F.E.A.R. as an acronym has been said to stand for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” The fact remains that for most people who struggle with fear (and we all do to some degree) these fears are real and their effects impact our daily existence.
Last week (previous blog here) I highlighted the fact that fear hinders our progress and stifles our growth. We need to surrender and allow God to be in control of our lives. “But how do I do that?” Good question, especially when the fears we struggle with paralyze us from taking the next step forward. Here are some steps that have helped me.
1) Ask yourself, is it real?
Fears are at times the manifestation of internal insecurities and what we perceive to be what others may be thinking of us. We create our own mental circumstances, leading us to lack of positive action or no action at all. So ask yourself, is this fear real? Are you suspecting and reading into looks and someone’s body language?
Answer: Base your reactions on the truth. Unless you heard it, don’t assume it to be true. The truth will set you free, not the opinion of others. As my late grandpa used to say, “opinions are like feet, some smell more than others.” Choose wisely who you listen to.
2) Ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
We need to learn to deal with the “what if” syndrome. We can’t live in a “what if” reality, because “what if” ain’t real. Living in this state of mind will eventually erode your joy of living and finding pleasure in the “unexpected” pleasures of life.
Answer: Living with the knowledge that God is the author or life and he has our backs. He will not leave us to our own demise and will protect us when we call on him. Some of my great life experiences I did not plan for and many blessings came when I least expected them. We need to learn to roll with the punches.
3) Don’t expect perfection from yourself or others
We need to stop looking in the mirror and demanding perfection or looking at others who outperform us, causing us to constantly strive for higher, better and greater. Let’s be honest, I struggle with it and you probably do too. We collectively need to be delivered from a spirit of competition and wanting to be better than the next guy.
Answer: Accepting ourselves as we are…with our imperfections, hang ups and idiosyncrasies. God loves and accepts us as we are, flaws and all. If God in his perfect wisdom loves us so, that should be enough for us. Besides, striving is a never ending quest that eventually leads to burnout and exhaustion.
4) Renew your mind
Negative thoughts produce negative results – a pretty simple rule of life. The Bible encourages us to renew our minds, which is another way to say we need to reset old patterns of thinking and get rid of “stinkin’ thinkin’.”
Answer: Reduce your exposure to negative input from people and things. We may have to cut some relationships that are not conducive to our growth. Negative people, thoughts and ideas can drag us down if we allow their poison to seep into our thinking. Let’s cut the unneeded and center our thoughts on what God thinks about us, His love, grace and mercy should be enough.
5) Receive the peace of God
We can be our own worst enemy, living in constant turmoil and angst when we don’t meet our own lofty expectations.
Answer: The Bible tells us that God’s peace is able to guard our hearts and minds. When we receive the peace of God, thoughts of perfection, the expectation of others and even old patterns of thinking will not be able to disrupt and derail the mental peace and joy we can receive.
We need to chose to live in peace with ourselves and others and give the Lord our fears so He can replace them with assurance that although tomorrow does not belong to us, He does hold us and tomorrow in the palm of his hand.
“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.” (John 14:27 – NLT)
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.