Two Ways To Use Fear To Your Advantage

Crater Lake

Fear.  Without exception, we all experience fear.  There are tons of resources to show us how to remove or conquer our fears.  But what if we could use fear to our advantage?  Here are two ways to do that.

Fear Better

Here is an exercise I did the other week which helped me gain clarity:  write down all of your fears.  Yes, every one.  Notice any patterns?  I did and I noticed a common theme with all my fears: a fear of success.  Gaining clarity about our fears can help us to fear better.  Wait, what?

Our fears can show us what we can do instead of what we can’t do.  It is all in how we look at it.

  • fear of rejection can show us we are  unique and have a don’t-give-up spirit
  • fear of failure can show us how powerful we are and all the possible opportunities and life lessons we can learn

We can fear better so we can…

Fear Forward

Our fears can be used to propel us forward in our lives.  Think of someone you admire or a great man or woman who made history.  Everyone of those people feared something, but instead of letting it defeat them, they feared forward.  We can do the same.  We can clarify and focus our fears to move forward.

Using our fears to fear better creates a domino effect that pushes us forward.  The better our lives go, our fears change to push us even further.  You could initially be afraid to ask her out, now your afraid your going to miss your flight on your honeymoon with her.  You could be afraid to start your business, now your afraid to open a second store.

Here is a personal example:  In March of 2006, I performed a poem in front of people for the 1st time.  I was spankin’ terrified!  It was a small group, about 30-40 people I didn’t know and it went fairly well.  I continued performing spoken word, formed a group, and in 2009 I was asked to perform a poem in front of hundreds of people.

Fear is present with us, but what we choose to do with it is key.  Write down all of your fears, if nothing else, to get them out of your head so you can visually see them.  Write down any patterns you see for clarity.  Then write down ways those fears can make you better and move you forward.  We can make our fears work to our advantage! What do you think?


[This is Part One in a seven issued limited series called “Weaponized Emotions“.] [photo by aspearing]





  • Recently I heard fear referred to as an “aversion to something that has not yet happened.” It’s also been said that we’re pretty awful predictors of our own future, so the fear/anxiety we feel about a worst case scenario rarely manifests itself.

    For me, I know I find when I find myself most afraid or anxious is when I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for a worst case scenario. I think it’s going to help me deal with it should it happen, but really, if that worst case scenario happens? All the thinking in the world beforehand isn’t going to help. It just mucks things up and stresses you out ahead of time.

    Good post, Jermaine. 🙂

    • Hey Ryan,

      Wow, you made some really interesting points. I’ve found too that whatever I fear, what actually happens if I do what I’m afraid to do, isn’t anywhere near as bad as what my mind creates. Most of the time, it’s an experience that ends up being great.

      I like what you said, who does need all that stress before hand. Thanks for commenting!

  • Yes, I remember, I think I was there for that awesome moment (or at least was present for a few times after that one). 🙂 Fun times. 🙂

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