What do you fear? Are you afraid of being alone; intimacy; growing old; public speaking; asserting yourself; change; dying?
Everyone feels fear. As long as we are on this side of heaven, I believe we will experience distress. But we don’t have to be dominated by it. God proclaims to not fear in the Bible 365 times. He must be trying to drive the point home with us. I don’t believe He is trying to chastise us for feeling uncertainty and trepidation, He just wants us to know that we can trust Him, and that He is there for us during our scariest times.
When my family and I were swimming at a hotel while on vacation, I noticed a little girl, standing on the edge of the pool, feeling afraid to jump in. Her father was encouraging her to jump in, because he would be there to catch her. She was scared, but she jumped nevertheless, and her dad was there to grab hold of her. It’s the same as with our heavenly father. He’s there to catch us.
So, what do we do when we are afraid to do something? Here are a few suggestions that I have found helpful when I feel fear.
- Pray. Ask God to help you in your trepidation. Ask Him to help you overcome the fear.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway. Courage is not the absence of fear. It means doing that which you are most scared of in the face of fear. Recognize that whenever we are in unfamiliar territory, we will most likely feel some apprehension. Don’t be surprised by this emotion.
- Realize that everyone feels afraid at one time or another. You are not alone. Some of the most courageous and accomplished people had to overcome their fears in order to achieve what they set out to do.
- Engage in positive self-talk. What you say to yourself about your situation is very important. Fill your mind with truth and positive affirmations such as, “I know I feel fear right now, but God is with me. I can do this. Just step out in courage.”
- Recognize you will be better off for performing the very thing you are afraid of. Stepping out in faith and going for it will build confidence in yourself. You will feel good about yourself knowing you’ve accomplished the thing you avoided out of fear.
The more you exercise your courage muscle, the better you’ll be next time you don’t want to do something but need to. What do you lack the courage to do? What is the first step that you can take in overcoming your fear?