The antidote to fear

One definition of fear is that it stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear appears not when we know what to expect or when we don’t know what to expect but when we guess what to expect.

When I coach people in public speaking, I explain to them that to overcome the fear you need to remove as many of the unknowns as possible (such as know your material well, you’ve examined the room, you know the profile of the audience etc.). Whatever unknowns remain, the one’s you can control are the ones that could remain in the dimension of fear, such as audience reaction. So for these last few we need to imagine their outcome as the outcome you want. Remember, the fear is always based on imagining the worst, so imagine the best instead. The ‘fear’ then become ‘excitement’.

There are only really two types of fear. We fear not being loved and we fear that we are not enough. Fear of failure is actually one or both of these: we fear people won’t love us if we fail (or even if we succeed) and we fear we’re not worthy enough to succeed.

Our faith should answer both of these. We are loved. We are enough. Faith not only removes fear – it is the polar opposite of it. To live in fear is to live without faith. In our secular world some people seem to think they don’t have or need faith. This is not true. We all have faith in gravity. We don’t need to hurl a stick in the air to see if it still works. It is more than just belief. We have a conviction that it still works and will always work. This is faith. Faith is certainty, the antidote to fear.

So if we’re living without fear is there a danger that being completely fearless puts us in danger? Actually no. We should still take risks, but only calculated risks, in confidence, through faith.

The only reason we have for not pursuing our dreams is the story that we tell ourselves that we can’t. In that situation, fear is controlling us and holding us back. We need to re-write that story. The secret to achieving is to imagine yourself already in possession of the goal and believe you have it with conviction. That is faith. That is certainty.

For more see:


4 comments on “The antidote to fear

  1. I get a daily Thought for the Day. Here’s one on Faith…

    “When I am continuously being battered by the storms of life, and my very spirit is ebbing away, then all I need to do is hang onto that gift called ‘Faith’, that one support which will weather the storms. Faith does not depend on a clever head, only belief: belief in the self and the strength that lies within. Faith is the seed of victory and the foundation of making the impossible possible.”

    Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t feel so uncomfortable in the UK talking about Faith?


  2. Why do you believe in gravity? Have you conducted numerous experiments yourself or do you trust (have faith) in Newton and other scientists and teachers who proved there was a ‘law’ for us to believe in. Faith is certainty as I said in the article. Faith in desired outcomes is wishful thinking which is different. It may be that we have faith in things that are true and some things that are not true, but to have faith we must be certain.


  3. Received via email:

    Once upon a time, there was a castle and a kingdom that would have lived in peace and harmony but for a huge and fearsome giant who, every year would terrorise all the people yelling and wielding a huge axe. The people would cram into the castle walls but the giant demanded they send someone out of the castle gates to fight him otherwise, he threatened, he would destroy them all. So every year a poor man would appear at the castle gates unable to look at the giant. Before he even drew his sword the giant would roar “Is that the best you can do?” as he brought down his axe on the man.

    One day a prince happened upon the castle and asked why everyone was so sad and cowed. They told him about the giant. “We’ll see about that!” he exclaimed and to their amazement, he volunteered to be the one to meet the giant.
    The next time the giant roared outside the castle walls, the prince stepped forward. With his sword unsheathed and at the ready, he took a step towards the giant who moved back and became slightly smaller. The prince advanced towards him and as he did so, the giant became smaller and smaller until he was very tiny. Just before the prince put a sword through his heart, he asked: “Who are you?”
    “My name is Fear!” replied the giant.

    Hilary Farmer


  4. Whereas I do not disagree that Faith is an antidote to fear, I do disagree that a belief in gravity requires faith. Gravity is a law of the universe in which we exist and is for all intents and purposes an absolute. Faith is by definition not based on absolute outcomes but on desired outcomes.


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