False Evidence Appearing Real

The smile on my face nor the word “happy” on my shirt indicated my true feelings prior to taking this photo. If I’m honest with myself (and you), I was frightened. My fear did not seem like false evidence appearing real in the present moment.

I was in Nafplio, Greece. A city I visited while on a 35-day trip to celebrate my 35th birthday. The place of interest is the Palamidi Castle. An old fortress that was built over three centuries ago.

The fortress sits on the top of a high hill. It provides spectacular views of the town and surrounding area. To obtain this highly coveted view of the town, it’s “rumored” that one must climb 999 stairs to the top.

View from below of the Palamidi Castle

Facing My Fear

If you haven’t figured out yet, I’m afraid of heights. My phobia of heights has been with me as far as I can remember and it still rears its ugly head every now and then. Heights or not, I was determined to make the most of my birthday vacay and create fond memories.

I embarked upon the journey cross town walking down narrow streets. Discovering picturesque squares at every turn. Easily, I could have changed my mind. Instead, I motivated myself with self-talk. Yes, I was talking to myself. I was giving myself confidence and permission to not only face my fears but to conquer my fears.

I made it to step numero uno or νούμερο ένα in Greek. Terrified looking at the top of the hill where the fortress towered over the small city. I paced back and forth at the entrance. Then I decided to take step number one, then step number two, then step number three then a few more steps.

I came to a stopping point. Frozen and couldn’t go anymore, an angel appeared. I don’t remember his name or what he looked like or where he’s from. I do remember bits and pieces of our conversation:

  • He had walked up and down the steps several times before I arrived as a part of his physical regimen.
  • He would be delighted to escort me to the top and down.
  • Every year he vacations in Nafplio for a month or so.
  • (Side Note: Filed that thought in the back of my mind, every year vacation for a month somewhere, check.)

I’m sure you know the ending to my story. I made it to the top of the Palamidi Castle and it was very rewarding and not as frightening as it appeared. The fear was indeed false evidence appearing real.

View from the top of Palamidi Castle

Three Quotes Come To Mind

1) Taken from the great motivational speaker Les Brown, F.E.A.R. is

“False Evidence Appearing Real.”

Les Brown

I had nothing to fear. There are far scarier things in this world than climbing 999 stairs. The feeling of accomplishment that comes afterward far exceeds the initial feeling of fear.

2) The Nike slogan

“Just Do It”

In biblical terms, “Walk by Faith and Not by Sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Countless biblical analogies can support this thesis.

I’ll keep it simple and refer to a scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie.

In this particular scene, Indiana Jones faces a giant chasm. He could have accepted defeat and turned back. Instead, he took the first step and an invisible bridge (money/idea/venture/romance/resource) appeared.

You can replace the word “bridge” with anything you fear.

3) Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best:

“The only thing you have to fear is fear itself”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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19 Comments

  • Dreka

    I am very proud of you, you are a true example of what overcoming fear looks like. Keep living your dreams and know that your baby cousin supports you every step of the way. Love you😘

  • Charlesetta (Zetta) Wilson-Glover

    Your story is so INSPIRING and I’m not going to let fear control me anymore!!. The false evidence appearing to be real totally controlled my mind, life and kept me from accomplishing many things. Today on my 42nd bday I have to make a change for a better me and I have to start by: New ways of thinking, living and working!! Thank you.

  • Deanna Chandler

    Landa your testimony of fear is a blessing to me. What ever you doing.keep up the good work. I’m so proud of you Boo. Be safe and I love you so dearly. MAUH😘

    • Dr. Gloria Nixon-Pone

      Fear is the great teacher!

      I have come to experience born sides of the Two Faces of FEAR.
      I have been taught, Two Equally important life lessons:’
      1. What to do
      2. What NOT to do
      NOTE:
      Become a Progressive student in life, today!

  • Shavondra Chandler

    I love this. I really live by this everyday and trying to teach my son the same ropes of life. This is very inspiring thank you cousin, we love you dearly.

  • Thomas Dixon

    Hello my friend! Great to hear from you and know you are growing from ‘Good 2 GREAT!’ This post is indeed inspiring. Persist … the closer you get to your Purpose; your Divine Dream; the more fear will try to influence your decisions. But your faith is greater than the fear. One of my mentors helped me reshape my perspective on fear. He says fear is like a yield sign. It means pause and ensure the situation is not a danger that necessitates stopping. Then proceed with caution. Fear is actually there to serve us, but we should never become servant to it. 💜

  • Dr. F. Tucker-Lively

    Powerful on so many levels. From the importance of silencing the fear and doubt voices in your head to the significance of taking one step at a time (moving forward). Thank you for sharing your experience and the beautiful view from the top. Priceless!

    • mich.hugh@gmail.com

      Thank you for your comment. Daily, I have to overcome fears (some new, some old). My plan is to eradicate my fears.

  • Vivi White

    Hey Baby Girl,
    I am so very proud of you and courage. I knew you were fierce but I didn’t know how fierce. You wow me!
    Take good care and my prayers and thoughts are always with you.
    Congratulations, you could have told me! I consider you a sister/friend for life.
    Vivi

  • Kaba

    Je trouve ça incroyable que tu ai pu dépasser tes peurs au nom de l’aventure
    Bonne continuation pour ton blog ❤️

  • Katie

    I loved your true life experience and was inspired. Thank you Michelle, I knew you was adventurous but I know more about the extent of it!! Keep on trucking baby!! Katie

  • Monica H

    Wonderful post! Fear is a huge hindrance in the lesson of life. I am glad, you are providing such insight and encouragement! So proud of you and your accomplishments, you’re truly an inspiration.

    • Chalanda Michelle Asamoah

      Thank you, Monica! It’s still an ongoing battle. I conquer fear each day. Fear of heights, fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of success. As my post indicated, I’ve taken on the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.” Thanks again for reading and commenting.

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