Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Answer: Overcoming Crippling Fear

Where do I start?!

Overcoming fear has been a priority in my adult life. I remember being afraid to walk across the deep drainage grates in parking lots and forcing myself to step on them in triumph. In college, I took my first swimming lessons to conquer my fear of the water. I stood by the edge a long time with several false starts before I jumped in the deep end determinedly.

It seems that as soon as I think I'm fearless fear washes over me again in a new situation. One fear I constantly battle with is with what people will think of me. This can be an especially crippling fear for a leader if it wins control. Fear can hinder progress and cut off success before its even started. Good intentions and God-given desires can faint when facing the fear of failing before others.

You may be dealing with fear--Where do I start? What if I am inadequate? What if I fail? What if people don't agree with me? or like the way I do it? or get mad at me? I've learned that if we are to accomplish anything that we're supposed to do, we cannot base our decisions and actions on our fears. We have to learn from them, conquer them and determinedly start doing the right thing. Here's some simple tips that I can share about conquering fear:
  1. Glean ~ I always look for what I can learn from my fears. They can give me a healthy balance, warn me to stay alert and plan ahead, and remind me to consider other people's perspectives and feelings.
  2. Lean ~ Staying humble and leaning on the Lord for strength is the best antidote for fear. He gives us His Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Our weakness can give Him glory as He shows Himself strong.
  3. Fade ~ Make yourself a non-issue. When you are nervous and afraid, you cause others to focus more on you. Set yourself aside (including your fears) and focus on your purpose and other's needs.
  4. Remember ~ F.E.A.R. is an ancronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. Don't let that false evidence hold you back. Stick to the truth!
  5. Compare ~ Think about what the possible results will be if you let fear stop you in your tracks. Will you do nothing at all? Will the situation get worse? Will no one be helped? Realize that the consequences of inaction outweigh the risk of starting and failing.
  6. Fail ~ Yes, it's going to happen sometimes. Accept the possibility of your failure; swallow your pride, and be ready to fall. We will all say something wrong, embarrass ourselves at some point, or lead in the wrong direction for a time. Forgive yourself, learn from it and look at the good that you did accomplish.
  7. Jump ~ Quickly make a purposeful decision and act on it with confidence. Hesitation can sometimes cause more fears to loom overhead. Act on the day you hear of a problem--don't let it fester. Set a date for the first meeting and post it. Invite that new member over for tea. Jump into action victoriously.

You can make a big difference in your community, in your homeschool group, in your family! Dream. Squash your fear and take action with what is in your heart. Even if your first step is more like a limp, it will soon lead to confident striding. Start now--you can do a great job!

To your triumphant success,


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Happyhome said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I needed to hear that--THANKS!