Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Fear is a common problem from which none of us is immune. Fear is very much a part of life. It is a natural emotion. We rightly fear driving through a red light or riding with a reckless or intoxicated driver. In right amounts, fear is a strong motivator, a self-protective survival factor. This kind of fear often acts as nature’s warning signal.

On the other hand, fear becomes a problem when it is irrational. Imagined fears are not healthy. When our fear is basically in our heads, it can be unreasonable and paralyzing. Imagined fears need to be examined very closely. Is what you consider a reasonable fear really a rationalization or an excuse for not trying. Do these sound familiar? “I’m too old to do something new.” “It will take too long.” “I won’t be any good at it.” “People will laugh.”

Most imagined fears are outcome-based—in other words, the source of the fear is attached to an end result or how things may turn out. Two of our most common fears—of rejection and failure—are both are deeply connected to an outcome. However, if you spend all your time fearing an unknown outcome, you will never move forward. When you detach from the outcome you release the fear and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the process.

In any venture or undertaking, there is risk of failure. Many people have never failed in their lives, simply because they have never tried anything extraordinary. Are you aware that people who are considered "highly successful" only succeed 60% of the time? That holds true in sports or business.

For example, a baseball player who bats 400 in a season would undoubtedly win a league batting title. However, if you examine that carefully, it means that he only gets 4 hits out of 10 times at bat -- in other words, he fails 6 out of 10 times! In business, if 60% of your decisions are correct, you will be extremely rich and successful.

The question is, how do we overcome our fears?

If your fear is real and valid, then understand its source and create a plan to deal with it. Accept your situation but take whatever steps you can to change the circumstances that cause your fear.

If your fears are imaginary, acknowledge this and refuse to believe them. Get facts before jumping to conclusions. Remember, what the mind dwells on, it will eventually believe and act on. Refuse to dwell on fearful thoughts.

Don't allow your fears to control you. It's okay and normal to be scared out of your socks at times. However, it's immature to allow your feelings to control your actions. You can control your actions regardless of your feelings. It's not always easy but it is a choice we all have!

Make a commitment to practice dropping and/or ignoring most of your negative, fearful thoughts and worry. Gently but firmly push them away. As they return, push them away again. With a little practice you’ll find life is a lot more fun without them.

Above all, learn to trust in God. There is no greater way to overcome fear. And this is a choice we all can make. The Bible says, "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."

Trusting God is not a copout or an excuse for avoiding personal responsibility for our well-being. Trusting God is knowing that no matter what happens, God will bring good out of it if we do what we need to do and trust the rest to him.

Remember the golden words of Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."


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