Why Do People Use Fear to Influence You?


Fear and Influence

There are many therapies, techniques, and strategies that we can use to overcome fear.

But if we free ourselves from our big fears, and still have no sense of possibility, no place that we truly want to go to, what will we use our freedom for? Where will we end up going?

I believe that any strategy we use to overcome our fears must go hand-in-hand with reconnecting with, and pursuing, our most personal, powerful, dreams of possibility and greatness.

And, any help that we seek, or are given, to help us overcome fear, should help free us, so we can pursue our own great dreams.

In Do You Hate Selling, we spoke about five powerful ways of influencing others.
The third of those ways is to help others live with their fears.

Offer to help me overcome my fears, and you get my full attention.

But what does “help” really mean?

If someone offers to help me conquer fear in order to influence me, it’s pretty likely that she’ll look for any approach that makes me feel good, even if the solution doesn’t do anything for the underlying problem.

That’s the quick and deceptive way to help people. Make them feel better, without really accomplishing much.

Some examples.
Maybe you can’t stand the feeling of fear itself, and all you really want is to stop feeling the fear. Fear makes you feel small, and unsafe. People tell you to hide from the fear, pretend that it doesn’t exist, or teach you to substitute hate and anger for fear.

Maybe you look at fear as something that gets in your way. It surrounds you. It limits your choices, and doesn’t let you breathe.

You want to feel that your life is free, and full of possibility, not imprisoned by fear.

People will try to convince you that you don’t really want that free life that lies outside of the fence that fear makes. People will convince you that all of the things that you really want are meaningless, foolish, or bad for you.

Or worse still, they’ll tell you that there’s nothing more dangerous than the free world out there, and that the only place you can truly be free is inside the narrow little world that your fears let you live in.

If you hurt enough from living with the fear, you’re vulnerable to those who tell you lies that help dull the pain.

Fighting Back

But, if despite the pain, you’re tired of hiding from fear, and tired of hiding from the future that lies hidden beyond your fear, what can you do to overcome fear?
What will really help you?

Like all efforts to change, I’m not going to get past my fears by beating myself up over them, or calling myself weak and stupid.

There are many things that will help including thought, imagination, therapy, and willpower. In our next post, How Do You Live With Fear, we’ll briefly discuss a few approaches to overcoming fear.

(see the related articles:



One Sentence Persuasion<< Previous in Series                     Next in Series >>
  1. Why Do You Hate Selling?
  2. Are You Afraid to Dream?
  3. It’s Not Your Fault!
  4. Why Do People Use Fear to Influence You?
  5. What’s Your Secret?
  6. Who Are Your Enemies?

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