Have you ever considered when you allowed fear to have a seat at the table of your life? I have a very constant thought when I am considering doing new things. When did my life change to being full of fear?
Do you ever remember when you were little and you decided to do something new, you would just go for it? What about when you would try said activity, fail but still get up dust yourself off and try again?
Example: not that I want to share any of my dirty laundry. My child jumped off the couch and dislocated his elbow. Then the same day he got on the trampoline and did the exact same thing. We got it back into place and the next thing I know he is attempting to jump across the couches again and he went back onto the trampoline without even a second thought. No fear. He knew he had hurt himself, but he genuinely did not care. He was going to make it to the other couch. He was going to shoot the basketball on the trampoline. He did not care if he got hurt again, he was going to conquer his mountain.
My son was four at the time of this event. He will still do the same thing regarding different activities. He is a perfectionist just like his parents. If he knows he got something wrong, he will stop and try again before he goes on with his day. I hope that we can help him stay this way as long as possible. If I knew that fear would creep its way into my life and shock me to my core where I stay stuck for a long time, I would have found a way to condition myself earlier from it. I can’t turn back the hands of time but I can hopefully raise my child to do the opposite of me and let him know that even though we are trained to live life a certain way we must recognize that we are made differently in the image of God. Fear may still come but at least he will know how to fight it off better and sooner, so he doesn’t stray so far away from his path that God has laid out for him.
I digress, these thoughts have been on me for a while: So, we can help our kids move forward to fight fear but how do we do it now? Whether we are in our teens, twenties, thirties or higher it can still be done. We always tend to think that we are too old, too young, or too far off our path to even get close to what God has in store for us and that just isn’t the case. We have been fearful for so long that we don’t even know where to start.
The first step everyone says that needs to be done to get over fear is to just start. By all means they are right. The only way to move past anything or to stop being scared of doing something is to keep doing it no matter if there was a failure that happened. Not what you wanted to read right? Did you just think, man why won’t someone give me a different answer? You are over here searching for some magic potion that is going to help you get unstuck when the only people that can do this “unstucking’” is you and Jesus.
Something I have found to be very beneficial when it comes to moving past some kid of fear. It’s not a magic potion but it helped me recognize what I am doing to myself, cause yes you are the one stopping yourself from moving forward.
#1 I took responsibility of my actions.
I am a hot mess and will use any excuse in the book to prove that doing what im called to do was not for me. I wanted to prove I was unqualified. I wanted other people to tell me I was not good enough because other peoples opinions mattered. Even though, if you actually met me you would know that I have a very “I don’t care” attitude. You have something bad to say? Oh well, that’s not my problem its yours. I knew at that point that I was meant to be someone who stood out from a crowd that in a sense never fit in anywhere but also could fit in everywhere. I will not tell you that it was just one day that I decided im going to take responsibility for my actions. Nope. It was multiple days of telling myself, it’s time to be an adult. It’s time to take responsibility of who I have made myself out to be. This life has been a work in progress ever since. Every day is different. Everyday I feel like I am starting over but I know that I am getting closer & closer in becoming completely confident in who I am in Christ rather than who I am in this world.
Think about it. Write it down. What can you take responsibility for? How have you been treating yourself? What have you been telling yourself?
I have done multiple tasks of writing down everything I say to myself good or bad for a straight 48 hours. It made me realize the negative things I was telling myself plus forced myself to be positive because I did not want to write down that I had said something negative.
#2 Recognize your fear: get real deep
I have always felt the need to call out what is holding me back. It can be as simple as, I don’t want to fail but lets get deeper. I will tell you my fears. We can be honest with each other right? (I’ll just picture you saying yes.) I am afraid of failure and losing everything I have worked towards. But, I am also afraid of loving something so much that I will just lose it all over again. Why? Because everything I have ever had a passion for has always come to an end. Wanted to play the sport I loved for the rest of my life…ended. Wanted to accomplish everything in school & just learn all new things…ended. Not that I don’t still learn new things everyday. I have a 4 year old that constantly teaches me something new everyday. Trust me but falling in love with school was unwarranted. No one does that but it did eventually have to come to an end. I am also afraid of not helping provide for my family. I have all these degrees, all these aspirations, all these dreams and goals but I have been keeping myself from them that it has hurt my family in a financial way. Living with one paycheck for over a year was difficult. I did eventually find a business to work from home and it has done its part to help fund passions that I never got off the ground or I quit too soon. All because of the simple question of, will this help support my family? Will this be beneficial? Those 100% should have never been the questions I asked during this time. It should have been: is this what God is calling me to do? Because this will be a blessing to bless others if it is from Him.
Now let’s look at your fears, again really think about it or write it down: What is your fear? Fear of failure? Fear of not being good enough? Fear of not providing? Fear of being stuck? Fear of…whatever it is, write it down. Call it out. Recognize it! Then ask yourself why am I fearful of that? Then I want you to think back into your life where there was an incident that could have made this fear come to life?
My example: fear of failure & losing what I have worked so hard for. Why? I am afraid that if I love something or have a passion for something it will just end abruptly and break my heart. Life events: passion and love for softball. I had goals and dreams. Got injured. Dreams ended. Heart broke. Life event #2: Went to school. Fell in love with it. Got my masters so I could get a good paying job. Graduated. Said job never happened & I felt broken from missing all the school work. Heart broke.
Fear officially set in.
That’s my cliff notes version of the parts of my life that I decided to put my identity in. But, I recognized what I was doing & that is when things really started to change.
#3 Give it to God
This one right here is probably the most important but who knew this one would be the hardest part for me. I am a recovering perfectionist & control freak. I constantly want to be in charge of everything and lets just say I am not a fan of someone telling me what I can and cannot do. This part has been the hardest thing for me to overcome. Clearly, when we are in control of our own lives we turn them into complete hot messes. Have you ever noticed that? When you give up control a weight just lifts off of your shoulders. If you are like me this will not come easily. You will have to pray on it everyday. Every single day I will say or write, “take control God, your ways not mine.” It is a repeated process because every day I want to control how certain outcomes happen.
I know what you’re thinking, but when I do it I get things done and in the timely manner that I want it done in. That is EXACTLY what the devil wants you to think. I got all this to happen on my own so why do I need God? The devil has you with just that one question. Little did you know God was actually helping you along the way, but you just couldn’t see it yet. Don’t worry you will get there. But we have to start giving credit where credit is do. You might be putting in the hard work but I can promise you anything that God is doing all the heavy lifting. Those battles are still going to come. It may seem like absolutely nothing is working but remember the devil wants you think that God isn’t working so that you do not get closer to Him. The further you go on your walk with God the more the devil is going to fight. He does not want you to follow God’s path because that would mean trouble for him and his plans.
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.”. Psalms 34:4 NLT
#4 Show up for yourself
This is the part where I tell you to just start. This is where in order to keep moving past that fear we have to do what scares the crap out of us. Taking a leap of faith, shoot taking a step in faith is not easy and comes with its challenges but that does not mean it is not worth it. As I sit here and write this right now I am reminded that I have tried to write this blog 3 different times. Each time I stopped because I did not feel qualified or felt too young to give out any kind of “advice”. Who am I to sit here and tell you to move past fear when it has taken me 3 years to even get to this point? I’m just over here still sitting in my parents house at 26 and you think I have something people want to hear?
I hope I’m not the only one, when someone literally acts like they have their life together is telling you to just pick yourself up and keep moving forward, I automatically think, “of course you’d say that, you have got this all figured out.” Truly and honestly it is what I think. So why not show your mess? Show that you are human and life is just all kinds of crazy but yet you still show up for you. If you can’t show up for yourself, who can you really show up for? Your kids need you present. Your family needs you present. God needs you to be present. You need you to be present. I am here showing up for me and making sure my dreams happen just as much as my kids dreams happen. We all must be the best version of ourselves to give our best. We can pretend and pretend all we want but one day life is going to catch up to you and you will break. I can promise that. That is why we must start now. Right where you. Take responsibility of what has already happened in your life. Call out that fear. Recognize. Show it who is boss. Give that bad boy over to God and show up!
It is time to start getting the life that you want and the one God has promised you.
Some things to think about:
- What negative things do you say about yourself?
- What is your biggest fear in life? Why? What is the moment in life that gave this fear a seat at your table?
- Have you given this fear over to God yet? How many times have you given it over to God after trying to be in control again? It’s ok, be honest.