“I confess. I didn’t leave Gallifrey because I was bored! That was a lie, it’s always been a lie! Not enough? You want more? I was scared! I ran because I was scared! Is that what you want me to say? Is that true enough for you?” – The Doctor
WE ARE ALL AFRAID of something. Whether rational or irrational, we have fears that take a hold of us. Some of them may not have much effect on our lives, such as my fear of falling from high places, as long as I can be safe and avoid roller coasters (much to the dismay of my girlfriend), I’ll be ok. But some of our fears can really get in the way of life. Fears of looking bad in front of others, can keep us from being ourselves and we can end up losing track of our identity. Fear of the future can keep us from taking risks that could benefit us, and we end up simply going along with the status quo.
Whether they are rational or irrational all of these fears can hold us back form achieving our full potential. The reality is that some of our fears have little truth in the long run. They are stopping us because of what we think might happen but there is hardly a chance at all for them to actually happen! I know this all to well, I am a thinker, I think too much. Sometimes i end up designing a doomsday scenario in my mind, all from a small fear. That’s the way they work, they take hold of our thoughts and we end somewhere we were never intended to be at.
Fear has limited me, many times before in my life. My biggest fear: That I would never be good enough for God to use my life to help others. This has stopped me from going through with some of my dreams, writing for example, I mean yes I wrote this post, but it has taken me a long time to actually be consistent here. I never thought I was any good. It has affected my leadership as a youth pastor, and my dreams for the future. But I simply played it off, pretended I wasn’t afraid and just said I was too busy or that I had writers block. I came to understand something, I realized one day that I was afraid and that began my journey to fighting off my fear.
So then what can we do then to alleviate these fears, what can we do move past them, or conquer them. This is what I learned:
1) Admit you are afraid
The quote I opened with is from Doctor Who, you don’t need to know much other than its the best show in the universe, but I digress. The Doctor, was trapped into having to reveal the truth or he would be killed, so in a moment of openness he revealed a secret, the reason he was running was because He was afraid. Admitting you are afraid, is scary in and of itself, but it doesn’t one important thing, it wakes you up. That fear isn’t just hiding anymore, its out in the open, and now that you can see it, you can take action against it.
2) Face your fear
Once you know what your fear, now is the time to face. That seems counter intuitive, seeing as we have that fight or flight instinct and when fear comes into play, we run, pure and simple. To be able to overcome fear, we must face it. That means coming up with a plan of action, for instance, my fear of falling, maybe I should ride a bunch of roller coasters until that goes away (not gonna happen any time soon though). What can you do? You need to ask yourself that question, there is always a way to face it, it might not seems smart, but once you decided to take action, courage starts to build up. My dad, who was a Houston Firefighter for 27 years used to tell me this, “Courage is not the absence of fear, its when you know you are afraid to something, and then do it anyway.”
3) Trust God to take care of the rest
God is in this too, He isn’t just leaving you to face your fear all on your own. He hasn’t left you, and He will face that fear with you. We know that right, it’s what we are always told. However, in the face of fear it can be easy to forget that, or even blame God for our current situation. We must remind ourselves that His promise rings true, and we aren’t alone. In fact, God has even given us brothers and sister in Christ to help us face our fear, we don’t have to go it alone. When we remind ourselves all of this, and it may take A LOT of reminding, we can trust Him to help us take our fear straight on.
I encourage you face your fear, I’ve done it many times before and can assure you will make it through, and that it is the key to living life in a better way. I leave you with this:
I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13 (AMP)