Category : Life Tips
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood – Marie Curie
Fear is that great enemy that holds us back from doing what we want to do, from doing what we know we should do or could do. It is that little voice that whispers in our ear and tells us about all the things that could go wrong. The sidekick of fear is doubt. Doubt makes us question ourselves and even question our worth. Together they imprison us in our minds and keep us in an agitated state enslaved to their message.
Fear robs us of our identity and our humanity. It tells us that we are not who we are and that we can not do what we were born to do. Fear seeks to turn us from bold lions into cowering mice. When it comes right down to it all fear really is wrong information and a distorted view of reality. What do we fear really? People fear a lot of things, some of which are:
- Fear of heights
- Fear of bugs, snakes, and spiders
- Fear of closed spaces
- Fear of the dark
- Fear of getting a disease
- Fear of blood
- Fear of violent weather
- Fear of dying
When we look at these closely, it appears that these fears come as a result of what we think could happen and of not having control over the situation – being confronted with it and not being able to overcome it. And what is our typical response? We avoid these things. Typically we will try to control our environment so that we avoid having to come into contact with the “scary beasties”, we stay away from hospitals because that is where blood and diseases are or we avoid planes and elevators, for example. There are also many adults who need highlights to avoid sleeping in total darkness. In so many ways we try to control our fears by avoiding them.
Action cures fear; inaction creates terror. – Bear Grylls
There are other fears as well:
- Fear of the unknown
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of failing
- Fear of succeeding
- Fear of our emotions
- Fear of what people will think or do (fear of man)
We fear the unknown, and we fear what people will think about us. We hold back from speaking up and giving an opinion or an idea simply because of how we think that other people will react. What we are really afraid of is rejection: rejection of our ideas and rejection of us. Somehow, we tend to think that other people are more intelligent, more gifted, have better ideas or are more competent than we are. “Who am I to speak up and offer suggestions or think that my ideas are worthwhile”? we may think. We can also be fearful of what we could accomplish if we actually tried it. Fear of succeeding can also be a terrifying fear.
With integrity, you will have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt. – Zig Ziglar
The Nature of the Problem
As Marie Curie said, “Nothing is to be feared; it is only to be understood“. Often when we are unsure of a thing or don’t understand it, we become fearful of it. Lack of knowledge and information can bind us and cause us to freeze up. Then, instead of taking action, which could help us to overcome the fear, we prefer to not act, not take the step that could free us and give us confidence.
I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. Knowing what must be done diminishes fear. – Rosa Parks
The problem is that we listen to to the voice of fear which is rooted in lies. Yes, situations may scare us and even terrify us, but, at the end of the day, they are only situations and situations have a time limit, an expiry date. The voice of fear reminds of all the reasons we can’t, or we shouldn’t be brave. It tells of all the things that could possibly happen and wants us to believe that doing nothing, avoiding situations, freezing up at the thought of even trying is the only recourse we have. In fact, the voice of fear wants us to remain helpless victims of our circumstances.
The eagle has no fear of adversity. We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror. – Joyce Meyer
Fear is also either rooted in the past or in the future. Usually both. Our past experiences and traumas resurface and affect our present abilities to make decisions and take action in the present. Likewise, our fear of what may or will happen in the future can handicap our willingness to move forward. For example, past experiences in certain situations with certain people may have convinced us that we are incapable, incompetent or unable to learn. then we carry these lies into our present and allow them to paralyze us from taking any forward steps. We may think that anything we try is not worth it or will not work anyway, so why try.
Walking Into the Fear
“Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear” – John 4:18
Three things are immediately apparent in this verse:
- Love and fear are diametrically opposed
- Love destroys fear
- Love is more powerful than fear
From these three observations, we can plainly see that fear is weak – it is a pitiful weakling, It is spoiled and wants attention. When it is confronted, it has no power and what confronts it is love. If we are rooted in love, it is impossible to be paralyzed by fear. The Bible also says that God is love; he is the source of all love. Fear is the enemy of love and the enemy of God.
Love is powerful and with love on our side, we can confidently and forcefully confront fear, recognize the lie that it is and, “cast it” out of our life. We do not have to live as slaves to fear and its chains. We do not have to listen to its pitiful lies or its “temper tantrums”.
Some Concrete Things We Can Tell Ourselves:
- Fear is a lie
- Fear robs us of ourselves and our identity
- Fear robs us of our future
- Fear destroys relationships
- Fear destroys dreams
- Fear uses our past to persecute us
None of this is to suggest that we will never feel fear. Fear is a feeling, an emotion and it will grip us at times. But fear is also a negative emotion that is rooted in lies. Courage is feeling the fear and doing what we fear doing anyway. Courage recognizes fear for its true colors and defies it, calls it out. Fear is an attack on ourselves and our true identity and when we buy into its lies, we do things that are destructive, time wasting and hurtful to others. We see this pattern all over. People hoard money for fear of losing it. They control people in relationships for fear of losing the people they are in a relationship with. Fear is destructive and debilitating.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. – Eleanor Roosevelt-
The True Identity of Fear
The voice of fear is nothing more than a ruse. Together with doubt, it insidiously debilitates people, convincing them that they are victims, powerless to accomplish anything, change anything or be anything. It messes with our minds and causes us to think that its voice is our voice and our thoughts. The voice of fear does not want people to succeed or be happy.
Overcome and Be You
The good news is that you don’t have to listen. You may feel afraid, unsure, doubtful or inadequate, but you do not have to stay there. Identify the enemy and call him out. Do it anyway regardless of how you feel. The feeling you will get from moving from inaction to action, from saying no to the fear and advancing on it as David did to Goliath will be amazing. It will empower you and boost your confidence. Courage is one step away from victory.
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Diana loves travel, self-improvement, living a debt free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca