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How to step through fear-Exercise

I love this quote by our former President, Nelson Mandela. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”


This reminded me of the very real fears that entrepreneurs have to navigate, face and overcome.  To navigate the challenge of change that an entrepreneur faces, entrepreneurs have to face down fear.   Every change that we face has an element of risk attached to it. This, and the unknown, can trigger fear.


Fear of failure; fear of making a mistake to name just two.

So here is a well thought out exercise to use on yourself to help you step through fear. Kevin and Jackie Freiberg are the authors.


I hope it is as useful to you as it is to me.



Stepping Through Fear Exercise

The eight questions listed below are designed to interrupt your automatic fear-based response, help you think through your fear and ultimately step through it.


  1. What is the risky thing you want to do, but are afraid to?
  2. What exactly are you afraid of? Is it fear of being:
  1. Rejected? What if they fire me or fail to promote me?
  2. Wrong or making a mistake? What if I delay the project or cost the company money?
  3. Alone? What if I’m the only one who speaks up?
  4. Embarrassed? What if I ask a stupid question?
  5. Hurt? What if I get mocked or criticized?
  6. Losing? What if we lose the deal?
  1. Is the threat real—what is the probability that this will actually happen?
  2. Is everything you’re telling yourself about this risk true? (Just because you believe it does necessarily make it true.) How much valid evidence is there to support your fear?
  3. Assuming that what you fear will come to pass, how bad could it actually be? What is the worst-case scenario?
  4. Assuming the worst-case scenario, would you be able to cope with the consequences? What is the probability that you will be able to say, “So what?” and move on?
  5. What are some alternative ways to interpret the outcomes from the risk you are considering? What if you allowed your dream/idea to live for a little bit instead of instantly shutting it down? Can anything good happen?
  6. How will your life, career, and company be positively impacted if you step through fear and take this risk?
  7. Go back and re-read the truths about fear above. How will your life, career, company be negatively impacted if you do nothing? Will you be able to cope with this?


When all the world shouts….”It’s too risky”, the voice of courage whispers, “Step through your fear”



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