Fear is driven by our instinct to survive or guard ourselves from harm. And that makes fear one of the fundamental elements why our ancestors evolved and survived. For example, when you see a threat you don’t run towards it, you run away from it. See? Fear, in healthy doses, is somewhat important.
Fear helps us survive ourselves. Yes, ourselves. Like failing to reach your dream hurt you so bad that it stopped you from dreaming. Or being brokenhearted made you afraid to fall in-love. Or a bankrupt business venture made you afraid to rise and try again. The list goes on and on and I bet you have your own story to tell.
That is the crippling kind of fear. You know that feeling when you’re so afraid your knees start to tremble and you couldn’t walk? That’s the kind of fear some of us feeel and it’s keeping us from reaching our potential. I believe that the fear is here for a purpose and knowing how to overcome that crippling fear will help us become better individuals.
What made you fearful?
I usually end the year by reflecting on what transpired and by writing my faith goals. I look back to see the triumphant moments but I focus more on the ones that broke me the most. Why? Because what I experienced during these dark moments will cripple me and stop me from aspiring towards my goals. That’s why I have to know why it happened, what was I thinking, and why it hurt me. It’s a painful process but it helped me not commit the same mistakes over and over. Analyze your fears. Maybe you’re not really afraid of heights, you’re just afraid of falling.
Admittedly, I am afraid to fail and, recently, my failures made me doubt myself. But then I realized that the moments I felt afraid was not during the times of lack and failure, it’s when I let go of God’s hand when things turn sour. The more I step out of His care, the more I fail.
Question your fears with the Truth
Fear questions your capacity to achieve or do something. That’s why we don’t even try. Instead of letting it get to you, question it back with God’s truth.
- You’re incapable of reaching your dreams — I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13)
- No one will ever love you — I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
- You will lose this battle — The Lord will fight for you, you only have to be still. (Exodus 14:4)
- You will fail — No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)
- You will remain broke — Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. (Luke 6:38)
- You’re alone in this — Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
God’s truth will set you free from all the lies that fear tells us.
Who is in control?
Most of the time, fear comes in when we don’t have full control of the situation because if we do we would do something about it. When you’re afraid maybe to love, dream big, or try something new, ask yourself — Who is in control of your life? In this context, you have two options:
- Allow your fear to cripple you and dictate your life
- Let go of your fears and let God be in control
Being afraid is normal but living in fear and letting it cripple you is your choice. Being fearful after a life-threatening incident or after losing someone you love and letting that fear dictate your life is not fair for you and everyone you love.
Living a life free of fear starts when you realize the truth that in whatever situation we had been, going through, and will go through – God is in control. Even when things aren’t how we planned it to be just trust and know that God is in control. Look back at the times when He pursued and saved you. That God is the same God who will set you free from your fears. No fear is too big and too small for Him to handle, just let Him.
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27)
So, what’s your choice?