FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real
I got a chuckle when I first saw this Les Brown quote but after thinking about it, I realized that it is true for many people including myself. We let False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR) paralyze us from living our lives to the fullest. How often have you heard people say or maybe, you have said it yourself, "What if I lose?", or "Suppose it (insert your 'it') does not work?" These are just examples of some of the ways that we limit ourselves from not taking action.
The dictionary defines fear as “a very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger. It is a very powerful emotion that can make a big difference between life or death. However, it can also make a difference between contentment and regret, success and failure, happiness and sadness. You get the point!
Fear manifests itself in many ways in our bodies. For instance, in my case, it shows up is as a tight, painful knot in the pit of my stomach which sometimes forces me to go to the bathroom. "Gross" you may be thinking but this is my truth. Knowing how fear manifests itself in your body is important because it is the first step in evaluating what is happening. Is what you're feeling a direct result of a real threat or is it False Evidence Appearing Real?
I will use a personal experience to illustrate. When I first started my business, I planned a one-day seminar as my signature debut. If you have ever started a business, you may know that this is a critical time for many reasons. One of which is a lack of resources, especially money. Two weeks before the event, no one had registered.
To put things into perspective, there was a lot at stake here. Loss of money - I paid to the venue and the caterer a decent amount of money and it was too late to cancel; time - I had invested a considerable amount of time preparing and marketing the event and of course, my bruised ego.
So now it’s all out there; this was what this was the root of my particular fear was all about, I had some choices to make.
Remained paralyzed and stuck with my FEAR - False Evidence Appearing Real - "I am not good enough. No one wants what I am offering." And cancel the event.
Reframe and persevere - I still had 2 weeks before the event. There was time to go back to the drawing board and look at other ways of promoting the event because obviously what I was doing was not working. There had to be another way! There are 100 people somewhere who could benefit from this seminar, and who were willing to pay $99 to attend because they see value in it. Where were they? How could I demonstrate that what I am offering would add value to their lives?
Worst case scenario, I could have the event which I paid for anyway, and invite friends and others to attend without charging them. Use the experience to fine-tune the content and gain feedback.
Upon evaluating my options, I chose two of them. They were options 2 and 3 above. I filled the unsold seats by inviting individuals who I knew wanted to attend, but could not afford to do so at the time. It was a win-win for all and the seminar went better than I could imagine. In fact, one of my non-paying guests turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She was instrumental in associating me with securing my first major contract.
What I have discovered, time and time again, is that the things I fear are mostly based upon my ‘stinking’ thinking which distorts my perceptions.
Now it is your turn!
Do you feel trapped between a wall and a bulldog that may not have any teeth? List three (3) fears that are holding you hostage?
Face your FEAR head-on. It may be False Evidence Appearing Real. Choose the most pressing fear from the above list and write 3 possible solutions. Brainstorm with someone – remember – sometimes 2 heads are better than 1!
What did you learn from this exercise and how can you use it to change the trajectory of your life?
Until next time...
Today Tip: Face your fears and take control of your life.
The Ponder This! Messages in a Tin has 52 inspiration quotes and challenging questions to help you navigate your life and discover a new future. Available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/discoveranewfuture