4 Powerful Ways to Keep F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) at Bay

Facing Fear
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Written by Faith Saunders

The operative word here is ‘BELIEF’. Our fears are based up our beliefs. Some of which are real but others, the majority, are false. They are False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.).

Before you give up and succumb to fear, join contributor Faith Saunders with “4 Powerful Ways to Keep F.E.A.R at Bay”.

“Before you run, check to see if the bulldog has teeth.”
– Les Brown –

A few years ago I was going for a certification. Part of the process involved doing a presentation in front of a panel of judges and a few colleagues. You’ve thought that I was running for the office of President of the US. I was a nervous wreck!

I have to be honest, I even though about getting out of the situation by pretending that I was sick. Of course, this would mean that I would not receive the certification but at that time, I was open to giving that up to relief myself of the overwhelming fear that I was feeling. Needless to say, I didn’t fake being ill and I am grateful that I didn’t. The presentation went more than well and I received my certification.   I will share later on what made a difference for me.

A lot has been written about fear. But what is it? According to the dictionary it is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”   The operative word here is ‘BELIEF’. Our fears are based up our beliefs. Some of which are real but others, the majority, are false. They are False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R.).

Before I go any further, it’s important to emphasize that fear is normal.   It’s a normal part of the human experience. In a recent article in Psychology Today, Dr. Lissa Rankin, an OB GYN physician said that, “Fear is primal.   It originates from the lizard brain of yFacing Fearour amygdala and exists as an adaptive mechanism meant to save your life.” Fear can be your greatest friend because in the right circumstance, if we don’t feel it we cannot take action to protect ourselves   from danger. However, it becomes a problem when “it goes haywire” as per the acronym, it appears real in our minds eye when it isn’t.

So… what are some steps that successful women practice that keep their F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real) bay?

1.      Identify what you are afraid of:
If you are not clear about what your fear are, you cannot take steps to overcome them. In my dilemma that I described at the beginning of the article, my fear was about failing. I was terrified that I would not do a good job during the presentation and would fail. This fear was compounded because I am a trainer. These were some of the things that were going through my mind – if I did not do a good job then my reputation would be on the line; I would not get other speaking engagements… the list went on and on and it got more bizarre over time. The things we do to torture our self?

2.      Evaluate your fears:
Ask yourself, “Is it real?” In other words, what evidence do I have to support this? Give specific examples. If still in doubt, do a reality check. Share your fear with someone you trust and who will be honest with you. This could give you new insight.

3.      Dissociate from it:
The more you do this activity, the more you’ll gain insight about the many ways fear manifests itself in your life. Give your fear a name – mine is ‘the evil dragon’. Martha Beck – life coach extraordinaire calls hers ‘Inner Lizard’.     Acknowledge it for what it is and do what you have to do. There is no quick fix or tablet to overcome fear,   the only way to do so is to face it!

4.      Connect with your faith:
For me, connecting with my faith – No pun intended 🙂 is one of the major ways that I overcome my fears. I do this in a number of ways — pray, meditate, think about all the things that I am grateful for in my life, I read inspirational material. I have a bag of tricks because based upon the situation, one approach may not work. In my dilemma that I described, the latter — an inspirational reading was what was helpful. I grabbed a book from my shelf (and this ALWAYS happens) and open it randomly to a page and what I need is always there!

In this case, I had grabbed Og Mandino’s book – The Greatest Salesman in the World: Part II The End of The Story from the shelf.   The page I randomly chose said, “I was born to succeed, not to fail. I was born to triumph, not to bow my head in defeat. I was born to toast victories not to whimper and whine.” This was all the reassurance I needed to move forward.

QUESTION:   What are you afraid of?

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?

I have to face my fears. This has significantly impacted my spiritual growth because I cannot do what I know I have to accomplish on my own strength.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?

I appreciate and love that I am always looking to learn something new and share with others. This helps me to grow as a person and try new things.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?

My coaching practice is one of my most rewarding achievements. Seeing the light bulb go on when someone finally connect with their truth is priceless!

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?

Not being on time!   This is not something that I am proud of so I working on it. Quirks – I must say that I try to do too many things in a limited period of time. Hence the tardiness issue!

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?” LIFE!

About the author

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Faith Saunders

Faith has a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from UMDNJ and have over 18 years experience working in various capacities – training, coaching, project development, etc. – with many groups, including women in recovery, teenage mothers, youths and adults with emotional challenges.

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