I’ve watched fear keep many people from achieving all God would have them achieve. Rather than assume the risk required to pursue their dreams; fear will keep people from moving forward. Pastors refuse to address needed change in their church – not because it is challenging – but because they are afraid.
Fear is the enemy of progress. It is the antagonist of pursuit. Fear can be the deadly foe to keep people from fulfillment in life. And fear can be a leader’s worst enemy.
How can we overcome the fear all of us face?
I don’t know if we can completely get rid of fear – or if we even want to completely – but I do think we should and need to learn to manage the fear in our life.
I believe questions can be our friend, so let me provide some questions to process your fear.
Ask/share these 7 questions to process fear that keeps people from moving forward:
Is it a God-given or a man-made fear?
Fear is an emotion and God can use fear to keep you from harm. Is what you would be doing against God’s will for you or others? If it’s wrong to do, no wonder you are afraid. God may be trying to protect you. If you are continually making bad decisions in your life, you’ll likely live in fear.
You may not be able to understand the emotion, but in my experience, it’s one way God draws His children to Himself. Failure to walk by faith can also bring upon the emotion of fear.
If you’re fear is from God – obey God! This is your answer – every time.
Is it a rational or an irrational fear?
Consider whether you are basing your fears on fact or fiction. Are you making up the scenario of what could go wrong or is the fear based on real information you have? Our minds can be our worst excuse – if we need one, we will find it.
Be honest with yourself here. If you’ve been making up the excuses, it’s time to dismiss them and proceed.
Is it probable or improbable?
The truth is most of what we fear never comes true. Again, our mind is capable of all kinds of worst-case scenarios which keep us from moving forward. We shouldn’t allow fear in things which will probably never even happen stop what God may want to bring in our life. God may have a miracle for you – and, you’re allowing a made-up scenario hold you from it.
The fact is you may fail. But remember, failure is a part of building life experience. Unless you know you’re going to fail (which is highly unlikely you would know this in advance), if it’s not sinful, and you feel you’re supposed to – I suggest you move forward.
Can anything be done to diminish the risk? –
We should attempt to diminish fear through planning and preparation as much as possible. There is nothing wrong and everything right about being prepared. I’m not motivated by fear, but I have an alarm system at my house. (And, one of my father’s pistols he left me when he died!)
If your fear is based on a lack of preparation, get busy developing the systems and strategies to help you succeed. Ask for help if you need it.
Is what I’m fearing necessary or unnecessary?
Is this something you must address? If it’s a conflict you’ve been avoiding, for example, the fear will only get stronger the longer you wait. The earlier you face the fear the more likely you’ll get positive results. Sooner or later, the fear must be faced. What better time than now?
If it’s not really necessary, and there is no pressure upon you, you may not have to face this fear. I once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. But if you don’t have the desire – don’t do it.
Is the fear personal or impersonal?
Are you afraid of your abilities or the reaction of others? Do you wonder if you have what it takes? It’s only natural a challenge would create an amount of fear – even a captivation with fear.
Every act of courage means you ignore an aspect of fear. Don’t let your insecurities keep you from achieving your dreams.
Are you satisfied with the status quo?
I know it’s a hard question, but if fear is keeping you from moving forward, and you’ve answered the other questions, this may be the one. You need to strongly consider the repercussions of giving into your fear.
It may mean you stand still. Even worse, it could mean you go backwards. Worst of all, it may mean you never realize the dreams you have for your life or the calling God has placed upon you.
Are you willing to live with this reality?
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