A few years ago I had a passing conversation with a lady in a hallway. I shared a secret with her in a short two-minute conversation… After which she sent me a Starbucks card as a ‘thank you’ every month or so for some time.

I shared with her something I had learned from others which I call, “The easy way to conquer fear.”

Here are the simple keys –

1. Conclude Fear is the Enemy – fear doesn’t give good advice

If you study the nature of fear you will find that fear never gives good advice. If it does give good advice, it’s not often enough to matter. Of course, the basic nature of fear is that of panic and fright and flight. In these modes the brain is not busy thinking, rather it is busy reacting. The advice fear gives, therefore, is always designed to serve the fear (it lacks perspective). If we think of fear as a person, then we can realize that fear’s goal is survival. Why would fear possibly give you advice that would make it go away?

2. Understand Fear’s Lifeline – the imagined future

Fear is always built on an imagined future that is negative or horrible. One of my mentors, Robert Fritz, used to tell us that some people tend to “FOINC” (which said stood for, “The fear of imaginary negative consequences.” This simply means that some people run ahead into the future and conclude that some terrible and negative thing is going to happen, which then makes them dash back to the present to control the first ‘domino’ in the series so the imagined bad thing can’t happen. This activity compels a lot of people to do a lot of things they’d probably rather not do. Of course it makes sense, if you knew for a fact that you would died this afternoon if you got in your car… Well, we couldn’t get you in your car. The truth is, however, that you actually MAY die in your car today. Not knowing for sure the future allows you to operate with some measure of wisdom as you drive your car. Thinking you know the future for sure will keep you from getting into your car. This is exactly why the imagined future is fear’s lifeline.

3. Conquer Fear with Honesty – you know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know

Credit here too goes to Robert Fritz ( You know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know – simply means that you would be well served to notice that you do not know the future. Hardly any of us are prophets anymore. Fear controls us when we know the future is going to be bad; telling ourselves the truth that we do not know the future (you know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know) means that we CAN’T be afraid of the future because we are sure about it.

Please watch the video below for my full explanation of the easy way to conquer fear…Especially learn the lesson from the man, the son, the horse, and a lot of stupid friends. 

-Fred Ray Lybrand

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