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Acronyms for Awareness, Part I: Fear

Updated on September 24, 2013

F-E-A-R is False Expectations Appearing Real

I have decided to write a four-part article based on acronyms that have helped me in my journey. In the height of the “self-help” phase of my life, I learned a few acronyms that have become major transitional learning tools that have benefited me to a fuller awareness of who I was really meant to be in the “grandest version of the greatest vision I have ever held about myself” like Neale Donald Walsch says (he is the author of the "Conversations with God books).

The four main topics I want to discuss are: Fear, Anger, Denial and Ego.

Roosevelt said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”

The biggest impact for me has been the acronym for F-E-A-R: False Expectations Appearing Real. Seriously consider this for a moment. Let me explain a little more.

I have learned that we fear anything we can’t see. It’s a state of mind. We fear God; we fear failure (at a new job or an audition for a play or meeting our lovers’ parents or a multitude of other experiences that haven’t even happened yet). Most of our fear is based on our past experiences. We are afraid that if some event happens in our present or future that reminds us of something in our past, we fear it will have the same end result. That leads us to put assumptions on situations or the faces of people in our past in place of the people in our present because we are expecting the same result.(We all know what happens when we “a-s-s-u-m-e”, don’t we?)

I have learned that having expectations will usually always lead to failure because we are usually always disappointed because of our fears. We expect our kids to always behave because we fear if they don’t, they will be noticed by others and we fear we will be blamed for their behavior. We expect our kids to get good grades and be popular in school because we want to live vicariously through them to make up for the things we lacked when we were growing up. We get disappointed if they don’t get straight “A’s” or don’t become super-jocks or super popular in school. We fear we will be looked down upon because we weren’t “good enough” parents to guide our kids in becoming super-achievers.

Fear and worry are synonymous, in my perspective. I learned that worry is the same thing as "praying for something we don't want". We worry about events that haven’t happened yet. We worry about illnesses we have or situations that we may be in this very moment. We use all our energy from a negative viewpoint, which will then cause a negative outcome, more so than if we changed our perspective and focused on the positive things we could do to create a more beneficial outcome.

Because of our expectations, we choose to think everything has to be “perfect”, not realizing that we need only strive for excellence, because there is no true, error-free perfection in the world as we know it. I believe there is perfection even in our faults, misgivings, and mistakes but that is hard concept to grasp until we learn to shift our perspective. It’s a deep knowing inside that all things and all people are as they should be and that we can learn to accept our children, our friends, our families, just as they are. It’s the “live and let live” principle.

The next topic in this four-part series of articles is: Anger

I hope you continue reading!

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