I must confess, I am not one of those people who easily believes that everything will be OK. In times of uncertainty, I often find myself haunted by “what ifs” and “if only’s”. At the risk of exposing myself, I will admit that I am the kind of person who works very hard to discipline her mind to think positive thoughts. I envy those who naturally see possibility where there are obstacles. It takes great strength and courage for me to see beyond the obstacles and hardships that life often presents. My first instinct in a crisis isn’t always to see opportunities of growth, hope and restoration. I often get bruised where there is pain, confusion and difficulty. As much as I try to live my life in faith that The One who holds my life is in control, I must admit, I am not always confident in that truth. I doubt. I question. I hesitate. I try to maximize each day and live every moment to the fullest, but the truth is, sometimes I am riddled with fear. I am not proud to admit this but there are times when I worry, I stress, I doubt. There are moments I catch myself in a panic about things that cause me to lose confidence in myself and my hope begins to shatter. And I hate it… I hate to live in fear.
And so I have realized that fear is not our friend. Fear steals, it demoralizes, it degrades, it weakens, it divides, it discourages, it limits, it lies, and it derails. Fear is toxic. Fear causes us to look at ourselves and others through mirage of brokenness, as a result, we learn to envy what others have and we learn to put ourselves down.
We cannot build anything of substances if we are driven by fear. Any friendship, any business venture, any relationship founded on fear eventually collapses. Sadly, fear always makes a victim of its host. When you let fear in your life, you open yourself up to negativity, jealousy and pain. Where fear exists, there will always be victims- broken and wounded people- because fear convinces us that we should fight with the progress of others instead of fighting the anxieties that rest within us. And here lies the danger: once it is satisfied with destroying outer relationships, fear feeds on its master and destroys all the dreams that exist there.
Fear a terrible thing to tolerate. Our greatest fight should be against fear. It corrupts, destroys and kills everything worth living for- your hopes, your dreams, and your purpose. From what I have observed from my own life, there’s a ripple effect where fear is present- the more we fear, the less we dream, and the harder it is for us to rise above our current circumstances. We need to declare war on our fears and fight to be all that we can be instead of allowing ourselves to believe that fear is part of life.
If we are going to be exceptional beings, we have to start by defeating the enemy within called fear. And please be warned, it’s one thing to fight fears that are external (e.g. what others think); the real battle is fighting and conquering internal insecurities. We need to overcome the fears that we aren’t good enough, fears that we are not important enough, fears of rejection, fears of disappointment, fears of loss… the battle is within.
What would you do if you were not afraid? Who would you be if you had courage? Where would you be if weren’t full of doubt? What would you let go of if you weren’t insecure? Think about all the things that fear is costing you. Think about how fear is holding you back. Consider the dreams that fear is holding captive from you.
I am in the habit of asking myself that same question (what would you do if you were not afraid?) and my answer often helps me to rise above the fear. I refuse to rest beneath my potential. I am at a point in my life where I cannot afford to let fear make me a victim- you shouldn’t either.
Our hearts aren’t big enough to accommodate both fear and faith- these two cannot coexist. We need to make a decision and whatever we choose to feed grows and whatever we starve shrinks and evaporates. Allow me to help you to make a decision: starve your fears and feed your faith.
Go for your dreams! Cease the day! Take that step! Don’t be afraid.
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