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Facing our Fears

By • Dec 13th, 2007 • Category: Habits, Personal Development

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Fear is a reality in our lives. But can we really excuse ourselves for abandoning our dreams, abdicating our purpose in life, and destroying our happiness by being mired in fear, anxiety, and worry?

Have you ever allowed the fear of something happening rob you of your enthusiasm, and sap your energy, resulting in restless, sleepless nights, only to see a positive outcome? You would have spent time in anguish, all for naught.

Many of our present fears and worries will never materialize. Or, if they do, will have far less significance than we now imagine?

Fear leaves us vulnerable. We feel the loss of our freedom to live as we want to. We may even feel threatened by real or imaginary enemies and obstacles. We live with the discomfort that painful past events might recur. Is that any way to live?

When my home was burglarized several years ago, I lived with the rush of emotions and fears that paralyzed me for weeks. Yes, I was a victim, and I was plagued by the unsettling turmoil in my mind that the burglars will return. Eventually I learned to concentrate on and be grateful for the blessing that no one was at home when it happened. It became my overriding comfort in the midst of what was more of a psychological invasion.

Like despair, defeat, anxiety, worry, self-pity, and hopelessness, fear is a habit. If we have the power to imagine all kinds of terrible things that will befall us, we also have the power to imagine overcoming every difficulty we face. Why not change the negative habit of fear into the positive habits of hope, confidence, and abundance? Besides, the more we fear a particular task or situation, the greater the triumph in overcoming it. Therefore, we can turn it into the possibility and promise of great personal achievement when we overcome it.

There comes a time in life when we have to put our feet down and say, "I’m not going to give in to fear any more! Despite the lump in my throat, the tremor in my voice, the palpitations of my heart and the churning in my stomach, I am going to do what I believe is right. With God’s help, I am going to move forward with my life. I am going to seize the opportunity, accept the challenge, step off the edge, and navigate myself to land on my feet." Besides changing lives, this simple decision can change the world.

When immersed in fear, we need to step back, unearth its foundation and systematically disable its hold on us. Just because we are afraid, it doesn’t mean that we are in danger. Just because we are scared, it doesn’t mean we are not smart enough, good enough, or strong enough to overcome them.

To surmount our fears:

Find comfort in prayer and the truth of God’s Word

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” II Timothy 1:7 (King James Version)

Who has not experienced the liberating power of prayer? The simple act of going to God in prayer with fears in hand testifies to your belief that He is in control of your lives. It will fill your heart with the settling confidence that He will soothe your fainting, fearful heart and take you forward.

Engage in analytical thinking.

When you switch from wallowing in your fear to analyzing it, you weaken its hold on you. Ask, where did it originate? Is there an outstanding matter with someone or a personal, emotional issue that I need to confront? Take yourself through whatever reconciliatory and corrective processes is necessary. Fear increasingly diminishes as you explore your options. Deal with it bravely, honestly, forthrightly and walk away.

Make plans.

The longer you linger with your fears the longer you remain where we are. Is there something you long to do, somewhere you dream of going, an opportunity hovering before your eyes? Make plans for your life and work. Formulate them in your mind and write them down. It is a crucial step in moving forward.

Take action.

The map (plans on paper) you’ve drawn will profit you little unless you get up off that chair, put on your work clothes, arm yourself with the appropriate tools, and get to work.

For most of us, the good we experience far exceeds the bad. There is no justification for living a life of fear. Make it a habit to face your fears and embrace the opportunities to discover the excitement life brings.

I ask. Are you enjoying life, basking in the blessings and opportunities that abound, or are you wasting time fraternizing with your fears?

May these quotes encourage you:

He who fears what he may suffer, already suffers what he fears.
- Unknown

Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.
- Dorothy Thompson


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