Fear isn’t something you try to tackle once and for all – it’s part of living.
Some fear helps us – it’s why we don’t stand too close to the edge of a cliff or get to close to a moving train. It’s the fear of being hurt that changes our behavior.
Other times, we may be avoiding unnecessarily because we are uncertain about what will happen.
In these cases, we may be missing out on taking the risk that shapes the rest of our lives.
What are some of the steps to living with fear so we can keep going forward? I recently read a book called “Fear and Other Uninvited Guests”. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but I got some great stuff in regards to living life in spite of fears we may have.
Fears can isolate us, but those same properties can also connect us: If you’re human, you have fears!
One person may fear flying another public speaking.
One person may fear social settings and another person fears being alone.
What if fears could connect us so we can encourage each other?
Here are six ways to overcome fear:
Step 1: Talk about it.
When we talk about our fears, they begin to lose their power. Talking about fears also helps us create action steps and the accountability to follow through.
Step 2: Get the facts straight.
What exactly are you afraid of? Often, the facts are obscured by our irrational thoughts about the fear. For example, in the case of fear of social settings, the fact is most people are thinking about themselves and not you! I recently heard that when you’re a teen, you worry about what others’ think of you. When you’re an adult, you don’t care what others think of you. But when your a senior adult, you realize, “no one was ever really thinking about you that much anyway!” Facts can help us calm our fears.
Step 3: Don’t go overboard – there are some things that you should be afraid of.
Be smart – pay attention to your gut. If there is something to be afraid of that’s reasonable, be careful to pay attention.
Step 4: Steer clear of fear inducers (tv, news, etc)
There’s no point in filling your mind with the negative! Stay clear of fear inducers.
Step 5. Keep perspective.
Bad things do happen. There’s no way around it. The purpose in life isn’t to stay “safe” but to be all that God has called you to be! It’s a bit worn out now, but it’s still true: a ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what a ship was designed for.” Yes, there are things to fear in this world, but life will go on. Choose life!
Step 6. Stay connected to others
Courage comes as we travel this life with others. I’ve been in countless situations where I’ve heard someone say, “I’ll do it if you do it!” Fear is overcome as we go on ahead.
“He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Don’t fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1
“Perfect love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me… Ps. 23:4
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John14:27
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