[HE 30 Day Challenge] August 2015: The Fear Pyramid

Jon Brooks (@JonBrooks) 7 years ago

Hello lovely people!

We’re going to start doing 30-day challenges again, beginning on the 1st of each month. All challenges will have a theme, this month’s theme is fear.

Rules: Each day you must do one of the following (not all three) :
– Something you fear
– Something you’ve been putting off
– Something you’ve never done before

We’ll use this thread as a record for what you do each day. That will end up serving as a giant repository of options for other people looking for inspiration on what to do each day.

The Fear Pyramid

Geoff Thompson is a friend and writer for High Existence and has written extensively on overcoming fear. One of the techniques Geoff uses to help people get over their fear is what he calls “The Fear Pyramid” (see Geoff explain the method in this clip).

The idea of the Fear Pyramid is simple. You envision or draw a diagram of a pyramid, put your smallest fears at the base and your biggest fears at the top, and work through them one by one. If you’re afraid of slugs, that might go at the bottom and public speaking at the top. You get the idea.

If you choose to accept this month’s challenge here’s what you need to do: 

1) In the comments below write out a list of your fears, anywhere between 3-30, and don’t hold back. Do some introspection and try to find all those little things that make you a bit anxious. And also list your bigger fears.

2) Every day or two, try to check off an item on your fear pyramid, and then come back and reply to your original post with your updates. You can also include original videos and pictures to inspire others on their ascent up their fear pyramid.

3) Read this article by Jordan on his epic 30-day fear challenge, for inspiration. And this article by Geoff Thompson on how to to deal with adrenaline that comes with fear.

That’s it. Let’s see what we can accomplish together in 30 days!

<3 HE Team

August 1, 2015 at 11:47 am
MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

Spiders

Trusting people

Getting hurt emotionally.

but mostly spiders lol… and people.

Lesser demons:

doctors especially dentists… why would anyone want to be a dentist????????

eating food someone touched

bugs

not being enough

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

Brave!     And all the luck in the world to you 

 I should   enter the  contest  too,   but I will not.   I don’t  like to be homeless,  but I can sleep  outside  without a problem.   I am social  isolated,  but I speak easily  to people.  I am afraid of dying,  but I can’t  erase my self temporarily.  I don’t  mind dentist  nor spiders   success 

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Jon Brooks (4,512)A (@JonBrooks) 7 years ago ago

Come on Dhyan, there must be some fears you can face this month that won’t completely uproot your life?

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

Jon,  I am not  afraid  of bugs,  spiders,  speaking  to unknown  people,  the  dark,  crowds,  being  alone,  so ………     That  doesn’t  mean I am fearless,  but the fears  I have  are as you say,  uprooting 

Greetings :-) 

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Zrtyler (2) (@Zrtyler) 7 years ago ago

I think you can try to bridge your social isolation. My advice is to make an effort to hang out with, talk on the phone, or pass a positive message to someone in your life you’ve been ignoring, every day.

i might do that myself.

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Garik Tate (18)M (@Garik) 7 years ago ago

If you truly weren’t afraid of anything that that wasn’t as you say “uprooting”. Then you would have everything you want in life.

If that’s the case then no need to change a thing.

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Jon Brooks (4,512)A (@JonBrooks) 7 years ago ago

Great fear pyramid Maya. What’s the first one you plan to tackle and when are you going to face it? 

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

I’m going to start trusting people first and I guess I plan on trying to do that with a guy I’m seeing rn. I guess that could also be facing the getting emotionally hurt fear too but I feel like that would be a pessimistic approach to dating and an unfair assumption of the guy’s intentions. It’s scary being vulnerable I guess.

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Alexander Ivan (5) (@BuddhaNguyen) 7 years ago ago

Haha I’m not sure you can summon a lesser demon and comfort it that you’re no longer a fraid of it. But you could try LMaO that’ll be awesome. I would totally back you up if you did. 

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

I just watched a documentary on spiders. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ZMKc2NrZ8

Honestly, I was screaming and jumping most of the documentary which is obviously irrational since they are inside a screen but that’s pretty much what all fear is, irrational. Some of the things I am learning about spiders is actually eerie because I can relate. Most spiders have evolved into a niche that puts them at the top of the food chain or at least minimizes competition but the spider they speak about towards the end of the video has developed something remarkable. Cognitive thought with the ability to problem solve and make judgements based on information received while most spiders act like robots ran by chemical processes. I am still pretty fucking afraid of spiders though lol.

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

We know  so little  about  animals  and plants,  and nature  and fear  is absolutely  okay,  there  are  spiders  able  to kill.  And  a little  one inside  the house.  Put a cup over it,  shuffle  some paper underneath  and throw it outside,  if you do this regularly ,  you get used to it,   Also  if you see a spider,  notice  your reaction.  If you get tense in muscles,  try to relax them.  Succes :-) 

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

I was sitting outside under a tree and something kept pressing on my arm when i reached behind my head. I reacted at first as if it was a wasp because it felt heavier than a mosquito but after some investigating I realized that it was a single strand from a spiders web. The web reached into to the canopy of the bay laurel I was under and my muscles did tense up for a moment but then I started to pluck at it and it was so strong yet i disconnected it from my chair  when I tried to see if it would stretch.. i continued to smoke and sit under the tree.. I think that’s something lol

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Garik Tate (18)M (@Garik) 7 years ago ago

That’s cool… I didn’t need to sleep tonight anyways… :)

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

I let myself be vulnerable with a guy I’m seeing and it actual went unexpectedly well.. I am enjoying this fearyramid lol

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

I haven’t had a very productive day, my mother has been exceptionally rude and i kind of just shut down when i get my feelings hurt

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

I have been opening up to people more these past few days and i’ve learned a few things. It’s okay to not get along with everyone, everyone has a valid opinion and there is nothing wrong with taking what people say with a grain of salt and not challenging them when there is no need. these may be obvious to others but I have a different journey and I am coming to terms with the fact that that is okay and that other people have their own journey’s too.. and they are probably just as vulnerable about something as i am about somethings. It’s hard to find like minded people that share my trans experience but I’m over looking to find anyone specific because life doesn’t work like that, we collect dust along the trail so for now the only thing to do is saddle up and keep on rollin.

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HapppyBlack (1) (@Happy) 7 years ago ago

It’s cool to hear all about how you’re growing! I hope to grow too as a person but i don’t know how well its going to work, for the past year I’ve been thinking everyday about things I “want to do”. It’s been super slow progress but i do acknowledge that it is indeed progress. Hopefully this site will give me much needed re-assuring that i am not the only one with these  stupid meaningless problems that i created for myself. Stay strong!

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

every single step in the journey is important.. i have to tell myself that a lot when I feel like I am moving slower than I’d want.. It helps me because I realize that without this step i could never take another.. the key is to keep moving imo

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

Today I visited a friend I haven’t seen in over a month and we caught up and usually I keep most things to myself but I have always felt safe with her and so I asked her a serious question about my personal life and her advice was exactly what I needed to here.. The things I knew to be true but had convinced myself were not she let me know they were just by talking.. I had to realize it for myself of course but it’s much easier to show yourself love when someone loving is showing you what love is.

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 7 years ago ago

today i talked then hung out with some strangers and it was an extremely surreal and positive experience. I also hung out with a friend from high school I had been avoiding and we had a pretty good time smoking and laughing.. Today was a really good day… still afraid of spiders and my friend told me about how apparently cockroaches crawl in your mouth while you sleep just like spiders and so now iI don’t wanna sleep with my mouth open lol oh well.. progress doesn’t happen over night but I’m going to bed anyways. Peace ttyl

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 6 years, 12 months ago ago

So it’s been a few days since I posted and tbh these past 2 days i did most of my focusing on being enough.. rather my fear of not being enough.. I have come to a point rn where I have realized that I have to be enough for me and that is something that I put a lot of pressure on myself to do. Problem is my expectations are often unfair and I have little compassion for myself in failure. Yesterday was my birthday and tbh I don’t have any close friends, no one I’m dating even knew it was my birthday except for one guy I told and he just avoided me until today(which didn’t go unnoticed but i don’t hold grudges.. I also deserve some sort of respect.. but i digress) and the celebration was just me and a bag of weed with a netflix marathon and take out and I did have a pretty good time. I had some ice cream cake and had a mikes hard lemonade to commemorate 21 although I don’t really like to drink, rather I don’t like being drunk which didn’t happen so that’s good lol.. but I was alone.. and I enjoyed it.. Like the only reason I wouldn’t enjoy that is because someone said I should have done something else or gone all out or whatever but thats not my style. I am a loner, nothing wrong with that, I recognize this and have been actively putting myself out there socially so that when I do need that human connection I won’t be stranded.. Also I don’t like most people, they bore and or annoy me and there is nothing wrong with that but I also don’t have to subject myself to people I don’t like nor is it likely they would find my presence enjoyable if I found them to be one of those 2 things if not both.. I do enjoy connecting with like minded people and discussing things but I enjoy quiet time more… In a way we are all alone, seperate yet paradoxically we are intertwined.. I had before been denying the connection and my actions were to isolate then when i jumped sides I tried to force myself into places where I knew I didn’t fit just so that I could be part of the group… these things are both unhealthy.. I am enough for me and while I don’t like most people I have come to realize that I am pretty easy to get along with so I realize now that I don’t need to feel bad for not having large collections of friends or whatever and that’s honestly how I like it and I am finally okay with that….. loners are wanderers that love adventure and story but our feet are cold and tired yet restless in the morning lmao 

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Batorski (0) (@tbatorski) 6 years, 11 months ago ago

You are quite the writer. Most great writers are recluse, not to be confused with the spider:) I enjoy following your journey. Keep up the good work! Tonya

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toni (0) (@BROTHER) 6 years, 11 months ago ago

these are all my fears but more.  why are all our fears on the same subjects eg bugs, food being touched etc.?

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MayaLuvsKaya (130) (@MayaluvsKaya) 6 years, 11 months ago ago

    I have been wondering how am I going to wrap this fearymid thing up. At the risk of over sharing I even developed a rash from stress (it’s pretty much gone now lol) during this month of conquering fear.. And honestly I do feel less fearful or rather Now I feel more confident that I can handle the obstacles in my way. This morning I watched a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PV7Hy_8fhA) and it help me put some of my feelings into words. At first I thought I would give you all a rundown of my first list with my current demeanor towards those things but that seems counterproductive. And although I hate using quotes mostly cause I never knew who said it but FDR said the only thing to fear is fear its self or something like that. What does it mean? I think it’s rather layered for a short statement. Fear is irrational, we all know this, yet FDR is sort of is saying that a fear of fear is rational… I honestly think it’s limiting. Fear no matter how rational is a limiting force on our being as a whole.. It limits how much we can grow.

    Defining and rejecting fear. That is what I spent most of this month doing, the definition is not that easy to get a hold of because of how personal it is and rejection seems harsh I know but that is the point. Fear is a destructive force and when under it’s influence people operate at their lowest form of consciousness. At the risk of sounding cynical, this is what they want. They want us scared and begging for protection and security but I digress. Fear has the capacity to be debilitating or motivating and it all has to do with the way we choose to approach the fear we are faced with in our lives. The other day there was a large spider chilling on my shower curtain.. maybe large isn’t the right word but I was certainly scared in the moment until I decided to look internally and see that my definition of spiders was really contributing to my fear of them. I hadn’t had the exact words or theories from the above video yet but I still approached it in that manor. I thought this spider is probably afraid of me, afraid of the high pressure water coming from the shower head and then I started to think what am I afraid of, even if it were to bite me I could get it healed but honestly I know it won’t want to bite me while I’m in the shower or even be able to because of how the water was pulsating all over the interior of the shower. I was afraid of being bit but rejected it as illogical…. so what happens when your fears are logical? How can I reject a fear that I have gained through intense logical inspection.

    I am not the type to just wallow in pity but honestly I have not had good luck with people in my life. I have been betrayed more than once by more than one type of relationship and I honestly don’t have anyone that I can go to when shit gets too heavy to handle. It has made me resilient and independent but it has also made me reclusive.. Scratch that. I made me resilient, independent and reclusive. Also I chose for it to represent my whole opinion on humanity. Recently I have started giving people the opportunity to earn my trust while also giving them the benefit of the doubt and hey some people are not to be trusted but that is a terribly self destructive thing to hold in and project out onto everyone. There are a few people that I have been letting get close to me, a couple of them have proved to be really cool and trustworthy people. I wish I could properly explain to you how new and strange it feels for me to even suggest that I could trust someone… IT’s scary, because I’ve been abandoned. I’ve been left behind without warning more than once by people I trusted and that shit is not easy to deal with. I questioned ‘why’ a lot.. I assumed that I deserved it and that’s why it happened and that is where my fear of not being enough comes from I think. People are unpredictable so it seems logical to not trust them but complete isolation basically feels like damnation. A fitting environment if you believe that you aren’t worthy of love and affection which is where I was. I now know that is bullshit and that I am worthy of all the good that comes into my life and I am finally realizing that I didn’t do anything to earn those betrayals and I am done speculating on what those people were feeling because it’s a painful waste of energy. I see that people are usually selfishly motivated and that they often take the easy way out, I know that people can come and go as they please and leave me behind or take me along on their own volition but now I am realizing that their decisions are their own as are mine and that relying on someone can turn around to bite you. I know that I can come and go as I please and leave people behind or not; I know that my decisions are powerful and that I can trust someone without relying on them. I was afraid that I wasn’t enough because I was trying to be enough for someone other than me… which is absolute bullshit. I am finally realizing the only person that I have to be enough for is myself and I am E-fucking-nough lol.

    I don’t know if my point was made clear above but I do know that fear is a self imposed limit that can be conquered by self imposing actions.

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Gare (32) (@JurassicParking) 7 years ago ago

It should be called a Fearyramid! 

I’m working on my fearyamid right now L:

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

I laughed  my self to  tearamid

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Anonymous (0) (@) 7 years ago ago

Gaining more weight

Getting too thin

Not being able to loose in in 30 days

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gypo3 (0) (@gypo) 7 years ago ago

fear o rejection

Fear of unknown

Fear of failure

Women

Fear of physical harm from evious people

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Phlegmboy (0) (@Eladrel) 7 years ago ago

Fear of public speaking 

fear of heights

fear of growing old 

fear of showing my true feelings to some I love

fear of showing my true self to friends 

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ccook (0) (@cookcarole) 7 years ago ago

This is ccook: My fears are: 1-not enough money for retirement;

2-not finding a job;

3- being alone;not finding my soul mate

4- not finding suitable housing

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

Yes  Pitty  we have to be afraid  sometimes,  for  situations that should be a basic right.  Succes 

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

30 Day Challenge: Face your fears:

5: Kissing a girl – Urinating in a public urinal (could be a tongue breaker)

4:Being vulnerable towards people other than my family – Talking to girls – Talking to strangers – People hearing me sing

3: Touching people (e.g hugging) – being seen naked – setting up meetings with friends – doing stuff, that i like, but people might think it’s stupid – talking to people, i know only vaguely

2: Sending first messages to friends – going for a walk in the night – telling a joke, but people might not like it – sharing stuff online – being lonely – giving money to a homeless person – doing completely new things

1: Sleeping outside – driving – public speaking – sending a “Thank-You”-Email – Trying a new recipe

just noticed, how messed up I am. Well, that’s what the month is for, right? Basically  this is the month to fight my social anxiety.  See you on the other side. Good luck to everyone.

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

Day 1: Well, that was already a huge struggle to post this, so i can tick “being vulnerable” and “sharing stuff online” for today. Feels liberating. See you tomorrow.

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Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 7 years ago ago

Great list, keep it up!

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

Day 2: Met a former class mate, which i haven’t seen in almost a year. Went up to her and chatted with her for a couple of minutes. Nothing special, but it challenged my comfort zone, so i am glad, that i did it.

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Musik Lover (0) (@musiklover14) 7 years ago ago

I also fear a lot of those things :( :3 

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

Day 3: Today i met my former history teacher at the gym. It was easier than yesterday to go up and talk for a couple of minutes. The conversation was really nice and i am glad afterwards that i did it. The only thing is that my voice still cracks from time to time. Maybe i should do some vocal exercises in the morning. See you tomorrow.

@musiklover14 : I wish you all the best with conquering your fears. It helps me to not look too far ahead, just starting with tiny baby steps. Maybe this helps you as well. Good luck!

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

Day 4: As stated i am really terrified of driving, because i always fear that i might kill someone. But today i convinced myself to drive to the farmers market, which is always very crowed and try parking at different spots. I found so many excuses, why i didn’t have to drive ( too tired, hungry, maye sick, it’s too full with all the tourists), but in the end i did t, because i wanted to conquer my fears today in some way. And…wuhuuu.. i didn’t kill anyone!

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LisaDee (2) (@LIDavis) 7 years ago ago

This is wonderful, Ambitius. I have Soooo been where you are. Your success in Not listening to that scared voice in your head is an inspiration to me.

I wish you all the best,  Lisa

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

Day 5: Today i met with an old friend, that i hadn’t seen in a long time, at the beach. I was very resistent to go ( i didn’t meet with anybody other than my family for almost four weeks ), but i did go, because i am kind of in the flow now. It was fun and we played volleyball. But i also realized that i need to find more friends, who share more with me, than just shared past. Plan on joining a meditation group, and environmental party, once i moved cities. 

@LIDavis : Thank you for your kind words. I hope you find the courage to deal with the dentist and your other fear areas. Good luck! 

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 7 years ago ago

Day 6:  Today i bumped into my former collegue from work. She is very attractive, but i didn’t really have time to be anxious or nervous, because everything went so fast. But i still count it as an sucess, because i talked a lot calmer than i used to do. See you tomorrow

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 6 years, 12 months ago ago

Day 9 (or so): Had a busy weekend, where i challenged my fears on a high level. First my best friend called. I knew, he would want to invite me on our local festival, but i was so scared, that i just did not answer the phone. Seeing many people, being around strangers and probably having to dance or so.. I just looked at the phone and let him call me for four times ( I am so grateful for such a friend). I reminded myself of the fear challenge, listened to a motivating song and then called him back. I told myself, i would just say Yes to whatever he was saying, no matter what, even if he wanted me to kill another person or so. Just saying Yes, that was the goal. So instead of having to kill someone, we went to the festival and it was a lot of fun. I even challenged my fear of public urinating and won. The next day, he was just standing in front of my door with a couple of friends and said we were going to play football now. I had no choice, which was great, so my mind couldn’t find any excuses. So yeah, i am proud of myself, but also extremely grateful for such a friend, who is just to stubborn to let me rot in self-pity. See you soon.

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Ambitius (11) (@Ambitius) 6 years, 11 months ago ago

Day 30: Inspired by @MayaLuvsKaya , i felt the need to write a closing statement  for my personal month as well. Just to round this wonderful experience up and maybe to inspire somebody else to continue or start facing their fears.

It has been a very “challenging” month for me, where i had to deal with a lot of anxiety and negativity in the beginning, when facing my fears. And I am also a bit disappointed that i didn’t update my list as regulary as i wanted to in the beginning. But once i got used to meeting friends and doing new stuff with them, it didn’t feel like a fear anymore, which made me reluctant to post these here as a success. It was hard in the beginning to initiate conversations or say “Yes” to a social situation or doing something completely new. But once i jumped over this line over and over, it got easier and easier. My social anxiety wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. And that was important to realize: When you face your fears, they suddenly become a lot smaller than you made them. Looking through my original list, i can’t really find anything that i would be too terrified to do now. I may still be afraid, but now i know, that this fear is just a sign telling me where i need to go (if it’s not the “a-lion-is-chasing-me-fear” – than i am going to run in the opposite direction). I am very grateful for this challenge and all the people, who participated. It was a great encouragement to see other people facing their fears day after day as well. I am already excited for the next challenge. But not everything is a challenge. Sometimes you just lean back and enjoy the moment – with all its fears and wonders. 

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Vicki (0) (@vKralapp) 7 years ago ago

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Vicki (0) (@vKralapp) 7 years ago ago

I am terribly afraid that I will fail at this new career that I have chosen.

I was bitten by a pit bull yesterday and I have to go through rabies shots.  Now even seeing big dogs makes me anxious.

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

Be well  soon,  and your fear  is a normal  reaction.  It will vanish  in some time. 

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Julsie (0) (@julsie) 7 years ago ago

And away we go.

Birds, being lonely and alone (even though I love alone time), inadequacy (academically, socially), not being prepared with knowledge and skill, realizing that someone I love can’t connect with me the way I would like to, not having a home base, rejection, not being needed, existing alone with my thoughts without distraction.

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Dhyan (37) (@Dhyan) 7 years ago ago

Breath  in,  breath  out,  and let go.  Why  return  to thoughts  that  put  you down?  We punish  ourself  so  much unneeded.  Try some  visualization  or meditation. 

Your  okay  just  the  way you are. 

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fm4re (1) (@fm4re) 7 years ago ago

1.  Fear of falling off my horse and getting hurt
2.  Fear of failing at my work no matter how hard I try.
3.  Fear of not having good social skills.
4. Taking forever to get my home how I want it.

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