All too often I hear statements such as these:
- “I want to move beyond my comfort zone”
- “I want to recognize fearful habits”
- “I don’t want to live in fear”
- “I want to remember God’s promises and hold onto them”
- “I want to pray for change and believe God will do it!”
- “I want to believe in God’s power!”
Can you relate to these statements?
Does fear ever grip you? Hold you back from something you want to do?
Perhaps it’s one of the following:
- starting your own business, publishing your website, starting a YouTube channel
- playing the violin in front of a group of people
- leading a ladies Bible study or Sunday School class
- having a difficult conversation with someone (such as your spouse, your boss, an employee, or a tenant)
- retiring or changing jobs
- taking care of the grandkids
- trying to eat less sweets, going gluten free, or making some other dietary changes
Why do we hang on to fear if it holds us back?
To answer that we first need to ask what are we catastrophizing? What are we actually afraid of?
If you say you don’t know what you are afraid of, you are avoiding facing the problem. You do know.
Delia decided to start her own flower shop. She knows the flower business. All the infrastructure is in place.
She developed her website, but she is afraid to make it go live.
When she analyzed the thoughts that she was looping on, it boiled down to being afraid of what others will think and say about her. As if her self-worth depends on what others think of her.
I bet you can relate to that.
How many of our fears are tied to what someone else thinks of us? When in reality we have no control of what others think of us?
What others think of us is none of our business.
Moreover, our self-worth does not depend on what anyone thinks of us. We are valuable because we were created in the image of God.
“For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works!” Psalm 139:13-14
It’s our brain’s natural wiring to fear what others think of us. It’s the survival part of our brain trying to protect us from undo harm.
How can turn fear into a motivation?
Try saying, “I have a big vision. And here comes Fear. There you are, Fear. This means my brain must be working well.”
“Get in the back seat and buckle up, Fear. You are coming along for the ride. I am scared, but I am still going to publish my website!” 😊
“I am scared but I am still getting up in front of an audience to play the violin even though I might forget the notes and lose my place in the music”
“I am scared but I am still going to say, ‘yes,’ to leading the women’s Bible study”
“I am scared but I am still going to retire early.”…
Fear of failure is our natural brain’s wiring.
But it doesn’t serve us to hold onto the fear. It’s an indulgent emotion. That is, it’s an excuse for not getting to work to accomplish our dreams.
It’s an excuse to keep looping on all those “What if’s” or “I don’t know how’s”
We only get to confidence and know-how through doing.
If we expect confidence and know-how to come first, then we will never take that bold step toward our big dream.
The way we build confidence is by making fear get in the backseat and doing it anyway. Only by doing will we build confidence.
Think of the 4 C’s in this order:
Commitment – We first need commitment to achieve our goal. What is the thought that will drive commitment? Perhaps, “This is so exciting. I get to serve God and love others by providing beautiful floral arrangements.” Or, in the case of the violin, “I can worship God through music.”…
Courage – This is the part we’ve been focusing on in this blog. You tell fear to get in the back seat and you do the project anyway. But you need the commitment to generate courage.
Capability – Because you had courage, you are able to build your skills – learn the aspects of running a business, learn how to site read music, learn how to speak in front of others, learn how to feel uncomfortable…
Confidence – Only by going through the first three C’s can you get to confidence. And then, of course, you set new goals for yourself and go back to commitment. It becomes an ongoing process. 😊
If you have not already identified your greatest fear that is holding you back, I encourage you to do so now.
Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of? Is it really a potential catastrophe? Can I live with the consequences? Can I live with the uncomfortable feelings that might ensue? (Uncomfortable feelings will NOT kill us!)
Be cognizant of your thoughts and how they are dictating your feelings.
Find a thought that will generate commitment and excitement.
Decide to tell Fear to get in the back seat and buckle up and “start playing the violin in front of a crowd.”
Then post how it goes. I would LOVE to hear.
This process of seeing fear as positive and being willing to fail in order to achieve big dreams has helped me tremendously in getting unstuck time and again.
Peace and grace,