Are You a Victim of Fear?

Recently, I heard something from a colleague that I felt was a very interesting way of looking at an important concept. She said that if you take the letters of the word fear they can stand for the following: false evidence appearing real. Wow!

Think about it for a moment … itís true. Of course, there are, in fact, some fears that are real and we absolutely need to pay attention to them. If we didnít, our survival would be at risk. But (and this is a BIG but), the vast majority of the time, the fear you have about something or someone isnít necessary.

The two strongest emotions are love and fear. Generally, emotions get in the way of your ability to think clearly. Certainly, when fear is present, it will totally take over any chance of seeing things as they really are. Of course, once you feel the fear, there it is – youíre a victim to it. You act according to the fear … regardless of whether itís true or not.

Fear acts like a filter. The way you take information in will depend on what your filters are. Let me give you an example of what I mean. If youíve been raised to think that all purple people are bad, as soon as you see a purple person, you will assume he or she is bad regardless of the truth. Your fear does the same thing. You take in information that isnít necessarily true but react to it like it is.

Now, what does all this have to do with having a better relationship? Everything! First, if you want to be more empowered within yourself, you want to make sure youíre not being held back by false filters. Many people I work with say, ďI canít help it, itís the way I feel.Ē As a psychologist, Iíd never suggest that you donít feel your feelings. But feelings come from thoughts. So – if your thoughts are faulty, then your feelings will be also.

In all my years of experience, Iíve never come across an alien invasion of your thoughts. What Iíd suggest is that you acknowledge your feelings and then question where they come from, what are your faulty beliefs. Donít let your fear hold you back.

If you do, you are less empowered.

Of course, then thereís how fear plays into your relationships. As with so many other aspects of a partnership, how you act will effect how your mate reacts to you. Remember I often speak of Action = Reaction. If you act on your fears that are false evidence, then you very much set up a harmful cycle for no reason. The more you can hold your fear in check and act on reality, the more empowered your relationship will be!

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by Karen Sherman, PhD, Contributor to Sacred Living on


Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago

Thank you

Joanna W.
Joanna W4 years ago

yapp very true but so hard to get rid of !

Kate S.
Kate S4 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

I have phobias that affect my everyday life.. I know they are ridiculous over all but the response to them is a knee jerk response that despite counseling I cannot seem to control. As far as relationships go, I don't attach well. I get along really well with people but do best when I am not committed. I love my friends but if they left tomorrow I would be fine. Same with family members.. I view each person as someone who will likely leave or move on in time

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

Bryna Pizzo
Bryna Pizzo4 years ago

Thank you for the excellent advice!

Pascal Redant
Past Member 4 years ago

Interesting read, thank you.

Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago

I grew up very shy, inhibited and feeling totally at the mercy of not only others' judgmental opinions, but of my own inner judge. Fear was not a good motivator for me, as I was too afraid to function. after many years of self-torture by my own thoughts, I learned, through talk therapy, to "feel the fear and do it anyway". I also learned that courageous people are those who are afraid, but keep on trying. years later, I've let go of my inner judge and am much more comfortable in my own skin. nobody is great at everything, and there's no such thing as a "loser". from my heart to yours.

Mary B.
Mary B4 years ago

Sometimes people who should know better, like trained accountants give erroneous tax advice and people end up paying taxes on gift money as income when they didn't even need to report it."False evidence ". Now that same dear person has recieved a much larger gift, and no matter what sites I steer them to, including the official IRS one that says, 'gifts are not considered income, nor do you need to file any special forms for anything under $100,000." they still are not convinced. Most people have heard of The Gift Tax and know something about that initial $14,000 exclusion, but they don't seem to realize that tax is what the donor pays, not the recipient . "Appearing Real " Look at all the fear and loathing around the idea of taxes that may not even be accurate, yet what a stressor. You can be reading words right on a page in front of you and misunderstand everything. It's like mental dyslexia.

Beth Wilkerson
Beth Wilkerson4 years ago

Fear is a wonderful motivator