“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Kruschev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of Joseph Stalin. In the midst of his speech a heckler shouted, “You were one of his colleagues why didn’t you stop him?”
Kruschev screamed, “Who said that?” There was a deathly silence as nobody in the room dared moved a muscle. Then Kruschev said, “Now you know why?”
Fear will silence us. Fear will confuse us. And fear can paralyze us. It’s like the coils of a snake that tighten around its victims so that when it prey breathes out it constricts itself tighter, thus not allowing the lungs to take in a breath. It stealthily seeks the innocent among us and tightens itself around us. Until we are paralyzed and are finding it difficult even to breathe. (Source: From a sermon by Shawn Miller, “Living in a Hole” 7/6/2009)
Travelling by airplane is my big one and I know I am not alone. I have flown, but it takes so much out of me, I prefer not to. I have read that repeatedly exposing ourselves to our fear is supposed to lessen it, but for me it was just the opposite.I think fear is a perceived feeling of having no control over a situation…like flying for me.
What is it that paralyzes you? What fear chokes you and tightens itself around you?
We all have our own fears and insecurities. As kids, we were born fearless and very brave. But in time, as we grew conscious, we did experience things that led us to feel afraid of experiencing them again. This is how we all developed the fears we have today.
Fear is a perception of the mind, a block that stops us progressing in our life, doing the things we know we are capable of but are afraid to try. It is what stops us applying for that promotion, or training to become a lawyer, or telling our husband that we are going to become a psychiatrist and he’ll have to get his own coffee in future because you’re going to have life.
Fear can be paralyzing. It can keep us from moving forward in life. It can keep us from finding freedom from past hurts, past sins. It can keep us from reaching all the things God dreams for us to accomplish, and ultimately it can keep us from living. Why? Because fears will often make us run and hide.
Fear and dread of the future can be tormenting companions. Refusing to tolerate fearful thoughts is the first step to overcoming them. It is important to remove the fearful thought and replace it with another thought. I personally use scripture. Even when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He used scripture as a weapon. He continually, when challenged by His adversary, would say, “It is written…
Fear is the defense mechanism that we create when we’ve experienced something we define as negative in our past. We didn’t like it and we’re going to do whatever we can to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
When we do this, we shut our hearts and minds to all kinds of experiences because, through our fear-tainted glasses, these experiences look kind of like something from our past. We try to control our environment and the people in it in our attempt to avoid the things we fear.
If you want to obtain success on your journey, you have to face your fears. Here are some tips to help you overcome the fears that are holding you back from success.
Get Rid of the “What if’s”
“What if I failed? What if I met the group of friends who used to bully me back in school? What if I bump into my ex when I’m going out? What if they laughed at me?” And the list goes on. Do you really want to live a life full of “What if’s”? Why don’t you consider a new “What if everything went great, and I don’t have to be afraid anymore?” Now, this is the ONLY “What if” that you deserve to be living with.
Go on a fear facing spree
This one is not for the faint hearted and only the true personal development bad asses can live up to this challenge, it really comes down to if you are man, woman or child enough to do it!
You need to make 2 lists- Irrational fears and rational fears. You get your list of irrational fears and you tick them off one by one until the whole list is complete.
Your rational fears, you think them through and the ones that make sense to do you go right ahead and do them!
Identify Your Fears
The first step to overcoming your fear is to identify your fears, as well as your goals. When you know exactly what it is you want to accomplish, as well as what you don’t want, it allows you to stay focused on pursuing your goals. Knowing your fears helps to prepare you for any challenges that you may face, allowing you to come up with a solid plan for overcoming them.
What you are in fear of actually hasn’t happened yet.
That stated, fear requires answers and a plan of action to leave. So as much as you may want to stay in bed with the covers over your head and cry for a week, you need to give fear the answers it’s looking for. Otherwise, fear will stick around much longer than necessary and make you miserable and unhappy in the process.
Believe in Yourself
Believing in yourself is fundamental. You need to believe that you can overcome your fear.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”― Henry Ford
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, he can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
–Louisa May Alcott.
Use the Power of Your Mind
Remind yourself that you have the power to control your own fears, if you choose to do so. Many people choose to run away from the fear rather than towards it and when you do this; your fears actually grow more powerful.
You can also choose to change your own belief system, if you believe you are going to fail, chances are you will end up failing. You need to believe that you will succeed.
At the end of the day, who actually cares if you fail? Most of the time the answer is only you.
Expose Yourself to What You Fear
Even though it can be terrifying, if you want to overcome your fears, then you just have to face them. Sit down and define the worst-case scenario of the unknown outcome, an realize that the worst scenario rarely happens. Doing this you’ll start to notice that each time you do the scary thing, it gets a little bit easier.
It is possible to face your fears and overcome your anxiety. Facing your fear will lead you to live a better life, free from stress and anxiety.
Your fears will come in many different shapes and sizes. Not every fear that you face will be significant. However, even the smallest of your fears can break you into a thousand pieces. For you to be able to fight your bigger goals, it is important to take smaller steps and keep moving forward. It’s the same idea for breaking up larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. Starting small can help you to reduce your fear, and it forces you to take action rather than running from your fears.
Seek Professional Help
If fear interferes with your daily life don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Think how life would be more productive and beautiful if you manage to conquer your fears.
Finally, remember this.
Fear expands in isolation. When we are most afraid is when we need the most love and support. Why? Because love is much stronger than fear. Surround yourself with those who truly love you. They will remind you that this current circumstance is not your forever and will do everything within their power to help you.