Fear to Faith

In every moment you have a choice: Faith or Fear. Choose wisely.

Right after 9/11, I developed a debilitating fear of flying. It got so bad that I would refuse to board my flight if I felt the TSA officer had been anything less than completely thorough when examining my passport. I purposely would choose a seat in the very last row of the aircraft and wait until the last possible second to board. This would ensure that I could look at every person who I would be flying with before I'd decide whether to sit down or to disembark. It was pretty awful.

The worst part of it was, I absolutely loved to travel. And I knew that if I didn’t find a way to conquer my fear, I would be giving up something that brought me so much joy.

So, I developed a tool for myself that I still use 17 years later. My “Fear to Faith translator.”

When I feel afraid, I name the thing(s) I am afraid of in a “Fear Statement” and then I translate it into a “Faith Statement.”

Here are a few examples from my fear-of-flying days:

I am afraid that this plane is going to crash. ———>

I have faith in my pilots. I have faith their years and years of training and experience.

I am afraid that I won’t get to my destination alive. ———>

I have faith that I have more work to do in this life and that my future is bright..

I am afraid that someone on this plane wants me dead. ———>

I have faith in the humanity of the people on this flight. I have faith that everyone flying with me is a good person with a whole life ahead of them too.

You get the picture.

It worked. I overcame my fear of flying and then started applying my Fear to Faith translator anywhere I could in my acting career.

I am afraid that I am going to crack on the high note. ———>

I have faith in my vocal technique.

I am afraid I’m going to forget my lines. ———>

I have faith in my ability to memorize. I have faith in my ability to improvise.

I am afraid that my agent is going to drop me. ———>

I have faith that my agent and I have a healthy and open dialogue about our future.

It kept working. As I moved away from my acting career and into my current role(s), I had lots of fears to combat.

I am afraid that I won’t have anything interesting to add to this conversation. ———>

I have faith in my ability to contribute. I have faith in my ability to listen.

I am afraid that I’m not worth the price the client is paying me. ———>

I have faith that the value I’m providing to the client is worth even more than what they are paying me.

Now I am in my mid 40’s and…

I’m still using this tool. Every. Single. Day.

Try it. What are you afraid of?