Fear is the Enemy- How to Manage Fear and Anxiety (#16)
Updated: Nov 4, 2020
Fear is a dangerous thing. We like to think it keeps us safe, keeps those we love safe, and prevents us all from meeting an early demise, which isn't necessarily untrue. But what fear also does to all of us is limit our ability to grow. To overcome obstacles. To help reach our potential. In this episode, we'll talk about how fear and anxiety can affect your life and change it for both the better and worse. We'll also cover tools, tricks, and tips on how to manage your fear and anxiety and get yourself moving in a more positive direction.
Dr. Jud Brewer - Psychiatrist and Neuroscientist
Depravation curiosity - seeking to find missing information, satisfied once found. Pushes or pulls. Information curiosity - The journey itself is the goal. More inviting and patient.
Fear is Contagious
Studies found that the amygdala lights up more if we smell the sweat from someone experiencing fear.
What is Fear
I read that fear is an emotional response induced by a perceived threat that causes a change in brain and organ function, as well as in behavior
-Don't figure things out by yourself
-Be real with how you feel. Self-confession is key. Don't deny your feelings--they are legitimate, and they don't make you weak or broken.
-Be OK with some things being out of your control.
-The more at peace with yourself and confident in yourself, the less fear will affect you when it comes along.
-Be conscious of your intentions.
-Why are you in a situation with fear? Remember what goals you set, or plans you have, that brought you here.
-Focus on positive thoughts.
5 Things You Never Knew About Fear
-Physical: Even your blood flow changes — blood actually flows away from your heart and into your limbs, making it easier for you to start throwing punches or run for your life. Your body is preparing for fight-or-flight.
-Foggy: the cerebral cortex (area of the brain that harnesses reasoning and judgment) becomes impaired
-Fear can become pleasure: Through the excitation transfer process, your body and brain remain aroused even after your scary experience is over.
-It's not a phobia: Fears are common reactions to events or objects. But a fear becomes a phobia when it interferes with your ability to function and maintain a consistent quality of life.
-Keeps you safe- “Fear is a natural and biological condition that we all experience,” says Dr. Sikora. “It’s important that we experience fear because it keeps us safe.” Want to hear more about Daniel's scariest moment? Check out our Opportunities Episode!
(unedited, forgive us for the many transcription errors, we don't edit it and it's obviously not perfect).
Fear is the Mindkiller
Andrew: [00:00:00] Hey guys. Welcome back to DeadxTomorrow with Daniel and Andrew. This week, we're going to be talking about fear, which is one of Daniel and mine's favorite topics. If you've ever gone hiking with us or really done anything with either of us, we've probably pushed you in unhealthy ways to do something that you were uncomfortable with.
And that is partly due to this love of pushing the boundaries on what we see as overcoming fear. So it's spooky season. Halloween's just around the corner. So we wanted to talk about this and how we deal with it and all of our tips and tricks and everything related to fear that we can come up with for you guys.
So without further ado, let's get this party started. Daniel, what do you got for us?
Daniel: [00:01:01] Well at the start, I feel like it's worth confirming or I guess, nailing down. How you would define fear? Cause I feel like there are a few different sides of that coin. So when you say fear, how are you defining that?
Andrew: [00:01:15] That's a good question. And for me, I. Consider fear as this emotional response that you have when something scary happens, you know, it's, it can be anything from a perceived threat, like a snake or eights to something less tangible, like talking to the girl at the bar or, you know, something like that that does not have a direct threat to your life, but we are still afraid of the outcome. .
Daniel: [00:01:44] That's it. So you would say it's more in a specific incidents. Like you have something that is right in front of you and you have a physical, emotional response, right there in that moment, then remove the stimulus, fear has gone that sort of thing.
Andrew: [00:02:01] Usually it's a stimulus kind of thing, I guess you could say. but yeah, I think fear is usually. An external factor is something that either you are imagining externally as in, Hey, I, this is going to be really scary to be rejected, or this is going to really hurt me.
it's very rarely something internal. it can be internal like cancer, but it's still an external threat. Like, Hey, this is going to kill me. It's doing it internally, but yeah. Stimulus.
Did I cover it or am I misunderstanding?
Daniel: [00:02:26] No. Yeah. And I'm just kinda curious. what about the relationship between fear and anxiety? Do you see those as the same thing?
Andrew: [00:02:36] Ooh. So to me, anxiety is generally whenever you have something that you are afraid of. So yeah, there is fear involved and anxiety is almost a fear of the unknown. It is where you borrow fear. About something you're afraid of. So you're afraid that she might lose your job. And so you are anxious on a regular basis about this fear you might have.
And so it's this, it's almost a [00:03:00] side effect of fear in my mind, a long-term side effect, whenever it's not a physical threat necessarily, or it is a physical threat, like going to the dentist, you're borrowing trouble from tomorrow. You're choosing to be afraid and a small factor on something that is a bigger factor.
Do you have a definition
Daniel: [00:03:16] I didn't look up the definition, but I feel like fear and anxiousness really are the same thing. In reality, anxiety is just, it's another word of being afraid of something. If you're anxious about it, you're afraid about the outcome. You're worried.
About the outcome. and there, a lot of times I think the word you use probably just depends on the situation that's involved. And so if we're talking about a bogeyman, like jumping out of the closet or something like that, and it's, that in the moment instance sort of thing, or you're afraid to walk down the hall because you're afraid of the boogeyman is going to jump out of the closet.
And I think we tend to use the word. Fear more in that situation. it's something where there is this monster or this evil or something like that. And I think we use the word anxiety for the more mundane sort of day-to-day things like somebody might not say, Oh yeah, I'm fearful about losing my job.
Or I struggle with fear about losing my job. I think they tend to use the word anxiety in that type of case, because. Losing your job. That's not a boogeyman situation. That's something that can happen. for some it's more realistic than others, but I think that's where people tend to say, Oh yeah, I have anxiety about that.
Or have anxiety about getting out and speaking in front of people or having anxiety, about those types of things. and I think anxiety is also one of those things that you don't always have the stimulus, or you don't always know the stimulus. There are a lot of people that I think just struggle with blanket anxiety, and they're not even necessarily sure why that is. And then I think, you know, you throw in worry and I think worry is just, fixating on those things, like the actual act of thinking about the thing that gives you fear or gives you anxiety. You're spending time worrying. that's when you're giving attention to it.
That's interesting that you put it like that because I think what a lot of fear comes from is our lizard brain. It's this evolutionary process that we developed to keep ourselves alive and survive. And anxiety comes from the side of fear that doesn't necessarily jive with. That snake in the bush tiger in the tree, kind of survival instincts we've developed, but it's still causing the same physiological response.
And it's hard for us to be like, wait, why am I feeling this way? Nothing's trying to eat me. And it's hard for us to process it. So that's why we probably, I don't know, maybe use that word anxiety is that, slight disconcerting feeling you have, whenever it doesn't match up with the feeling you have, where, you know, fear, you're getting flooded with those emotions on that adrenaline and the fight or [00:06:00] flight response.
And it's hard to have a fight or flight response against getting fired. That was one of the weirdest times I've had is whenever something like that, you're asking a girl out at the bar, which has come up a couple of times as some example, or you're getting laid off. Both of those things have happened to me and you know, my heart's pounding and I am, I'm hyped up for a situation that is much better for me to remain calm. And it feels really weird whenever you're having that experience.
Daniel: [00:06:25] I think that anxiety it's more that constant low grade presence of a fear versus, the fight or flight moment it's in the moment. You make a decision, you're doing something you're taking action versus anxiety. It's kind of like, it's just there, more of a constant versus a fear is again, going back to the boogeyman thing, putting me on jumps out of the closet.
You either a fight on the side, you're going to try to take them down and you win that fight or you lose that fight and it's over, or you run away. And you either get away or you don't, and it's over, we're talking a matter of five minutes versus anxiety about, the Corona virus and catching that, like you could have could plenty of people have been experiencing that anxiety from now all the way back to February or January or November, whenever it showed up in China.
Andrew: [00:07:25] So what do you do when you're anxious?
Daniel: [00:07:27] I'm very much somebody that's focused on action. That's what I personally believe should be done. So I think the fear, I think anxiety can be good things if it's driving you towards action, just like I think stress can be a really good thing. if it's driving you towards, taking an action, driving you towards doing something. So if I'm anxious, then a lot of times what I'm doing is first taking time to figure out, do I know what I'm anxious about? That's actually a very important first step, because like I said, there are plenty of people that, and myself have been in situations where you're anxious and you're not sure why.
So that's step one is to figure out. What is driving the things that anxiety what's causing that. So that can be a process of just sitting and reflecting journaling, asking questions, . And then once that has been narrowed down, is it, anxious because of, you know, an upcoming presentation that I have to give?
Or am I anxious? You know, maybe a little bit because of that, but it's being heightened because I had too much coffee and that is a real thing. You can have something where maybe you're a little bit anxious, you're a little bit fearful. And then you add that chemical element of caffeine and all of a sudden, you can get very jittery.
So is it like, I just need to lay off the caffeine and let this pass by and my anxiety level is gonna go down.
Andrew: [00:08:49] That's a great tip for anybody who has kind of stronger than emotional responses. If you're noticing that you're acting in a way that you don't really think as you check your caffeine intake. I know for [00:09:00] awhile, I was I'd get like weirdly aggressively mean, and I didn't understand why things would suddenly bug me more and why I was just amped up and ended up being, I was just having too much caffeine with not enough food and like that second or third cup of coffee would just put me through the roof.
And then my patience was zero and I'm just like ready to fight everybody just cause I went to Starbucks too many times that day.
Daniel: [00:09:18] Yeah. Caffeine is a great thing, but it's not really good to have too much of it, especially if all you're really doing is sitting and being more sedentary. It makes you want to move.
so yeah, so that's something I can look at as what's causing it.
And again, going back to caffeine, maybe on two hands up there, I need to get up. I need to go for a walk or, I do have a presentation coming up and so I need to take some time to do some practice reps, to write things out, you know, to take some action. So that's, I would say step two is. Do something about the anxiety once I've look further into it and then step three is trying to then release it saying, okay, I've done what I need to do about this anxiety.
I've taken the action that this feeling inside of me is pushing me to take. I've decided whether I'm going to, Do fight or flight or whatever it is. and then just being able to put that to rest. And so a good way to do that is just have a physical way to signal to yourself that I've taken action on this.
I've done something about this. So that could be, during your, your process of figuring out what it is, writing out, here's what I'm going. To do to combat this here's what's going to happen. And then you actually just check it off once it's done, you know, I'm going to go for a walk, check it off, or I'm going to, do 15 minutes of practice for this presentation, check it off.
Andrew: [00:10:36] Give yourself something actionable to look at.
Daniel: [00:10:38] For sure. So I think those are the actions that I personally take to combat anxiety and one thing that's, I touched on, but I, I want to explore a little bit deeper. That's another really good way to combat anxiety is related to, curiosity.
What I talked about was more at the beginning, figuring out like, what is causing this anxiety. and there's some level of curiosity there in, exploring what it is. that's called deprivation, curiosity, seeking to find missing information that can be satisfied once you have found it.
but Dr. Dr. Jud Brewer, who is a psychiatrist and a neuropsychiatrist. Actually, it has a lot of really great videos about how curiosity can be used to overcome fear. and he, references this quote from James Stevens, which is curiosity, will conquer fear even more often than bravery will and talks about how you really can harness the power of curiosity to help reduce anxiety.
And that really the type of curiosity you want to tap into is what's called information, curiosity. So I already talked about deprivation curiosity. That's trying to find it missing information. It's satisfied once you find it, that kind of is more of a push or a pull. Information curiosity is saying that you are excited about the whole journey of [00:12:00] discovery as the process.
You're not trying to necessarily get somewhere specific. You're just trying to explore and gather information. It's more inviting the patient and that's something that can be done to combat even the physical, responses you have to anxiety. So if your side is really tight, you can use information, curiosity to sorta ask some questions of yourself, of.
you know, is, is it just this one side that is feeling this tightness? Why am I not feeling it on the other side? Do I always feel it on this side? How tight is it? is it something that, I've experienced more frequently and just kind of starting to seek out some of these questions about just the response itself?
You're not even necessarily trying to say what's causing my anxiety. You're just exploring. Your body's response to it. And choosing to be curious about that and trying to explore it is actually a good way to start to unravel some of that, anxiety where maybe you don't know what the cause is, but you can be curious about your body's response and help to diffuse that somewhat.
Andrew: [00:13:02] We talked about that a little bit in our episode with Beth, where we think we're these really highly evolved intelligent people, but, you can trick yourself into feeling differently by, you know, someone listening, I'd be like, this is hard to process. Like I'm really scared about my side hurting.
how am I going to be curious? You just tell yourself like, Hey, instead of, I just want to be curious about this instead, and like just the process of trying to replace your fear and your anxiety with that curiosity. Like it'll happen, even if you don't think it's going to work for you, give it a shot and just tell yourself that's what you're trying and start going down that path and our brains just follow what we tell them to do.
it's like a self emulating machine. It's wild. We're really dumb.
Daniel: [00:13:44] Well, and the reason some of that works is some of the anxiety, some of that fear, a lot of that is self-feeding and we have really good imaginations. And so we have that anxiety persist because we're really good at thinking about all of the worst case scenarios and just letting those sort of play out.
So if you have this pain in your side, a lot of times your brain is continuing to just focus on. Why is this year? Why is this here? Is it gonna get worse? Is it going to ever go away? and then as you're thinking about it more and more, it grows and gets worse. Cause you're feeding it versus if you distract yourself and don't focus on why is it here?
Is it ever going to go away? Oh my gosh, it's getting worse. How do I overcome this? Just trying to, this is going to sound like really Zen and Buddhist, but just accepting it and then exploring it and like treating it as something that's not. I dunno, this thing that's guaranteed to be a negative that distracts your brain from making it worse than what it is.
Andrew: [00:14:41] Exactly. If you get caught up in your head, it is. It is amazing. The ways we can talk ourselves up into a frenzy or Intuit emergency, like just mess with our own selves because we're stuck in our own brain. It's scary. And what you're saying about the, looking at it, accepting it and then moving past it.
that is not some new thing that is stoicism to the [00:15:00] T. Like they've been doing this for thousands of years where it's like, Hey, learn to acknowledge that something's happening to you without necessarily emotionally reacting to it. And you know, it's not saying you can't emotionally react, we're not machines, but be able to control that emotional response and not feed into it.
You know, you get anxious about, uh, your side pain or something weird going on in your body or your job or whatever, you say, Hey. I see that I'm having an emotional response. Alright, cool. Why am I doing that? And then you've moved down that path and next thing you know, you figured it out and it's really, basic in terms of human history.
It's something we've been trying to do for years and years and years. And it fades away as we get more comfortable in our lifestyles, but it doesn't mean that we can't recapture that wisdom that people for thousands of years have been using.
Daniel: [00:15:47] Yeah, totally hear you.
Andrew: [00:15:54] So I wanted to bring something up on, not that second part of what you're talking about, the curiosity, but on that informational curiosity there is. And I don't know if you looked into this before, have you looked into Tim Ferriss's fear setting exercises?
Daniel: [00:16:08] A little bit, not, probably not as in-depth as you are. I haven't listened to the podcast in a while and haven't made it to read any reading any of the books yet.
Andrew: [00:16:17] It's okay. There's a lot of them and there's so many good books out there. So for anybody listening and I'll do a little rundown for you because it's, it really fits in with what you're talking about. Fear setting is actually one of the main things that made me think of this episode because it's one of my favorite tools of anything I do. And what you do with fear setting is you take some, and you're anxious about this obviously does not work well. If you're hiking and you're at the really tall cliff, like you can't bust out your journal and paper and write down, like, why am I afraid? Like, obviously it's falling and dying, but things that you're anxious about, you can.
Look at it and say, Hey, I really want to ask my boss for promotion, but I'm scared. Or I really want to propose to that girl or, whatever it is, I could be the side hurting, whatever you're doing, you say, all right, cool. What am I afraid of? And you put it in a little column and then you say, all right, cool.
Why am I afraid of this? What is the worst outcome? What is the best outcome? And you just kind of fill out this formula and I'll have a link in the notes for everybody listening or watching. So you can. See a professional, do this and get the format that you're doing it in, but essentially fill out this table saying what the fear is or what the anxiety is.
What's the worst case scenario. What's the best case scenario. Why am I in this situation? Am I trying to achieve something? Am I trying to start a new business or am I trying to survive? Or, you know, whatever it is like what's bugging you or what your goal is. And you break it down in this really formulate thing.
And in most cases, Where this is really handy is a lot of the things that cause us anxiety or fear more than likely will not end in a really bad situation. Starting that business. The worst case scenario is you pour all your money into it and you're bankrupt. And that sucks. that's not a good thing, but also it's something that is easily overcomeable.
[00:18:00] And that's also part of the fear setting is you fill everything out and then you also have a secondary list of like, all right, what if worst case scenario comes? How do I overcome the worst case scenario? And the real point is if you have a plan for everything, you can see a way out of the worst case scenario and most things don't end in death.
So they're not horribly, you know, fear inducing or as much so that we are making them out to be now this again, doesn't really work on climbing a cliff or doing some of the more immediate fear stuff that we talked about at the beginning. But for that anxiety inducing level of fear, this is great. It is one of the best tools to help you overcome some of that stuff through almost informational curiosity, where you're like, Hey, what's going to happen.
What's this. And you just go on and it's really cool. So definitely worth checking out.
Daniel: [00:18:43] Yeah. And I feel like the advantage of something like that is throughout the process. I would imagine you're also outlining, okay, here's the worst case scenario. Here's how this would play out. But then, best case scenario, here's the benefit that I get from this. Here's what I stand to gain.
And so just being able to put those two things right next to each other, And on some level, probably being able to, maybe not break it down numerically and completely quantify it. But being able to say how likely is it that we end up in best case scenario versus worst case scenario. And then it just makes it a lot easier to make that informed decision.
and I would imagine going through that process, as somebody starts to actually explore the worst case scenarios and how they might overcome it, I would be really willing to bet that there are some situations where all of a sudden you decide my worst case scenario. Isn't actually even as bad as what I thought was a middle of the road thing.
Like the boss situation. okay. Best case scenario is I get this raise and I thought the medium was like, nothing happens, but, and worst case was I lose my job. But as I look into what it would mean, if I lost my job, turns out, maybe that's not that bad. So like, it turns into a situation where okay.
Either I ask and get the promotion or. I actually decide I'm done with this job because I've looked at what that would mean for me and turns out it's really not as bad as what I thought it was.
Andrew: [00:20:05] Yeah, I can go apply for a new job at the competitor and they're offering $20,000 more per year for essentially the same position. So that's, that is exactly it. Anything I've done on the fear setting, because I've done it a lot. I've made a lot of large changes in my life in the last few years and a lot of stuff, a lot of people would be scared of, but that's
kind of the. the result I've run into is Hey, worst case scenario is not bad either. It's a silver lining opportunity. Like, I don't want that to happen, but it's definitely gonna open some doors if it does happen. So there's so few things that whenever you hit that bottom worst case scenario, That's you're going to be like, Oh God, no,
And this is more like a generic tool. Like you can't do this at the bar or at the wedding that you see a cute girl at, but maybe you in general make a fear setting. Hey, I want to ask a girl out, but I'm always too scared. So you go through and you do what happens when I ask a girl out and you put it in, all right.
Best case scenario, she says, yes, we'd go on a date. Cool. [00:21:00] And you know, there's probably actually a better, like, it's just the best thing ever. You find your next, most amazing person in your life, but generally like, Hey, she says, yes is good case scenario, medium, the non-factor scenario is she says, no, and I'm embarrassed.
And worst case scenario. I ask out this girl who actually has a boyfriend and he jumps me and beats me up. So you look at it and go, all right.
Worst case scenario really is this girl is going to say no to me, and I'm going to feel bad about myself, but it's okay because now I can go ask a different girl or I can work on it better next time. And you have that in your back pocket. The next time you're actually out. Or running around and you see the cute girl at the coffee shop you go, Hey, I remember I did my thing and nothing really bad happens if I ask that girl out.
So I'm going to go over there and say, hi.
Daniel: [00:21:42] Yeah. And I think there's going to always be more nuance too everything. so just to play devil's advocate, I think you got to think about a factor of like, if you're literally asking out every single person that comes into your life, you're building your reputation there. Maybe actually think a little bit about that too.
The goal is not to create these like super confident just asks everybody under the sun sort of things like, think about it a little bit more than that, but yes, I would generally agree with you.
Andrew: [00:22:15] Um, since we do some, ill advisable, is the word I'm looking for, um, activity sometimes, what has been the scariest moment of your life?
Daniel: [00:22:23] I feel like I've had a few just different categories. And so, um, I used to do a lot of parkour. And so there are definitely moments where it's jumping from one ledge to another. And if I don't make this jump, then I'm guaranteed to at least break some bones and, really hurt myself.
Those are definitely heart-pounding scary sorts of moments. That's a moment that I chose for myself and embraced it. And then there was a, maybe one of the moments that I felt the most scared in my life was I was in a water ski accident. Took a metal waters for the straight to the eye socket.
And whenever that happened, could not see out of that eye, reached my hand up, pulled it back. It's covered in blood. And so I legitimately in that moment thought I had lost my eyeball. Like I thought my, eye had been gouged out of my head. and it wasn't, but it was severely injured, broke some bones in here was all bloody and all that sort of stuff.
And so in that moment where I thought I had lost my eyeball, that was. Probably one of the scariest moments that I didn't really necessarily choose for myself.
I have a big fear of, not necessarily this disfigurement, that's the word I'm looking for?
It actually, if a character like in a movie or a show is disfigured, that's harder for me to take than if they just straight up die.
Andrew: [00:23:39] There might be some vanity issues there you need to check into.
Daniel: [00:23:43] It's not as much like the looks it's more the function. Like I just,
Andrew: [00:23:46] Oh, yes, dude. I've got the same thing. Like the idea of losing a limb or like something like that. Oh, the loss of functionality is tough. So let's sorry. I interrupted you there, but like with those two options, what. What did you [00:24:00] do to deal with it? let's start with the parkour, because I think that one's really interesting.
A lot of people that know us might just think Hey, Daniel's really, not as easily scared or that you have something different that allows you to. Go up onto a, four or five story building or 10 story building and jumped from ledge to ledge with a, a hundred foot drop below you.
But you still feel that fear. It's not like the fear is gone. It's just, you're choosing something differently. So how does that work for you?
Daniel: [00:24:27] Yeah. So I think it actually, I'm going to borrow a concept from, Benjamin Hardy, who is this author that was recently recommended to you and I by a friend, Shelby kind of thing, going through this, course thing. That's all about creating or identifying your future self then. So one thing that he talks a lot about that I thought was really interesting and applies in this moment is this idea of identity capital.
So identity capital is basically you have done something in the past that, helps too. Create an affirm this identity that you have, and it's something that you have done. So it can't really be taken away. And, the example that he shares is he got his PhD. And so that's a part of his identity, capital of being able to say, I was able to do this program, do these studies, I'm a, A good author, a smart person, whatever that might be like, whatever plays into that identity, he's got that capital, basically giving him and the confidence that he's done it before and he's proven it.
And so I would say when it came to doing parkuor type things, whether it was, climbing buildings, jumping up things, even some of the like crazy canyon climbing stuff, you and I have done. the reason that even though I'm scared, I'm able to. Go forward and do those things is building up identity capital.
So the first time that I jumped over this crazy big stairwell thing, that was like one of the scarier jumps I had done. I probably 30 times had measured out like what I knew the distance was and did it in a situation where there was nothing bad was going to happen to me if I didn't make it.
And I proved to myself. Oh, I, I can do this. It's not like I can barely do this. Like I can easily do this and I've done it a lot of times. And so when it came to that moment, I could trust to know I've done this before I've got this and yeah, maybe I'm still scared, but I can lean into that identity capital to overcome it.
Andrew: [00:26:22] No, that's great. That's that reminds me of more dark, a trail to mortar over in Palo Duro Canyon, which is not what it's called. If anybody's trying to find trail with more during Palo Duro Canyon. . And actually that was one of my scary moments to tie something in there. I remember going with you and I think Thomas Downs and maybe a couple other people.
And I remember I was just absolutely terrified. And it was one of those things where it's like, well, I know I'm kind of fit and functional and they're able to do it. And I don't think there's a lot of things that like they can easily do that. I can't also keep up with so I can give this a try, but going forward, I've taken dozens and dozens of [00:27:00] people up to that trail. partly because it pushes that boundary on fear because you're talking about little things. There's a crack at the very top. That's what do you think? Three feet wide, two feet wide. And normally a two foot, jump for anybody is nothing. It's probably less than that.
It's probably like a foot, but when people get to it, they're like, Oh my goodness. I can see 50 feet down. I can't step over that. I can't come off this rock onto that other rock. And so just, being able to take people through that little step where it's like, all right, let's step over this, over the here.
All right. Cool. Now let's do a bigger one and here's a bigger one. All right, cool. Let's just, just climb down this little part. And for us, it's nothing because we've done it and we've gone up and down the crack of doom, all over the place and done every route and everything you can going up and down that little three section climb.
It's kind of scary the very first time. And it's a good example of how fear can hold you back and your consequences aren't really that reasonable because just you like you and I have taken what 12, 13 people together and no one's ever gotten hurt. I think there's like been some scraped hands and I've probably taken another dozen or two dozen people while I was at school that went over there and.
No one's ever had a bad time. No one's ever gotten hurt, but every single time, you know, excepting Sam's wife, Zoe who just mountain goated it, which was way braver than me. I think every other person besides that has been really cautious and really freaked out going through it. But by the time they get to the bottom and they have this sense of accomplishment and they've moved the dial on what they are able to accomplish in life, which maybe I'm making too much out of a molehill here, but, I feel like it gives them this whole sense of identity that they didn't have before, because a lot of people haven't faced that kind of fear and overcome it.
Daniel: [00:28:42] Yeah. And I think that it is one of those things that can be really valuable. It can help to build some capital that you might not have had otherwise. And, maybe. Maybe it's not super valuable to be able to say, Oh, I can do some rock scrambling like that on a day-to-day basis. Probably isn't super beneficial, but it's more just that transitive effect of. being able to say, okay, I was able to do this scary thing. Maybe I can do this other scary thing. Just being able to work through a situation where your heart is pounding. You do have this fear and you are able to keep your cool and make that decision under pressure or perform under pressure, you know, practicing that, regardless of where you're practicing it, I think is really valuable.
Andrew: [00:29:29] That's good. It's as long as you don't get hurt, you're building that capital and maybe it translate, maybe it doesn't, but at least it's an experience for you.
I know one of the things I wanted to bug you about on this or tell you about, cause I don't think I've told you this story. It's super work specific with fear and I had this employee over at Plains Internet, and he wanted a promotion and we wanted to give him a promotion because we wanted them to work on his own, but he didn't have a driver's license. [00:30:00] this was one of the most frustrating and probably biggest failures as a manager that I had, because I couldn't really, I couldn't figure out how to work with this guy and get across to him like how to overcome this.
And it was just frustrating for me, but essentially he didn't have a driver's license. He was 18 or 19. And he would not get one. He wouldn't go take the test and it was months and months of excuses. And finally, I was like, Hey, I don't need you in the position you're at you. You aren't doing anything essential.
We're sending you out with other people for, to drive you around for you to work with them. And it's like a one man job and you're making it into a two man job. So get your license or you're fired. And even with that, his job on the line, everything, he wouldn't get his license and it was just, it's one of those things where fear can really mess you up and you take someone on the outside and they're like, that's really dumb.
Like you shouldn't lose your job over something so simple as a driver's license. But the people that are in it, they're in their own head and they've built up this fear and it's terrifying. there are multiple people I know, not just like a single person, multiple people I know who are, in their twenties and their thirties.
They don't know how to swim and to you. And I that's a. why don't, you know, how to swim kind of thing. And to other people outside of that equation, they're also like, Hey, just go learn how to swim and go hop in the water. This is not a big deal. You should not have swim but to the people in that little paradigm in their head, that is something that for 30 years or 40 years has been unnecessary, absolutely terrifying to them. So it can really hold you back. And none of us are safe from. Building up a fear in our head and letting it prevent us from having experience or getting that promotion or moving forward with our life.
So it's a really serious thing outside of this anxiety.
Daniel: [00:31:38] And I think fear, it can be a good thing, but yeah, it definitely has really harmful effects as well. And I think of, honestly I think of that Adeventure Time. We've talked about it before. Love the show. is a villain in the show called the Fear Feaster who lives inside of the main character Finn's guts.
and he comes out one of her, Finn has to face things that he's really afraid of. Then in the show, Finn is He's a hero. He's not really afraid of much of anything except for the ocean. He's super afraid of the ocean. Um, he actually, oddly enough will not swim in the ocean. so on topic there, but, to go to the help us first here can help us because the ocean is a scary place. There are things that can, 100% kill you in the ocean, the ocean itself, very possible to kill you. There are lots of things it's worth being afraid of and help having a healthy fear of snakes. Like they can hurt you, don't just walk up to it and thump it and, think nothing's going to happen. Right? Like f ar can serve a purpose, even something like public speaking, it's worth being somewhat afraid of because when you are in front of that many people, there's thinking about you, they're watching you, it can be a benefit to you.
You, if you deliver something really good, it can be, honestly, most of the time just neutral because honestly, half the time people don't really listen that much to public [00:33:00] speakers. so again, one of those situations where the worst case scenario is probably not that bad, worst case scenario, you probably just bore a lot of people, or like you can do something really, really silly in front of a lot of people in a public space and it can be remembered and it can be instagrammed and whatever that is like it's worth having enough fear to respect it and say, I'm going to prepare a little bit, I'm going to make sure I do a good job on this.
But where it starts to get in the way is when that fear causes you to believe that you are lesser than right. And so going back to Adventure Time, the Fear Feaster, made fun of things saying. Hey, you're you too scared of the ocean. You can never be a true here. Like it's attacking his core identity, using that fear.
And that's something that happens all too often, being afraid of giving a speech like that may degrade your ability to see yourself as a leader. being afraid to drive, can cause you to lose a job, right? So it, it can attack your identity and the other thing that it can do is it can really hijack decision-making, that emotional just guts fear can cause us to just totally lose our rational decision-making where, maybe whatever we're afraid of it, it's not enough to stand in the way of whatever we would stand to gain if you put it on paper, But we just struggled to overcome that fear. And it's like, again, Finn, Adventure Time, he needed to go in the ocean to save his very best friend who he would literally die to save, but he was too afraid to do i. The Fear Feaster says that your unheroic body will never let you save Jake.
And so that's the other thing that I think is really dangerous. It can hijack our decision-making. If you are afraid of public speaking and you do your whole fear setting and you realize this actually is going to have zero benefit for me, or very little benefit for me. And there's a high chance that I get up there and I pee my pants and make a fool of myself.
Okay. Maybe you can rationally decide to avoid that situation, or there's a pit of snakes and there's, a ring pop in the middle of it. you can decide, you know what, like I like ring pops and it's a good candy, but nah, not worth jumping into pitfall of snakes.
Andrew: [00:35:21] Now if it was some ice cream, though, it's good to go.
Daniel: [00:35:23] No.
Maybe I'd push you in. But again, it's the difference can be like, what if it's your child, right? That's worth throwing anything aside to save and overcoming any fear. But, it's just fear is so dangerous because it can overcome that decision-making. And it really can attack, the identity of who we are.
It's a malicious thing.
Andrew: [00:35:50] This is in no way, are we suggesting that you need to become fearless. This is not a fear as the bad guy, and you're not going to be. A happy, [00:36:00] good productive person until you don't experience fear. this is about overcoming fear and knowing how to handle it and enjoy stuff. You know, we have lots and lots of really good stories of times that we overcame a fear or intentionally put ourselves in the way of something that we were scared of doing and then did it anyways. And being able to do that is really key to the self-growth and. Despite that it's still good to recognize where fear is coming from and when it's necessary. Cause I'm, I don't want to slap a cobra for fun. Like that. Doesn't sound fun. And that's a bad idea. And just because I'm afraid of the cobra or some snake or shark in the ocean, that doesn't necessarily mean Oh, I'm scared. I don't want to be scared of things. So I'm going to go jump in and attack the shark. That's a bad, that's not what we're pushing here. We're pushing for you to recognize when fear is preventing you from pursuing what you want or opening a new opportunity, finding something at the other end of fear, that you wouldn't have normally been able to find.
If you would have given into what you were afraid of.
So Daniel. When have you felt most brave kind of the opposite of the question I asked earlier, what is the point in your life that you have felt that you were most brave during.
Daniel: [00:37:15] Yeah, most brave is probably difficult to completely quantify, but I can definitely give the example of the time that I felt brave and felt like it was something meaningful. And so I've shared on this podcast before that, I had a moment in my work where I got to experience what would most people would say as a worst case scenario in a important sales presentation,
I literally passed out right in the middle of it in the boardroom. You know, everything was okay. It all worked out, but that was. Definitely not an ideal moment has a lot of anxiety that I was around that whole entire thing. And so one thing that was important to me after that experience was being able to go back into a situation like that again, and experience success because, whenever that happened to me, it wasn't like my first presentation or anything like that.
I had already built up some identity capital. being a presenter, of being somebody that could be in that pressure, pressure situation and deliver. It was important to me to maintain that identity capital, because that was certainly a big hit to my confidence, that identity capital. And I really wanted to be able to say, okay, let's build that back up.
Let's show like that was a fluke. That was a one-off situation. that's not something that's defining me. And not too long after that whole situation, I had the opportunity to do another. Type of presentation, very similar type of deal. And so me volunteering cause I volunteered to do it, going into that situation, I think was, was an important bravery moment for me and important moments to rebuild that social capital.
And there were definitely things that I took [00:39:00] from the original experience where I passed out and I was able to learn okay, how do I avoid that type of thing again? But one thing that was really cool about that situation is I was actually mentoring somebody from my team who was going to be kind of going through these types of similar situations and she actually didn't know I had actually passed out in the last presentation that I had done. And so I had a little bit of added incentive of, I want to make sure that this is a good experience for my team member who's learning about this who's trying to get into this world and I had to put on a brave face. And so that's something that for me is, is really motivating. I'm very much want to be a good leader for people set a good example for people. So that really actually helped me in that situation is an added motivation.
But one thing I, I didn't realize at the time that I now do just after looking into fear a little bit more, that's really actually valuable. When I say put on a brave face. It was important for me. It was important for her because fear is actually straight up contagious. I don't know if you knew that you could probably guess if you're in a situation where everybody else is scared and, you tend to feel scared too and it's something that's a little bit of a social response. Like when a yawn, you tend to yawn. If my eyes get big and if I get scared, you react to that. It's a herd mentality thing, but it even goes as far as. chemically, like your sweat is different when you're scared, compared to not being scared.
There's a study I read about from, PBS where they took, like a shirt or piece of clothing or something like that from somebody who had just been like working out in the gym, built up a sweat, wasn't fearful. and then they took. Some sweat from somebody who had jumped out of a plane for the first time in skydiving.
So also it was sweating and was fearful and they had, participants, sniff the sweat from the two different people. And for those that sniffed it from the skydiving folks, they, their Amygdala actually. Lit up, which that is, the part of the brain that is tied to fear.
So it's a contagious type of thing. So for me going into that situation, it was important because I was able to be brave for myself, although that identity capital, but also be brave for this other person who was trying to build up some of their identity capital and, keeping my sweat somewhat, chemically neutral.
Andrew: [00:41:18] And for one that's really weird, like I would not have guessed that there was a tangible contagion with fear. Like I knew someone being scared. Other people will be scared, cause that's just how we are as a herd animal kind of thing. But having chemicals involved like that is a whole different level, but something you said there with the identity where you're, you're trying to build your identity capital.
That is another thing that we kind of run into that I know helps you and I. It's weird to say be brave because like almost feels like egotistical, but it is like, we want to not only be brave, but we want to be seen as being brave. We want others to recognize that we are not as afraid of things or that we're willing to overcome obstacles like this.
So having that [00:42:00] mindset of other people's perceptions of us and wanting to, you know, lead the charge and whatever it is that drives us and the weird things that go on in our brains, that's still a factor for how we overcome fear.
Daniel: [00:42:12] Yeah.
Andrew: [00:42:13] so I looked up some. Some ways to sort of say hack fear, because I was like, all right, we do our thing. We do all of our stuff, but what is, I was having trouble like quantifying some of the ways we do stuff. And I thought reading about it would help. So I saw some of the ways that people recommend.
Overcoming fear and anxiety. And obviously this is a hot topic this time of year and with COVID and everything like that. But, one of the main things they said was, you know, don't figure it out by yourself. getting out of your head, like we talked about really important, and you know, where you were working with that girl, it would have been easier for you to jump out of doing that presentation, you know, maybe you wanted to do it, but push came to shove. It'd be easier for you to backtrack on something, you know, you needed to do. If there was nobody else holding you accountable or anybody else with you, but having that mentee with you gave you an extra push towards overcoming your fear.
So that's cool. Also self confession's really important. Being able to be real with yourself and be like, yeah, I'm totally afraid of passing out at this. I don't want to pass out again. I don't want to embarrass myself again. I don't want to drown, admitting to yourself that you're afraid of dying in a car wreck and getting your primary fear out in front of you.
And this, this is necessary for the fear setting tool. If you're going to follow Tim Ferriss recommendation on fear setting, you have to be able to be honest with yourself because otherwise you can be like, Best case scenario. If I get a promotion, they'll probably give me $2. In worst case scenario, my grandmother will probably die, you can lie to yourself and not get anything done. So being honest and being real with your feelings is the first step to overcoming them. And if you aren't able to acknowledge that and or if you're going to beat yourself up for having that fear, you're not going to do yourself any good.
You can't get past it. If you don't acknowledge it. Another tip that they offered was being okay with things out of your control. that's one that I really struggled with because I like to be in control of the situation. but understanding that not everything's going to be there is key to that.
Acknowledging that there are things outside of your control allows you to get past the idea that those things outside your control are going to affect you.
The final one that I thought was really handy on there, which is, this is a large information dump. So sorry about that was, practicing self care, which I think has to an extent, a negative connotation nowadays. Cause a lot of people use that, be like, Hey, self care, go drink a bottle of wine and don't do anything tonight and Yolo. But what it really means is being mindful and intentional with what you're doing with your time and how you're learning and how you're processing feelings and being mindful of what the fear is doing to you and what you want to get past it for and all that kind of stuff. And just being used to honesty with yourself and practicing, being comfortable, where you're at and with your head space and what causes you.
All these different things will help. When something else pops up that sudden anxiety, that sudden fear being previously comfortable with yourself and kind of understanding [00:45:00] who you are as a person and caring for yourself will help you react more appropriately when that situation arises, instead of already being frazzled and anxious and in a bad place.
And then getting dumped on by something else that will obviously have a worse effect than if you've been taking care of yourself and you're mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared for whatever the day throws at you. So those are some of the stuff I found that I really dug. And I think we do ourselves unconsciously or subconsciously or sometimes consciously, depending on how good a day we're having.
Okay, Daniel, I like to do abrupt topic changes like this. So let's give something a little fun before we close out this episode and tell me what your favorite scary movie is for this season. And then, you know, it doesn't have to be super scary. It can also just be a Halloween movie because that'll probably be what I say, but, hit me with the gut.
Daniel: [00:45:57] Yeah, I feel like I need to ask you to do that question again, but in your best like Scream impression, have you seen Scream?
Andrew: [00:46:05] Yeah, I think I've seen Scream or I've seen, a movie making fun of Screamn. I'm not sure which,
Daniel: [00:46:10] The first Scary Movie is largely based around the premise of Scream.
Andrew: [00:46:14] I've probably seen the first Scary Movie then I probably haven't actually seen Scream.
Daniel: [00:46:18] It's not my official answer, but. I do think the Scream movies are really just fun. Get some popcorn, grab Shalomi, watch the Scream movies. I think there are four of them. I would say I liked the first one and the fourth one the best, I think.
Andrew: [00:46:34] Okay. I remember everybody dressing up as Scream in elementary school, I think, but I had no idea what was going on. I just wanted to be Aragorn.
Daniel: [00:46:41] Yeah, who doesn't. Okay. So my actual favorite scary movie. I'm trying to think. I don't get to watch as many scary movies as I used to cause Hillary doesn't love them. She says she'll watch one scary movie a year, but it can't be too scary.
Andrew: [00:47:00] Yeah, that stuff sits with you for a while, man. I don't blame her.
Daniel: [00:47:03] But I, it may not be like a true like Halloween movie, but I really like Shutter Island. I feel like that one, like the story was really good it's just a good, like psychological, type of a thriller so I'll go with Shutter Island. Not stereotypical, but I already talked about Scream, which is like the most stereotypical Halloween movie.
Andrew: [00:47:25] Hey, you got to, you got Scream and Shutter Island. We can throw two that's okay.
Maybe there's some people that need to watch a double feature.
Mine would probably be because I'm not a big, scary movie fan. I would say Tucker and Dale Versus Evil for my kind of Halloween movie. Cause I love that movie.
Um, And honestly, I'm going to go with another kind of feel good Halloween movie. And I'd say The Babysitter. Have you seen that one? the newish Babysitter.
Oh, you're missing out. Okay, fine. That's my recommendation for you then specifically, kind of, it's Home Alone meets a scary movie, it's [00:48:00] awesome. They just had the second one release. Uh, maybe last month and it was just, it's fun. It's just, you'll see why there's a jock in it. That is just my spirit animal.
You'll love it.
Daniel: [00:48:11] All right, I'll check it out.
Andrew: [00:48:18] Well guys, thank you for coming by and listening to this episode on fear and we hope it was helpful for you. If you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you. And we're trying to get back on track with offering challenges. So obviously the challenge we're going to give you this time around is good do something that makes you uncomfortable.
Do that thing that you have been telling yourself you want to do, Try rock climbing, or maybe try different food, go swim in the lake, whatever it is, do something that scares you a little bit and give it a shot. See if you can get past some obstacle, at least mentally this Halloween. So thanks for coming by and we look forward to connecting with you soon.