Stricken by fear a couple years ago, I sat and thought about exactly what it felt like to me.

I knew of a few meanings for the acronym F.E.A.R.:

  • False Evidence Appearing Real
  • Face Everything And Recover
  • F*** Everything And Run.

While each captured an aspect of fear, none of them really identified what is going on when I am afraid and full of fear.  So I consulted my gut and brain, and came up with my own meaning:





It means I have no faith in the universe, a higher power, or anyone else. I feel completely alone or at least my ego tells me I am alone, it’s all up to me, there is no help for me. I leave the present moment and go to the future, jumping several steps ahead of where I am – a place for which I feel unprepared, unskilled, unqualified, inadequate. And so I believe “it” will turn out horribly. It will be bad, awful, a disaster.

Diagnosing fear in this way helped me identify a way to defuse fear and regain a sense of serenity and confidence – something I need in order to take steps toward any goal or intention. Like looking for a job or building a business. I regain choice when I become aware of what’s really going on.

  • I can believe in a benevolent universe that supports me when I am engaged in my heart’s desire.
  • I can remember that I am surrounded by friends, colleagues, family, a network – people who can and will help me when I am open to the help and ask for it.
  • I can stay in the now, the present moment, where I am able to cope with the next step, and usually that next step is clear to me and something I am not afraid of doing.
  • I decouple the present from the future, break things down into steps, recognize that a lot can happen between now and the future, and I will have choices at every point along the way.
  • And that means I can expect things to turn out well – no matter what.
  • I will be capable of handling whatever happens in the future, because I will have taken each step as it comes and will be ready for the next one.

Does this acronym meaning help you? Why or why not? And how do you deal with fear?