Fear Setting

Fear Setting

Hi everyone,

As this post is beamed out to you we are quickly approaching the New Year.giphy-downsized

This is the part of the year which goal setting can become popular. Over the years I’ve been apart of the crowd trying to make big goals for the new year. Although plenty of goals were made very little were successful.

Out with the old – in with the new is the old saying. 

Well this year I’d like to lay down a new challenge. Instead of ‘Goal Setting’ try ‘Fear Setting’ instead.

So what is fear setting? Well this blog post from Tim Ferriss about Fear Setting is where I draw a lot of inspiration:

(A) Define your nightmares – think of the worst thing that could happen to you. Your spouse may die, a life threatening injury, you lose all your money, you lose your job.

(B) Then think about the likelihood of these things actually happening and prevent it. Really put some emotional thought and feeling behind your spouse dying. How would you feel if you lost all your money and you had to start all over again? What would your immediate thoughts be if you lost your job tomorrow?

(C) Then compile your thoughts on a piece of paper and write down your options in determining the best way forward by repairing it. For example, if you always thought about leaving your job write down your actionable plan if you actually pulled the trigger. What other jobs are there that interest you? What are your chances of successfully getting that job? If all else fails what are your chances of returning to your old job? The combinations are endless but thinking about it can help control your fears and anxiety of it happening.

(D) Now list all the potential benefits and costs of taking action or inaction. Review this every quarter, 6 monthly or yearly

Here’s quick spreadsheet for you to track your own fear setting calculations – thanks to Marvin Russell for putting it together!


So using Tim’s Fear Setting exercise,  here are my Top 3 Fears I entered on June 2017:


  1. Having a miscarriage
  2. Losing the ‘spark’ with my husband
  3. Family member dying suddenly


  1. If a miscarriage does occur I’ll need to arm myself with resilience now. It will be painful to lose a child and I need to find the best support groups if required
  2. What measure do I have in place in case Leki and I split up? How will the kids be affected? How will my family and friends react? I need to work on being in a relationship that is open, honest and respectful
  3. Talk about what the family action plan is if one member was to suddenly pass away. What is the estate planning? What is the family’s position on the power of attorney? What is the legal process?


  1. Educate myself on how miscarriages happen and work on being thankful for all that happens
  2. Celebrate and be grateful for every little success or challenge and approach  disagreements with logic rather then emotion. Open communication between us has to be a priority for our relationship to last the distance
  3. Commit to an action plan on estate planning and ensure regular visits with family so we are committed to an agreed process


I can report that I have addressed all these targets made in June 2017. Although it’s not really a one off thing as I’m always working on my fears it’s more so an understanding that unpacking fears and making them a lot less scary makes me stronger in the long run.

Here are my Top 3 Fears heading into 2018:


  1. My baby boy being born with a ‘disability’
  2. Unforeseen complications with the birth
  3. Not being able to lose weight like I did the first time


  1. Am I making the best healthy choices for my body and mind? What can I do to improve my situation? Who is someone I can follow and help educate myself?
  2. Acknowledging that complications can be apart of the process and being ‘ok’ with it
  3. Understanding that having a newborn and a toddler at the same time is a new challenge and I might not have as much time to focus on myself


  1. If I do have a ‘disabled’ child I will love him as I would any child. I will educate myself on his ‘disability’ and encourage him to live his life to the fullest and I will do my best to support him
  2. Prepare for the top 3 complications in birth. Ensure that I have my support systems in place with Leki, immediate family and insurance cover for any worst case scenarios
  3. Find out the minimum but effective dose to lose weight by using my experience the first time round. Educate myself on safely losing weight by monitoring my diet closely but not to the detriment of my newborn son


To be completed in June 2018 🙂

Fast forward from June 2017 to December 2017 I can say that highlighting my fears rather then fantasising about dreamy goals has been far more successful for me. Running away from a fear has proved more helpful then running towards a reward.

So in summary – these are very confronting questions you may ask yourself. Your challenges are your own and it’s up to you to decide how you conquer your mountain.

Here is Tim’s TED Talk in full about Fear Setting (13 mins well spent, believe me) 🙂

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life’ – Jerzy Gregorek

See you in 2018!


Leave a Reply