[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
Nicole (1) (@Iamsuperlious) 7 years ago ago

Hmmm. I’m 4 days late, but its better to be late than never show up right?

Things I fear/am going to work on concurring within these next 30 days are :::drum roll:::

1. Going back to school! – I start on the 24th and have contemplated dropping out probably 10 times since I signed up for my classes.

2. Being the passenger in a car

3. Public speaking

4. being in a new social environment

5. Hula hooping in front of others although hoop dancing is one of my favorite activities ever.

6. I’d like to write down cockroaches but I fear that I will have to face this fear. That being said…cockroaches.

7. saying yes or no.

8. leaving the house without my ativan. lmao yup.

9. Ditching Facebook. Just deleted it today, so here’s day one of completing this, I hope to make this last longer than 30 days.

10. having surgery. I’ve put it off for so long.

woohoo. Time to defeat these fears!

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

Not entering because you’re late would be giving into to the fear of facing your fears. Great list! Do you have an update?

Travers (9) (@findingtravers) 7 years ago ago

Things I’ve Never Done

Kiss a girl

Have Sex

Not Lie for an Entire Day

Swim Naked in a river

Go Make Friends With Some Random Person on the Street

Bike Around All Night

Walk Around Newburyport All night

Compose a Song

Write and publish a short story

Post Personal Things online ;)

Run for 3 hours straight

Work At a Marathon

Things I’ve Been Putting off

Getting into BC Calc

AP History HW

History Essay

AP Chem homework

AP Calc homework

Plan a through hike with Friends

I’ll be posting more as they occur to me

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


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

Task for today-

Pain. I have an abscessed tooth and I will call the dentist as soon as possible. I will stay in the “Now” to the best of my ability. I will quietly meditate and rise above the discomfort. 

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

What happened? 

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

Inadequacy, this one’s a big one and the only way i know how to face it is being confident in myself while i talk to someone that i’m not sure would accept me for who i am.

Talking to girls, i am very bad at this, so bad that whenever a girl would talk to me about anything other than the task at hand i don’t know what to say, and in turn i always blush and then always ends up being a  bad experience

Never finding someone like me, i always feel like i am an alien because i can never find people that think like me whatsoever, the only person that i have found that thinks like me annoys me because he never applies himself or puts real effort into anything.

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

Talking to girls is not something you can be bad at. It’s not a skill, it just requires action. The skill is getting the outcome you desire. Forget the outcome for now, focus on the action. Then everything else will click into place. 

Maximillius (4) (@Maximillius) 7 years ago ago

Things that I fear-

  1.  Bees = I don’t know when I became afraid of them, it just happened. 
  2.  Heights = I am not as bad as I used to be but I still can’t do some things I would like to. (ex. Rock climbing, hiking, parkour…)
  3.  Public Speaking = This is really bad. I can hardly talk without busting into tears. However, I decided to enroll myself into a Theater Arts Class. (I start school on the 10th of August) 
  4.  Being on stage = This is impossible as well. It’s hard enough speaking, let alone acting. At least Theater Arts will help. 
  5.  Competing in competitions = The biggest fear is disappointing my team but I also hate the fact that people are watching me too.
  6.  Strangers = Everything about them just scare me. 
  7.  Losing myself = I am scared that i will try to turn myself into someone else. I want to be who i am not what other people think I should be. 
  8. Opening my heart to someone = It’s already been stabbed, i don’t want it to happen again.
  9.  That my eating disorder will return = When I was a small child, I was often yelled at for eating. No matter if that was the first time I ate that day or not. I was constantly told that I did not deserve the food that I ate. By the time I was 10, I would eat once a day. When I was 12, I would eat once every four days. At that time, I was so ashamed of eating. I felt like I was a disgrace and other people needed it more then me. And the worst thing about it to is my parents did not once notice anything wrong at all and did not help nor save me. I was still yelled at when I did eat and it was hard. I got to the point where I did not care anymore and slowly started to eat again. After 3 years of hard work and dedication I was finally able to eat normally. Now, I eat more then I should but, I am trying to regulate that as well. (and make it more healthy) I am just afraid that I will have a relapse and lose all the progress I made.
  10. Being in front of a camera = I am working on this as well. Using the GiveIt100 challenge on Instagram to help me along.
  11. Currently, that is all that I can think of at the moment.

Things I need to do-

  1.  Study french
  2.  Clean my room
  3.  Exercise
  4.  Practice dancing
  5.  Do dishes
  6.  Work on one of my fears
  7.  Do Nightly routine
  8.  Do mourning routine
  9.  Soon, I will need to go to school
  10.  Soon, I will need to do homework
  11. Basically, that is all I need to do in one day. 

I will give regular updates and may add things to my list.

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

Now that’s how you write a fear pyramid. How’s it going? 

Maximillius (4) (@Maximillius) 7 years ago ago


    Things that I fear-

1) I was able to not run away when it flew near me. However, it tried to land on me. So, I ran for the hills. (I ran away to my front door) 

2) No progress at the moment.

3) Everything has been going well. I was able to talk to 7 different strangers in the past few days without stuttering. (They were store clerks but it’s better then nothing.) I don’t really think it was all that easy before but I guess I am making some progress.

4+5) No progress.

6) Was able to talk to 7 different strangers that happened to be store clerks.

7-10) There is not really any progress yet. (at least not worth documenting until I do a little more)

    Things I need to do-

1) I have not done that yet but I will get back to it.

2) I have done this but I do need to tidy up a little today.

3) I haven’t exercised since Friday. (8/7/2015) However, I am going to be doing some yoga today no matter what.

4) I did practice dancing everyday for at least five minutes. I feel like that is better then nothing.

5-8) Done these with no problems. (Well, i did have some but still…)

9+10) School starts tomorrow, so we will find out then.

That is everything at this current moment and I will give another update soon.

Maximillius (4) (@Maximillius) 6 years, 11 months ago ago

Update #2:

Things that I fear- 

1) I am still doing really well with all the bees. I have not run away from them, I even let a few land on me, and I did not panic. I feel pretty successful right now.  

2) I have not actually been able to do anything about my fear of heights that much except climb on a large table that goes to my chest, climb a(n) exercise ladder ten feet in the air, and climp on this childrens playground thing. it was fun but scary at the same time. However. tomorrow I will be hiking up the side of a mountain, so that will help test me tremendously. :)

3+4) This has been going great! TheatreArts is sooo fun and very helpful with this particular fear. We get up and talk and act. It’s different and fun every day. We still have to do notes and lecture but we do get to do something everyday that is fun and educational at the same time. I am tempted to take this class again nex year.

5) I have finally joined Cross Country, so this will be going along very soon. (Hopefully)

6) I have talked to sooo many different people that I don’t know since school started. I think it’s getting a little easier but it’s still hard. i think I am making a friend though. She is really shy but she’s talking to me more then before. I count that as progress. :)

7-10) These are going okay. Since school started I havent really thought about it all that much lately but I think it’s going pretty good. 

Things that I need to do- 

1) So far I have done this almost everyday and it’s going really well. This new teacher is a lot better then last years and is actually teaching us something but i still have a long ways to go.

2) I have done this a few times but I need to do it today as well. School makes me just throw things around which is worse off then it being organized. At least i will be able to find things then.

3) I have exercised everyday so far (not counting rest days) and I am making lots of progress towards my goals.

4) I have not practiced dancing at all. I actually don’t really enjoy it that much so I think I will stop with this goal for now.

5-10) These are going great. i have not had any problems so far and that is making me really happy. I do have to say that waking up at 5 am is easier then I expected. But other then that I give myself a huge pat on the back. I did great. :D

That is everything I have to say right now and I will be back with another update soon.

Maximillius (4) (@Maximillius) 6 years, 11 months ago ago

Update #3:

Things that I fear-

1) I am alright about bees now. I still don’t like them landing on me but now I am pretty okay with them. 

2) After the hike, I have not really been able to do anything with my fear of heights. But I will continue working on it.

3-6) I am actually doing really well with this. Theatre Arts has helped tremendously and so has Cross Country. 

7) Still my fear but it’s not as strong as before.

8) Not really a fear anymore because I could just care less.

9-10) Still a pretty big fear but i am getting better.

Things that I need to do-

1-3) This is going great!! 

4) Canceled

5-7) Going tremendously!!

8) I am doing awfull in keeping this up! 

9-10) Going pretty okay. A few missups here and there. 

I think this is my last update. I will say that I enjoyed this challenge a lot and I have come through some revelations about myself. I feel very successful and will continue this on on my own time. Peace.

tosh.714 (0) (@tosh.714) 7 years ago ago

After thinking about what I fear from least to greatest (the big ones aside; death, losing loved ones etc.) Here are the ones that affect me the most in my day to day life.

Being in a relationship with an addict whether it be alcohol or nicotine or worse.

Making new friends/being outgoing


losing my temper


eating out alone/attending movies alone

Looking at myself in the mirror and seeing how fat I  am (Improving the way I see myself, or slim down and tone up) 

being forward/Giving a guy my number 

tosh.714 (0) (@tosh.714) 7 years ago ago

I was brave enough to venture out to D&B’s for drinks with a friend, I met some new people too.

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


tosh.714 (0) (@tosh.714) 6 years, 12 months ago ago

In the past 5 days I have managed to:

Keep my cool in some very crazy situations. 

Be outgoing and talk to a stranger

Make it a point to smile at people, whom I pass by. Man or Woman. (not a SoCal norm either)

Go out of my way and step outside my comfort zone and try something new and as well something scary.

Today I did give myself a once over in the mirror and was happy with what I saw. I still need to get myself to the gym.

Lessli (0) (@Lessli) 7 years ago ago

Start a conversation with people I  just meet

be more friendly

Exercise  more

read more

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

Hey Lessli, nice to meet you. :)

Nikki (0) (@PowerofThought) 7 years ago ago

I don’t know if anyone will see this or care, but I hope so. I wanted to put a TRIGGER warning due to some of the content. But, it’s my existence.

1. Managing in society without the finances necessary for my medicine.

2. Speaking my mind.

3. Losing my vision. One day, it will happen due to a degenerative disease but no matter the preparedness, it’s scary.

4. People and social situations.

5. Fear of being abused again.

6. Not being able to stay strong anymore and committing suicide.

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

Hey Nikki! That’s a great list. I encourage you to focus on one at a time. So I think the best one to start working on is “speaking your mind” and then when you have that handled, many of the other fears will click into place. Pay attention to your inner voice when speaking to people. Are your words, thoughts, and actions aligned? If not, you’re not speaking your mind. 

ZenGreg (0) (@ZenGreg) 7 years ago ago

I’m late for this, but,

-Talking to strangers/meeting new people

-Finding the motivation to go outside, either to work out, or just to take a walk

-Prcrastination,,in geneal

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

Never too late to face your fears my friend. 

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


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

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.

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.

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

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!

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! 

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

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

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!

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

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

You can find out what water  means to you.  Do you have fear  for surrender,  letting go,  emotions?  To give some  examples  what  water  could  mean.   And maybe  you had bad  experiences  in past live.  And you’re  okay  even with fear of water  :-) 

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

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

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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