FEAR – The Truth Behind the Acronym

Amy Magyar, Coach

Our October theme this month at FromWithin Coaching is FEAR…sure, it is a kitschy theme based on the fact that October is the “watch every scary movie every created in the next 30-days”, but as Coaches and Career Communications’ Specialists, we face FEAR everyday with our Clients. FEAR of not being enough, FEAR of not being good enough to get their dream job, FEAR of asking for a raise, FEAR of writing their resume, FEAR of LinkedIn, FEAR of spiders (ok, so that isn’t something we coach on, but come on, spiders are NOT very fun to look at…)

Because we face FEAR every day with our Clients, we remind them that FEAR has many different meanings and can have many different definitions than normally thought of when you look at FEAR as an acronym.

Those acronyms include:

False Evidence Appearing Real

Face Everything And Rise

For Everything A Reason

Feeling Excited And Ready

Face Everything And Recover

False Expectations Appearing Real

Failure Expected And Received

Future Events Already Ruined

Fighting Ego Against Reality

False Emotions Appearing Real

Forget Everything And Relax

Forgetting Everything is All Right

Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality

What you see from this list is that FEAR is often what you make it. Or don’t make it.

In doing research for this blog post, I came across Dr. Pamela D. Garcy’s article on her use of the The F-E-A-R System to help her clients work through their FEAR.

The F-E-A-R System she uses stands for Focus, Expose, Approach, Rehearse.

F = Focus instead of freaking out

E = Expose instead of escape

A = Approach instead of avoid

R = Rehearse a lot

What she is suggesting is lean into the FEAR because often, what we think is going to happen (or is happening) is FAR from what reality is.

It would not be a proper blog post on FEAR for me to write if I didn’t include one of my favorite quotes/stories on FEAR that Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love wrote in her book on writing, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

“I even have a welcoming speech prepared for fear, which I deliver right before embarking upon any new project or big adventure. It goes something like this: “Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently, your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So, by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still—your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”

I invite you today to respect the FEAR that arises today in your life…but don’t allow it to drive you.

Not scared,


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