “…the capacity to fear is part of human nature.”

Wikipedia: “According to surveys, some of the most common fears are of:

  • ghosts
  • evil powers
  • cockroaches
  • spiders
  • snakes
  • heights
  • water
  • enclosed spaces
  • tunnels and bridges
  • needles
  • social rejection
  • failure
  • examinations
  • public speaking

In an innovative test of what people fear the most, Bill Tancer analyzed the most frequent online search queries that involved the phrase, “fear of…”. This follows the assumption that people tend to seek information on the issues that concern them the most. His top ten list of fears consisted of:

  • flying
  • heights
  • clowns
  • intimacy
  • death
  • rejection
  • people
  • snakes
  • success
  • driving.”

OK, now we have a little background and some light into fear. The interesting part about fear is that it is a natural human emotion. Fear can play a role as a life saving mechanism. In other words fear can be useful.

For our purpose we will distinguish between two kinds of fear. Good fear and bad fear.

What I am really interested is how to deal with bad fear. The type of fear that keeps us from achieving our goals. Or often from setting goals in the first place.

It is very interesting to look at the lists above. Some of the most common fears are social fears: public speaking, social rejection, examinations, intimacy, failure and success. Can you believe it people even fear success! People never cease to amuse me:)

I want to focus on social fears. I believe that social fears are responsible for many people to fail in life and/or in business.

If you want to achieve your goals, you better learn how to effectively deal with social fears.


How do you do that? How do you deal with those fears.

There are hundreds of books written on the subject with hundreds of solutions. But most people have no time to read hundreds of books, neither they have the money to pay for expensive psych interventions.

One solution, widely used in self-help literature is to use visualization. Repetitive imagining of a desired outcome. That is an approach that works in my experience quite well, but it’s not perfect. Another approach is to face your fear head on. Just take action. If your repetitive visualization fails, try to just do what you fear.

Taking action, in my opinion, is the most effective way to deal with social fear.


Why? Because at one point you will visualize yourself to death, spend all your money for psychotherapy, hypnosis, success couches, self-help books and expensive seminars.

At one point you will run out of options. And the only thing left, that is always available to you for free is this:


One way I deal with social fear is looking at others, who successfully overcome a particular fear. If they can do it, I can do it too. What are some ways you use to deal with social fears? Make my day by writing your comment below:)

BTW: Do not fear of making comments on blogs, speak your mind:)


2 Comments on Fear fascinates me…

  1. Hi Derek,

    Great post. Fear holds so many people back from what they could truly achieve. It seems that it’s been beaten into them throughout the years of their lives, and it’s deeply ingrained.

    I tried visualization but that never really worked for me, though I’m glad it helps you. Rather what works for me is just trying a ton of things, and accepting that some won’t work out. In that way I can keep my expectations and the correct level, and not take it personally when a project of mine “fails.”

    And what is failure anyhow? Bullshit that’s what.

    We learn from everything we do. It isn’t good or bad, it’s just how it is.

    Great post man. Thanks for it.
    Robert Dempsey recently posted..Book Club Friday – Get A KindleMy Profile

    • Hi Robert,
      That’s why fear is fascinating to me. It is such a strong emotion. It has often the power over us.
      Trying many things and detachment from the exact outcome is a great approach. Thank you for the idea.
      Also, you state that fear has been ingrained in some people throughout their life. Is it possible that fear can be just a habit of thought?
      Thank you for your valuable input. We should definitely study fear. They say ” Know your enemy”:)

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