Knock Out Fear with the Core Values Index Psychometric Assessment

Steve Williamson, VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.
Monday, September 9, 2019
Knock Out Fear with the Core Values Index Psychometric Assessment

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"All decisions based upon fear are wrong decisions." - Lynn Ellsworth Taylor, creator of the Core Values Index

Everyone experiences fear. It is an unpleasant emotion that drives and controls us in conscious and unconscious ways. We avoid circumstances, both real and imagined, that make us uncomfortable.

The amount of fear in our lives may surprise you. Fear of disease or obesity influences the foods we eat. Fear of wage loss influences our willingness to work at a job we don't like. Fear of rejection can motivate us to stay in toxic relationships.

These are extreme examples, but fear can influence our lives in far more subtle ways, too.

Those who have taken the Core Values Index psychometric assessment have an advantage in the battle against fear. There is a very simple yet reliable rule to remember when understanding where most of your personal fear originates.

Your greatest fear is the opposite of your primary core value energy.

Everyone's conflict resolution strategy kicks in when their primary core value energy is challenged. This is a fear response and it is automatic; you can't help it. You can, however, recognize when it happens and take corrective action.

What happens to you when your primary core value energy is challenged and you go into a state of fear?

Your processing switches into an emotional, non-cognitive state. It is in this state that you will react in an automatic and mechanical way. Any decisions you make in this emotional state will be bad decisions.

The human mind cannot live within our practical brain and our emotional selves simultaneously. It is impossible.

Knock Out Fear

Here's a simple trick to knock out fear and get yourself back into your cognitive, rational self.

When you enter a state of fear, name it.

Naming your fear has a powerful effect that enables you to handle it. Your fear moves from the emotional into the rational brain.

Naming your fear is like a blow to its jaw, knocking it off balance and giving you the ability to rationalize it and turn it into a cognitive process rather than an emotional one.

It has been estimated that we spend up to 95% of our time operating on an unconscious level. When we are in this state, our responses to what goes on around us and the decisions we make are mechanical.

Naming our fears helps us get out of that mechanical, unconscious mode and moves us into a deliberate, cognitive, rational state.

"To make conscious choices continuously is to be fully alive." - Lynn Ellsworth Taylor

Choosing Your Energy

There is another benefit we experience when naming our fear.

We cannot help but go into our negative conflict resolution strategy when we are confronted with a situation that challenges our primary core value. We can recognize when it happens, name our fear, and once we move out of our emotional state and into a cognitive mode, we can choose to access the non-primary core value energy that suits the situation. This is one of the ways you become mature in your CVI profile.

Accessing a non-primary core value energies gives you the remarkable ability to handle situations that previously would have been blocked by your emotional, fear-based automatic responses.

Your motivations and perceptions will be different. It will be like changing the laws of physics so that a scary object speeding towards you will suddenly stop or disappear.

"Our fears, if given full sway over our lives, lead us to purely mechanical responses." - Lynn Ellsworth Taylor

Fear Responses Based on Each Core Value

Here are some quick descriptions of each of the four core value energies and their negative conflict resolution strategies. As you read them, think back to moments when you felt afraid and how you reacted.


If you are a Builder, your primary core value energy is centered around power. What is the opposite of feeling powerful? Powerlessness and impotence. Your greatest fears will be centered around these feelings. Your negative conflict resolution strategy will be intimidation. You will instinctively intimidate when challenged — when you fear you are not being powerful.


If your primary core value energy is Innovator, then your primary energy is wisdom. The opposite of that is foolishness and being unwise. When that wisdom energy is challenged, your fear response is to interrogate. You will ask challenging questions when you are feeling foolish or unwise.


If your primary core value energy is Merchant, your primary energy is love. The opposite of that is to be unloved or to feel unworthy of love. When that love energy is challenged, you will feel like you are not loved or that there is no love within you. Your fear response is to manipulate. You will try to manipulate others to get out of situations that make you feel unloved or incapable of loving.


If your primary core value energy is Banker, your primary energy is knowledge. The opposite of that is to be ignorant. When your knowledge energy is challenged, making you feel ignorant and without knowledge, your natural fear response is aloof judgment. You will aloofly judge others when you are made to feel ignorant.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.

Employees hired with a CVI that closely matches a Top Performer Profile often outperform candidates hired without a TPP match by 200% or more. → Learn more

Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - VP Digital Marketing and Content, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in project management, software development and technical team leadership spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (, and when he isn't writing, he enjoys cycling, old-school table-top role-playing games, and buzzing around the virtual skies in his home-built flight simulator.

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