Insecurity: Overcoming fear
How many decisions can you list that you didn't make because of fear?
—Because something was holding you back?
—Because you were afraid to fail?
—To lose money?
—To find out it would not turn out how you expected it to?
Fear is powerful. Incredibly powerful.
Fear breeds more fear. It causes inaction and it paralyzes us rather than helps us take action or move forward. In that sense, fear keeps us from reaching our potential, to just try, explore, and experience.
Fear can have an enormous place in our lives. Yet, it hardly ever helps you do the things you are meant to do. Your calling might be obstructed by fear.
It's one of the causes of our insecurity.
And it shouldn't be there!
We have no spirit of fear!
Fear is not of God. God gave us a mind of determination. Of love. Of power. I'm not making this up, 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) says:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.
Isn't that an amazing gift from God?
Pair that verse with Romans 8:31 and you have your armor against it:
What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
When you let those verses sink in, what is left to be afraid of?
We have nothing to fear. Nothing to lose in this world, because Jesus died for us and took our sins upon Him so that we can live in freedom.
What you're missing out on because of fear
1. Release your creativity
Living a life without the restraints of fear is something we have to practice.
We're not used to it.
We're trained not to fail, but we're not trained to be creative.
These two are related.
I've researched the concept of creativity, and creativity itself, for a while and it became clearer every day that creativity is a precious gift that we've been given.
In the past decades, however, we've done a great job at making ourselves unfamiliar with this characteristic everyone biologically has!
Of course, I get it, for understandable reasons, in an industrial age, we thought it was unnecessary.
I'm not going to dive deeper into the topic of creativity, but I want to be clear on the kind of creativity I mean. Creativity as I'm talking about right now, I consider: "A combinatorial force: it's our ability to tap into our 'inner' pool of resources – knowledge, insight, information, inspiration and all the fragments populating our minds – that we've accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world and to combine them in extraordinary new ways." — Maria Popova, Brainpickings.
When fear holds you back, it limits your thinking;
it limits your actions;
it doesn't encourage you to try (and potentially fail);
yet, that's all you need to do to become more creative.
2. Get closer to God and His calling for your life
Remember what 2 Timothy 1:7 said? That powerful spirit, not of fear, is God's spirit! Letting fear into your life means you are preventing that spirit from working.
Can you imagine if you let that spirit in you work?
Can you imagine how it will connect with the Holy Spirit?
How it will give you boldness?
How it will make you trust God more?
How it will guide you in your calling in life?
So, up to you: Do you want to live a life in fear or in boldness?
How to deal with fear. 4 steps
If you want to live a life in boldness, I found the following steps to be helpful to get there and eliminate fear.
Flee fear! Flee insecurity!
Step 1: Admit fear(s)
Admit what you're afraid of. That's OK. Admitting fears make them real which helps to deal with them. Pray about it, talk about it, and discover what you can do about it instead of covering them up and pretending they don't exist or harm you.
Step 2: Discover the source
Sometimes fear can be unsubstantiated. We might have built up this fear of something—of flying for example—and limit ourselves by thinking it is true. Where did this fear come from? Was it because a parent told you that flying was a very scary thing to do? Discovering the source of your fear might invalidate the fear itself.
Step 3: Write down what you haven't done
Realize how fear limits you.
Think about what you haven't done because of fear in your life. Write it down!
Fear is incredibly good at letting you come up with excuses like:
"Yes, but I don't have the money"
"Yes, but I'm too old"
"Yes, but I'm not sure this is what I want to do or meant to be doing…"
If I, personally, had listened to fear I…
…wouldn't have lived in Toronto
…wouldn't have written and published 2 novels (especially the latter one is scary!)
…wouldn't have played the cajón in church (I didn't even know how to play it!)
…wouldn't have sung in front of people or played in a musical or tried to enter the film industry in Canada
…wouldn't have started the Born to Fly community…
…wouldn't have started a podcast
(You get the idea...)
I'm not saying you should never listen to fear—fear can give you a sense of whether things you're about to do are safe. That's a different type of fear. That might a warning.
Or it might communicate hidden excitement—knowing you're moving in the right direction, although it might be slightly out of your comfort zone.
The fear I'm talking about, is the one that you shouldn't permit to hold you back from the desire(s) that has/have been put in your heart.
Know the difference.
Step 4: Exercise "What if…"
I know, everything in this blog might sound easy but in reality, it's so hard to put into practice. I know, because I've been there.
I had a huge fear of failing.
Fear of not being good enough.
Fear of people judging me. That they would think I was a fraud or an imposter.
I started to stop doing things because I was afraid of the potential consequences.
But then something changed.
I read about the power of fear.
I learned that a lot of our fear is in our heads.
That we need to think about fear differently…
That I need to reverse my thinking:
What if I don't fail?
What if I am good enough?
And what if people like me because of who I am?
Doesn't that sound hopeful?
It becomes a totally different story, right?
This "what if"-exercise is so powerful! If we can be convinced that we're going to fail, we can also be convinced that we won't. There's no assurance of failing. There're only assumptions. I need to constantly remind myself of this.
Try this exercise. Write down what you are afraid of.
Then use the what if-method.
I'm afraid that when I post this blog, people will think I'm weak.
What if people think I'm not weak but inspiring because I share a vulnerable side of myself in this blog?
A great example of someone who overcame fear
Get to know Joze Piranian; a stuttering public speaker and comedian. And a good one too!
How much fear do you think he had to overcome to step on stage?
Or to even start a conversation with people?
So much that he can actually coach people on it now.
People find him inspiring… For a reason, because he does something they don't dare do. He has something that they haven't mastered yet: the skill of neglecting the wrong type of fear and letting the risk of failure catapult him forward.
Now it's your turn
Use the spirit God gave you. Don't let lies become fears in your system.
Don't let fear get in the way of where you need to go—where you are destined to go.
You're getting one step closer to your confident self :)!