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Using Fear-Setting to Reach Goals For Your Rehab Center
“The hard choices, what we most fear doing, asking, saying, these are very often what we exactly need to do and the biggest challenges and problems we face will never be solved with comfortable conversations, whether it’s in your own head or with other people.” - Tim Ferris
Fear-setting is an exercise where you anticipate everything that could go wrong and prepare for overcoming those challenges. It helps to frame your fears realistically, and help you feel in control in the situations you experience.
You can engage in fear-setting once a quarter, or once a month, to help you overcome fear-based decisions and to start taking actions that benefit you and your business. Defining and facing your fears, and exploring the worst-case scenarios isn’t comfortable, but it’s a necessary step to move forward. By visualizing all the bad things that could happen, you become less afraid of taking action. This exercise can help you achieve your largest success and overcome your biggest challenges.
Stoicism and fear-setting
A couple weeks ago, we explored the concept of stoicism and how it can be used in effective management. Stoicism is “the endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint”.
The concept is also the basis for fear-setting. Following the same principles of stoicism, fear-setting helps you assess and differentiate between what you can control and what you cannot. Once identified, you can focus your efforts on what you can control to make the most out of every situation.
By integrating the philosophy into fear-setting, you can be more effective and calm in high-stress and high-risk scenarios and make better decisions.
Fear setting vs. goal setting
In many ways, fear-setting is the opposite of goal setting; instead of writing what you want to accomplish, you write what you fear and what you want to avoid.
Many people write their goals down but never realize them. One of the main reasons for this is not because they don’t have the capability, or have set ineffective goals, it is because they are afraid. Goals are typically set for things you have never done or accomplished, and that means there are several uncertainties associated with them.
Writing your fears can help you realize many fears can be overcome and are worth the risk. By diminishing the fear in your mind, you are much more likely to fulfill your goals.
Steps for fear-setting
Here is a list of steps you can take to perform the fear-setting exercise:
Gather three pieces of paper for the exercise. On the first page, list your “what if…” statement. You can include details about what you are fearful of and what is causing you anxiety. Ask yourself “what if” you take the risk. How will your life look? Beside each fear, list three points.
Label the first as “define.” Here, you can write all the worst-case scenarios of your fear. Try to think of 10-20 points in this section to dig deep and assess your perceptions and feelings. Think about any permanent impacts of the action and how severe they are likely to be.
For the second point, write “prevent”. For this point, list all the ways you can prevent the worst-case scenarios from happening. Consider how likely your fears are to come true if you take action.
On the last point, write “repair.” You can list all the ways you can conquer the worst case scenario if it does happen. Think about all possible solutions or how you can remedy the situation even a little bit. It's helpful to do some research to see if others have overcome similar experiences, and the steps they took to do so.
On the second page, list all the benefits you may experience if you decide to take the action. Think hard about this list, and consider the effect on your emotions, your health, your relationships, and your finances. Making this list can help you view the issue more positively.
The third page can be dedicated to “the cost of inaction." Here, you can outline what might happen if you fail to take the action. As Ferris explains, “If I avoid this action or decision, or actions or decisions like it, what might my life look like in, say, six months, twelve months, three years?” Consider the financial aspects, but also the emotional and mental repercussions of your inaction. This is the most important step of the exercise. Ferris says: “We are good at seeing what could go wrong if we take action, but we’re not very good at seeing what could go wrong if we do nothing.”
“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.” – Jerzy Gregorek
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