Posted by: Judy | July 10, 2019

Meme Debunking

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Fear and anxiety are two different things.

Anxiety nags and serves no good purpose. It drains and weakens.

Fear is a God-given gift. God-given fear warns you. It pumps adrenaline into your body to help you with fight or flight.

We run into trouble when we allow fear to rule us instead of mastering it and using it as a tool.

I’ve spoken of the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker before. He writes far more clearly and eloquently about this subject than me. If you want to learn more, read his book.

The quote keeps popping up, and it keeps rubbing me the wrong way. This exercise, today, was a chance for me to unravel why. Many quotes need to be kept in context. Too often, I’ve seen people drag out this quote to chastise people who are struggling with fear.

An abuse survivor has real fear, for good reason. Telling them that the only thing they have to fear is fear itself is not only insensitive, it’s stupid. Too many of them are truly fearing for their life and sanity. They’re right. They need to be taught to use their fear to inspire them to escape. Once they’re safe, then they need to be taught how to properly recognize healthy fear and listen to that fear when it’s appropriate.

Without fear, there’s no need for courage.


  1. “Courage it fear that has said her prayers.” Breathnach ( have forgotten her first name…)

    • On different sites, I found it attributed to Dorothy Bernard and Karl Barth. Whoever said it, I love it!

      • I think i got it from a book written by a woman and I copied it down into my day timer years and years ago and i cannot read what I put down for the author’s name. But Bernard might be it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: