How to Overcome Fear the Stoic Way

How to Overcome Fear the Stoic Way

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Fear is a universal emotion that we all face at some point. Whether it's fear of failure, rejection, or uncertainty, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the ancient philosophy of Stoicism offers practical tools to manage and conquer fear.

In this post, we'll explore actionable Stoic strategies for overcoming fear.

Understand What You Can Control

The Stoic principle of focusing on what you can control is a powerful way to manage fear. Ask yourself if you can control the outcome of what you're afraid of. If the answer is yes, take action. If not, let go, as fear won't change the situation.

Focus on the Present Moment

Stoicism teaches us to focus on the present. Fears are often tied to the past or future, so by staying in the moment, you detach from unnecessary worries, making it easier to tackle your fears.

Use Negative Visualization

This may sound counterintuitive, but visualizing the worst-case scenario can help reduce fear. By acknowledging the worst that could happen and realizing it's survivable, you diminish your fear.

If you need help with this, stoic has a guided journal to help you practice negative visualization.

Practice Courage

Courage is highly valued in Stoicism. Remember, courage isn't the absence of fear but acting despite it. Taking even small steps towards what you're afraid of can reduce its power over you.

Reframe the Fear

How you view a situation impacts your emotional response to it. Stoics understand the power of perception. Try to reframe your fear as an opportunity for growth, making it less intimidating.

Detach from Outcomes

According to Stoic philosophy, you shouldn't place your happiness in external outcomes. If the root of your fear is a specific outcome, work on detaching your worth from it. This makes confronting your fears easier.

Fear Setting Exercise with Stoic's Guided Journal

Tim Ferriss, a modern-day advocate of Stoicism, introduced a practical exercise known as "Fear Setting" to dissect and conquer your fears. It's a simple, but profoundly effective, way of examining fears under a rational lens. It enables you to define your fears, evaluate their potential impact, and create actionable steps to mitigate them.

For those who want a structured approach to this exercise, stoic offers a guided journal specifically designed for Fear Setting. It walks you through the process, providing prompts that trigger insightful reflections to disarm your fears.


Stoic philosophy offers time-tested, practical advice for managing emotions, including fear. These Stoic strategies, along with the Fear Setting exercise, offer a new perspective on fear and practical ways to overcome it. The next time fear tries to hold you back, remember these Stoic principles and empower yourself to move forward.

There you have it—a straightforward guide to overcoming fear the Stoic way. Try incorporating these strategies and the Fear Setting exercise into your life and experience the empowering effects of Stoic wisdom.

Want to try Tim Ferriss' Fear Setting Exercise?

We have a guided journal for it in the stoic app ↓