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.