A little while ago I wrote an article about fear.
In the article, I mentioned the FEAR model. Some of my most valued advisors read that article and asked if I would share a little more about the FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) model so they can better understand it and use it in their lives. I gave a lot of thought to how best I could share my understanding of the model. I hope this helps.
How often have you faced something that has left you frightened, and, in the moment, you have felt overcome by how big, scary and/or dangerous the situation is? What I find fascinating is how often, when I am in this situation, I look at the problem and personalise it. I say things to myself like, “I’m not strong enough to overcome this” or “I’m not good enough to succeed” or “I can’t solve this problem and I’m going to fail”. I step out of my personal power and make myself weak and powerless. Then life happens, I am forced to face the situation and, somehow, I overcome it.
This is the FEAR model in action.
Let me give you an example to demonstrate what I mean. Earlier this year I was working with a client who advised me that she did not have enough revenue to be able to meet her commitments over February. December and January are quiet months in her business and her reserves had not lasted due to unforeseen expenses. She was in a state of fear and panic about how she could get through January and step into February as her sales pipeline was looking great. She saw the financial situation as insurmountable, overwhelming, and deeply frightening. When she looked at the situation, she was looking at the evidence with the view that it was bigger and scarier than she could handle. Because of this the evidence became false. She believed she had no access to funds, she forgot about her pipeline and the signed contracts starting in February, she did not see the good will and credit record that her hard work over the previous years had built up. In her state of fear, the evidence felt very real.
As we calmed the fear and became more factual and practical about the situation, the false evidence transformed and became more real. She realised she had several avenues she could access that would assist her to bridge the one month of cash flow shortage. She revealed the false evidence and chose to work with the actual evidence. She accessed an overdraft and is now paying the loan off faster than the required payment plan.
Our view of the world, especially when it is being viewed from a place of fear, can allow for the evidence to be falsified. It looks and feels incredibly real. Only when we have calmed the fear, stepped back into our power, and accessed our creativity, can we find solutions that prove that we were powerful enough to overcome the challenge all along. The situation was False Evidence Appearing Real.