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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

The fallacy of fear

What are we worried about?

An old proverb describes that “Fear knocked  – but no one answered” (paraphrased from several differing sources)

We were shaped to take responsibility and ownership of our circumstances and to construct and execute solutions to our problems. We learned to analyze the facts and take actions that would lead to the desired scenario. 

We fell yet got right up.  We failed, then tried harder.  Fear knocked - we ignored. 

Somewhere along the line, we succumbed to the grip of the unknown. Our path brought us to a place of doubt, and anxiousness took hold of our heads and hearts.  Worry and fear imprisoned us.  Apprehension and high levels of unease consumed us as we consumed alcohol.  Though we were concerned about our concerns, we were left feet-frozen, paralyzed by the terror of what may or may not transpire. We carried the burden, barely managing its magnitude, in solitude. 

It was from the teachings and experience of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that we learned how to break the chains that had handcuffed our happiness.  (Happiness here is defined as: “an emotional state characterized by joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction.”- borrowed from

We now seek serenity through the lenses of facts, the fellowship of AA, feats of courage (action), and faith. This perspective is a return to our roots.  We are now wiser (not wise yet) and have seen these practices transform fear into freedom.  We have not perfected the following, but exert our efforts in their direction:

Facts (Honestly)

Fear is almost always based on the unidentified. We tend to presume an outcome with a speculative bent toward the negative, painting a picture that excludes the possibility of the positive. 

The conclusion rarely matches the original expectation. The situation hardly ever turns out to be what we initially predicted.  We have learned to build on this truth.  To move toward what reality is as opposed to assumption. 

It is essential to inventory the undiluted facts and take ownership of our role in the situation. What was and is our responsibility? What effect did we have and can have on the development of resolve? 

Emotions are not facts, and subjectivity is not objective. For an authentic effect, one needs an honest appraisal. 

Feelings knocked – facts answered!


It is hard to fix a problem with the same brain that created it – not impossible, but hard. 

An easier way to tackle a challenge and to face a fear is to seek counsel from a neutral source.  Get a second or third opinion.  

The great thing about the AA fellowship is that advice is free of the transaction burden—nothing is expected in return. And, if yoked with the right circle, the motive of counsel is our sobriety. Pure and straightforward guidance awaits if we seek it. There are no scorecards; there are just love and support without condition. 

What often stops us from tapping into this gift is pride and stubbornness. We tend to revert to our “I will tackle this on my own” mentality and miss out on authentic fellowship's value. 

Feats of courage (ACTION)

Armed with honest analysis and backed by legitimate advice, we must try to overcome fear.  Action is the conduit to the conclusion that should be.  Mountains are moved with intention, and nasty spills don’t clean themselves up. 

Our past personalities sat and waited for the hill to disappear.  Today, we come with a shovel and a commitment to dig – and the sooner we get started, the sooner we return to level ground. 

We have been led to lead. Getting ahead of a challenge early is usually the best course of action. Plugging the hole first and cleaning up the mess is the proven path to peace.


The truth is that we can only control our actions (and our state of mind). Doing the most logical, right thing is always the call. And it is in doing that we find fulfillment.  In the action, we find acceptance and, then, the serenity that we seek.


Tranquility is found as we let go of what we cannot control.  Serenity comes from a belief that says, “It will be as it will.” - a central conviction that “the universe will unfold as it should” regardless of our desires.    

Faith that we will be ok with the above is the pathway to the peace we pursue. 

Every scenario has many strings.  Imperfections and irresponsibility can create a cluster of cotton, a knot, that can seem impossible to straighten out. Few situations result from one single action. It takes time to untangle a knot.  Patience and trust in the process are requirements of a faith that can deliver freedom.


It is amazing how this stuff works. We review, reflect, connect, act rightly, and trust the process. Fear fades to freedom when faced head-on.  Once one comes to rest- a new will emerge.  Life will inevitably continue to deliver life – until our last breath.  But today, we try to tackle the uncomfortable with confidence. We work with the facts, tap into the fellowship, act courageously, and have an unshakable faith that all will work out in our best interest. We are free to live as we should.

Freedom knocked – we answered.



Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from podcast #164 titled “The value of the fellowship: Coffee with Claudia”The session dropped 5/15/2024.    Click here to hear the podcast. 


Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash  



Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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