January 3, 2017
Joe Fairless

How to Identify and CRUSH Fear Barriers

Fear is a human universal. Without it, tigers would have eaten our ancestors and humans would have gone extinct or we’d still be living in the trees! However, while fear of being consumed by a tiger is quite rational and necessary, most modern day fears are not. It paralyzes would be entrepreneurs and stops them in their tracks, or keeps them from even getting started.

Dave Daley, an entrepreneur, keynote speak, author, and The Monster Motivator, has been studying fear inside and out after discovering personal development 17 years ago, and he believes he has the formula to conquer “fear barriers” once and for all. In our recent conversation, he explains what fear is and provides a step-by-step process to crush any fear barrier you may have.

Identifying Your Fear Barriers

Before tackling fear barriers, you need to know what they actually are. So, what are fear barriers? Dave defines them as “obstacles created inside your head and made up inside your mind.” Examples of these obstacles include well-known, and often shared fears, such as the fear of the unknown, the fear of darkness, the fear of doing something different, the fear of failure, and the fear of success.

Fear of success? How so? Dave finds that the fear of success is analogous to a fear of receiving additional responsibilities. “A lot of times, what happens is that fear of success is so sneaky that is comes up and bites you or it stops you midstream every single time… So many people want to do better in life, but they think that they are not going to have to take on more responsibilities. When they do, it stops them.”

While we can rattle off hundreds of different fears, Dave believes that the majority of them are rooted in two major fears: (1) the fear of change and (2) the fear of what other people think. “When you can identify and dominate these two fears, I believe you have the golden key in life!” Since these are the most important fear barriers, Dave unpacked them further.

The Fear of Change – “A lot of people are so terrified of change, but what they don’t understand is change in evolution is going to happen whether you agree with it [or] whether you are ready for it or not. That train is leaving with or without you. You are either getting on that train or you are getting run over. When I talk to corporations, I put it in context of business. [If] you’re not on the cutting edge of your industry, you are going to be left behind. You are going to disappear and [if] you’re not sure how accurate that statement is, just ask Blockbuster video, Border’s Books, Kodak Film. It doesn’t matter how big you are, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been around, we are all vulnerable to change unless we change with it. And that’s such a huge stopper for so many people. They think that they can stop time. They think that they can just stay neutral and there is no neutral. You are either growing or you’re dying. There’s no staying the same. When you move backwards long enough, you disappear.”

The Fear of What Other People Think –“I live my life with intention. If my intention is pure and I use a word or a sentence that offends you, [then] that’s on you. You need to figure out why that offends you. Now, if my intention is impure, then that’s something completely different, but to fear what other people think always stops so many people… If you can adopt this mindset, it takes all the pressure off and keeps everything clear. And clarity is power.”

When you can master both the fear of change and the fear of what other people think, “you have freedom that money can’t buy.”

The Bully Buster Formula

Now that we’ve identified our fear barriers, how do we crush them? Dave created a four-step formula, which he calls the Bully Buster, to crush fear barriers.

Step 1 – You need to be clear on exactly what you want. What is your goal? What is your final destination? To make sure you’re setting the right goal, Dave says “the way we are built as human beings, if it doesn’t scare you and excite you at the same time, it’s just not big enough. It’s not going to keep your attention and it might not even get your attention.” Make sure that whatever goal you set, it has those two components: it scares you and it excites you.

Step 2 – What is your why? Dave believes “your why is the epicenter for everything and…that when your why becomes big enough, it will pull you through those fear barriers and when your why becomes bigger than you, you actually become unstoppable in whatever it is you are looking to do.”

Step 3 – A scary, exciting goal and a huge why is nothing without this next step: action. What action are you taking? Is it getting you closer or farther away from your destination?

Keep in mind that there is a distinction between action and being busy. “A lot of people confuse being busy with actual massive, effective action and it’s two different worlds. If you’re not sure which one you’re taking, your results will tell you real soon.”

Step 4 – Dave believes this final step is “the game changer and the most misunderstood, misused step in life. We all use it but most people don’t know how to leverage it for themselves.” This last piece of the Bully Buster puzzle is your self-talk. What are you telling yourself on a daily basis? “Understanding how to leverage and utilize powerful positive self-talk is vital in life and I always believe if you audit your day and you don’t really understand that process on self-talk, if you’re honest with yourself, the majority of your day is going to be limiting and weakening self-talk.”


We run into fear barriers constantly throughout our lives, with the two most frequent being the fear of change and the fear of what other people think. Once we’ve identified these, and other major fears, we can crush them by following Dave’s 4-step Bully Buster formula:

  1. Set a scary and exciting goal
  2. Set a why – the bigger the better
  3. Take effective action toward that goal
  4. Leverage positive self-talk

Advice in action: Take the most frequently occurring fear you have and run it through the Bully Buster formula. Determine which step or steps you are failing at the most and brainstorm potential solutions to apply moving forward. Comment your discoveries below!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.

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