Imaginary Fear or Is It Real? | GR8 Relationships

Imaginary Fear or Is It Real?

Fear is powerful. But, it can be imaginary fear. Control people often can't see the difference. If you are a control person, it is great for you to learn to ask, "Is my fear real or imaginary?"

Why is it so important, because you can change your controlling behavior which will help improve your relationships.

Really? Can control people really change?

Yes! You can stop trying to get everyone to do life the way you want it. And, when you do that, you lighten your own burden and remove the load you put on those around you. But, it only happens when you start practicing freedom for yourself and for others.

Unfortunately, even if you know God allows freedom, you most often need more evidence to change your thinking. So, a good place to start is think about imaginary fear and real fear. How can you know the real from the imaginary? That is a tough question for most people, but very tough for control people.

So, how can you know if a fear is imaginary?

Imaginary Fear or Is It Real?

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

How Can You Know?

The answer comes from considering time – as in past, present and future. Control people see current behaviors and forecast a future end result of the behavior, and that future result is always bad!

Here is something to memorize.

Imaginary fear refuses to use MAY for unknown outcomes!

When you have the urge to control, you use WILL not MAY – it WILL happen! That drives even more energy to prove the “FACT” that bad things WILL happen.

This does not mean that we don’t believe in boundaries and controls. You will see how control, freedom, consequences, and self-governance are an outstanding combination that fit God’s ways. We call it the Freedom V!

Fear Drives You to Control

In my son's early life, his unorganized, unkempt room irritated me. That unclean room became a huge issue when I mixed truth with speculation. I projected dire future results that would multiply upon him if he didn't become responsible and clean his room. "If he is not responsible in small things, he will not be responsible in big things."

Imaginary fear demanded my thinking to see a messy room translate into poor work ethics and difficulty keeping a job. Worse, I believed he won't be able to support a family and he will ... (fill in the rest of the story with heartbreak and tragedy.)

But reality says, I CAN'T know the future (apart from what God has revealed), so freedom for me would never come until I understood the difference between real and imaginary fear.

The imaginary fear drives other fears. You fear them experiencing the consequence and you having to initiate the consequence. That creates a big emotional conflict. Neither is a great option for you, so that drives you to control. “I don’t want to see them go through that, so I must prevent it from happening!” Or, “I don’t want to be the ‘bad guy’ to put the consequence on them, so I must prevent it from happening!”


When you fear what might happen that creates a structure that demands that you control! You may know the FEAR acronym. Our adaptation of it is…

Future Events Appearing Real.

For you and me, it is time to realize that when fear is in the FUTURE, it is imaginary, because the future has not happened.

"But, the probability of it happening is real!" Sure, there are always probabilities and possibilities, but even if it has a 99% chance of it happening, you still don't know if it actually will happen, therefore, it is imaginary.

The critical element is – what is the real threat? What am I afraid of right now? Most often it is not the situation or even other person’s behavior, but your own fear of what might happen!

So, learn to ask, "Is this fear real or imaginary?" Stop letting imaginary fear drive your life!

It's time to stop believing you know the future!