Summary of Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals

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Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals summary
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The ancient Greek wisdom of the Stoics inspired author and podcaster Tim Ferriss to examine how fear curbed his success, growth and well-being. In the process, Ferriss created a simple three-page formula for “fear-setting,” or confronting and assessing your worst fears. getAbstract recommends his rational, useful method for naming, and possibly surmounting, the phobias and anxieties that could be holding you back.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How examining your worst fears can be more powerful than goal-setting;
  • How the philosophy of Stoicism has propelled leaders to success; and
  • How to assess, and possibly overcome, your fears in a simple three-page written exercise.

About the Speaker

Investor, business adviser and podcaster Tim Ferriss is author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans.



When he was a college senior, author Tim Ferriss faced a dark, despairing moment: He planned to commit suicide. Sheer luck spared his life, and the episode became a turning point. Ferriss, who inherited bipolar depression, began experimenting with methods to control his mood swings. The process led him to Stoicism.

The word “Stoicism” often evokes imagery of impassive endurance. But “people of action” have attained success through this ancient Greek philosophy: Football coach Bill Belichick, who holds the record for Super Bowl wins, uses Stoicism to build a mentally hardy team. And George Washington staged ...

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    A. John 8 months ago
    Yes. One's personal "fear" points to wise understanding about oneself. Heed its guidance.
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    Fleming Jeanine M 2 years ago
    Great perspective on identifying, acknowledging, & managing underlying fears that may be holding us back, experiencing better outcomes that goal-setting itself.