In an article by Ed and Deb Shapiro, relaxation and mindfulness counselors, on oprah.com they talk about how you can overcome fear. They say that
everyone knows fear. It can come in an instant and throw you into chaos, yet it can also save your life. Fear is a natural response to physical danger, but it can also be self-created, such as the fear of failure, being out of control, being different or being lonely. There is a fear of the future and of death. You may fear love because you fear being rejected; fear being generous because you fear you will not have enough; fear sharing your thoughts or feelings in case you appear wrong; and fear trusting because you are dominated by self-doubt and insecurity.
This self-generated fear is found in its acronym: F.E.A.R. or False Evidence Appearing Real. It appears real, even though it is a fear of the future and is not happening now. Therefore, it has no real substance, arising when the ego-self is threatened, which makes you cling to the known and familiar. Such fear creates untold worry, apprehension, nervous disorders and even paranoia (more here).
That’s the fear I want to talk about.
Have you ever had an idea, a vision or goal for yourself that you knew you were meant to do, but something kept you from doing it? Like every time you thought about it you got excited, every time you wrote it down you were filled with joy, but when the time came to actually take action you felt paralyzed. Your mind begins racing, you start thinking about all the work and time you will have to put making that idea or goal a reality, then you question whether or not you have what it takes, self-doubt begins to creep in, insecurities and negative self-talk flood your mind and fear prevents your movement. Or have you ever just been afraid to be you, afraid to live, afraid of what’s on the other side of taking that first step? Yeah, I’ve been there too. Fear sucks.
Fear makes you believe that you’re not capable of doing the very things God created you to do.
Fear has a way of making you believe you’re inadequate, incapable and unequipped. One thing that I had to learn and still learning is that we can’t get so dependent on outside sources to complete us where we feel lacking. A lot of times we have the resources and capabilities to do things we think we need others to do. I do believe that there are times when we do need help, but I also believe if we are plugged into our source – God – then He will reveal to us when we need help and need to seek outside support. However, to get started, to make that first move, all of that comes from what God has already provided and will continue to provide through your faith and connection to Him. There have been many times where I have made myself believe I wasn’t capable of writing at the level God has called me to; I felt I needed all these outside resources when God had to show me everything I need to blog or write a book is already on the inside of me. The enemy knows how strong we can be and how much of an influence we can have if we use our gifts the way God intended; as a result, he wants us so entangled in fear that we doubt ourselves and the gifts God has given us.
Fear robs you of the many blessings God has along the journey.
God has many many blessings in store for us, but in order to receive all of what He has in store we have to be in a position of purpose. God’s not just going to give us everything at once and He certainly isn’t going to bless us with things we aren’t able to handle. I’ve heard so many times how certain blessings are on the other side of fear and I truly believe this. Many of us are in a place where we want God to bless us with a business, financial freedom, the means to go to school, etc., but we aren’t willing to put in any work, we aren’t willing to meet God even a quarter of the way. When we allow fear to paralyze us and stand in the way of our desires, of God’s promises over our lives and of our purpose, we rob ourselves of many blessings both big and small that He has along the way. I can’t help but think of what opportunities I missed out on because of fear, fear of change, fear of stepping outside of my comfort zone, fear of the unknown. I think when we are living in fear, as previously stated, we aren’t able to even handle opportunities for growth and development.
Fear handicaps you to the point where you are limited instead of limitless.
You’re only going to go so far in life when you allow fear to manifest and permeate. You become limited in what you can do and in what you accomplish. You reach a plateau and those goals on that vision board repeat year after year and you wonder why you haven’t accomplished anything, saying “maybe this wasn’t my year”. When you let fear take over you may even find yourself making excuses that aren’t even real excuses or barriers – there’s that false evidence. There have been times where I’ve felt I couldn’t do things because I didn’t have certain credentials or training behind my name. I allowed fear to limit me in what I could do when God has had to show me time and time again that He doesn’t need credentials to move me to where He has called me. Fear won’t let you see or even understand this though, it will have you believing that you are limited.
I don’t know about you but I’ve allowed fear to take control of many areas of my life. Those areas lacked what only God could fill. Too many times the enemy has tried to keep me from doing what God has called me to do. I love writing, always have, I love sharing my story and helping, encouraging and inspiring others. It’s what God created me to do. It makes me feel alive and connected to God when someone tells me they were impacted by a devotional or blog post I wrote. I need to do more of that and I’m going to! I’m so over fear! I’m saying good-bye to it! I’m tired of fear keeping me from those things I’m purposed to do. I want to encourage you if you are stuck in fear and feel like God has been calling you to a better place, it’s time to break up with fear! Let fear know that it has no place in your heart or your mind. Start replacing fear with the promises of God. Attack fear with the most powerful weapon there is – God’s word.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
You were called to do great things and great things you will do once you let go of fear. After all, it sucks!