Facing Your Fears
Fear lives inside us all. It is part of our existence, and it influences our decisions in many ways. Sadly though, it often keeps us from reaching our potential.
It is understandable to be afraid of getting cancer, or of taking precautions to avoid a car accident, or deciding not to jump on a longboard down a canyon. Fear has a place in helping us stay safe and navigate our lives by avoiding some of the bad that may otherwise come.
However, to achieve some things, we must go through the bad to find or reach the good. In those situations, fear often kicks in to try and convince us to avoid the bad. When we avoid the bad, we also avoid the good that can come.
Consider these examples:
· Celeste has always wanted to be a public speaker. She knows that she needs practice to refine her public speaking skills, and that others may mock or belittle her as she tries. Since she is terrified of being mocked or teased, she decides to forego her desire to be a public speaker.
· Drew has a great business idea and is confident that people would utilize his services and products. To have the business work, Drew would need to have at least two partners and hire ten or so employees. Drew has never wanted people to be reliant on him for a job and fears the responsibility of how to handle things if they don’t work out for some reason. Drew’s fear of responsibility and commitment to a partnership keep him from pursuing his business idea.
· Cindy has a story that she feels could help change negative perceptions that exist. She works hard and completes her story but finds that she is unable to publish it publicly as she fears what others will think of her. She knows it will help some people, but that others close to her will significantly disagree with it. Cindy is afraid of alienating herself from those she is close to and decides to never publish her story.
With these situations, and many others, the fears come from things that will likely happen. The more likely something is to happen, sometimes the stronger our fear of it will be. The piece that fear hides is what can come of things if we do push through fear to see what is on the other side.
History has given us a few interesting teachings or stories related to fear.
First, the Bible promises spiritual ‘armor’, or protection, to those that follow God. It discusses shields, swords, helmets, etc. Rarely noticed though is the fact that it does not promise any type of back plate, or protection for our back. All the protection offered is for situations when we are actively engaged in battle or actively facing a foe.
While many people show pictures of the ‘armor’ spoken of as including the type of armor that knights would wear, the Bible only discusses a “breastplate of righteousness”, or a plate that sits over the chest. It never says it covers the back.
In other words, the Bible discusses having protection when we face and fight our foes in battle, but not when we run from them. Our best bet in life is to face our fears, not run from them.
This teaching is reiterated by the story of the fiery serpents that came and bit the Israelites in Moses’ time. Having serpents come and bite would likely engender a lot of fear. Rather than simply destroy the serpents, or the things that caused fear, God told Moses to place the serpent on a pole and lift it up. The Israelites who came and looked at the serpent, or who faced their fears, were healed, while those who refused to face their fear (and who did not look) died.
All of us have some fear (or fears) keeping us back right now. To reach our potential, we need to stop running from the things that scare us.We must push through them, face them, and overcome them. Facing and overcoming our fears may just bring the healing that we all need inside.
Today, take the time to sit down and think about what scares you. Write down how those fears may affect your decisions. Write down what you will need to face to get to where you know you can be.
We believe in you. We know that there are still things for you to do, battles to be won, and achievements to be reached. Start today by acknowledging a fear and planning on how you are going to start facing it and working through it.
Your world, and the world of others, will likely never be the same when fear stops being our master.
At Believe, we work to help individuals reach their potential. A significant part of reaching our personal potential is to face our fears inside and to recognize that the good that comes from us working for good things will outweigh the bad. We would love to have you join us on this journey.