Hack Your Fears – The Better Newsletter #12


A few years ago, I met a woman named Beverly at a conference in Hawaii. 

She told me, “I want to stop letting fear rule my life and start doing things that scare me.”

I said, “Great! Like what?”

“Like going into the ocean. I watched JAWS when I was a kid. Big mistake! Here I am in Hawaii and I haven’t even gone into the water.”

I said, “The thing about fears is to remind yourself that fear doesn’t prevent things from going WRONG; it actually prevents things from going RIGHT. One great way to hack a fear is to reduce the perceived risk, so it’s not as scary.”

“How can I do that?” she asked.

“Well, do you know about the Natatorium in Waikiki? It’s an ocean pool with one small opening in the sea wall so the surf can’t get in and neither can sharks.”

Problem solved

You see, experiences are more meaningful when they’re metaphors. Beverly was not just stepping into the ocean, she was stepping into a new way of thinking where she made the most of her life now, not later.

And, the good news is… When we’re crystal clear about what truly matters – we’re intrinsically motivated to honor and act on it.

I promise you will never regret doing things that make you happier, healthier, and more fulfilled. You will only regret playing it safe and letting fear win.


  • What is a change you want to make – something you would want to do if you only had a week left to live? 
  • Instead of vaguely promising you’ll do it “someday” – brainstorm 10 ideas right now on how to bring that into your life.

  • Ask yourself:

    • How can I reduce the perceived risk of this fear? 

    • What will matter in a year from now? 

    • Will I regret passing up this opportunity, forgoing this experience – or will I be grateful that I made the most of my life?

Here’s to being better.

Until next time,
Sam Horn

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