Fear is something I believe we all struggle with in some shape or form. I know personally that fear is something that I have had to confront over a long period of time back to being a child and growing up. As an adult it comes in waves. Some waves hit harder than others… some are light and don’t really take me out, others take the wind out of me and take me a day or two to gather myself and recover. One thing I have realized is that the Lord is always trying to strengthen me and grow me every single time I feel like I am dealing with a form of fear. My greatest fears are: fear of man, fear of failure, fear of the unknown. Fear of man is a big one for me. What do I mean by that? I fear disapointing people, letting others down, hurting feelings…to the point where I find myself constantly making decisions out of that place of fear. I have become less and less fearful of what others think, but it is still there and sometimes it consumes me. I am being COMPLETELY vulnerable with you all today. I have begun to ask myself this question “What is the worst thing that could happen in this situation?” Often times we make things up in our heads to be or turn out a lot worse than they actually will. People are people. There will always be disappointment, let down and upsetting circumstances that come your way. The key is realizing that in this life you can NEVER please everyone. Someone will most likely always be disappointed or upset with you at any given moment. I read the book “The Best Yes” and it rocked the way I think, make decisions and prioritize my life. It also helped me confront this type of fear head on. You can read more on my thoughts on this amazing book here. So now that I have spilled my guts about my fears, let’s talk about how to overcome fear. Now, let me emphasize that I am NO pro, and that all of our situations and circumstances are very different when it comes to this kind of thing. I simply want to share tools that I am using as I become the best version of myself.
5 Ways To Overcome Fear:
- Identify Your Fears: Just like I listed my top 3 above, I think it is really important to accept that this is an issue so that you can actually deal with it. It is not declaring that this is the way things will be forever, but rather accepting that this is a problem in my heart and mind right now, that I need to address. In addition to identifying your fears I think it is helpful to also identify the root…. A little deep for this post but something to consider. I feel like once I realized why I was so fearful for hurting people, being a disappointment etc, it helped me start to realize that I could overcome.
- Talk To Someone: I find SO much STRENGTH in others. My mom for example is someone I go to immediately to process fears and ridiculous thought patterns. Find a friend or a family member that will speak truth to you in the midst of your fear. Often times we can’t evaluate the situation properly because we are so wrapped up and paralyzed by fear. Talking, listening and gathering a plan is key to overcoming your fears.
- Get Control Over Your Imagination And Thoughts: Anxiety and fear begin to swirl when we loose control of our thoughts and begin to imagine the worst possible scenarios. I will say that for me, 99.9% of the time I make things way worse in my head than they actually are in reality. Telling someone to get control over their thoughts can actually feel really impossible. Once I have processed my fear verbally, the next thing I do to get control is pray. I pray a whole lot. The prayers are not really extravagant or great, but I know that I am casting my cares to Jesus and that He will take it from here. Sometimes my prayers are as simple as “Fix It Jesus.” In addition to prayer I listen to worship, uplifting music that will immediately shift my focus.
- Confront Your Fear: We all know that this is WAY easier said than done. Last year I went on a missions experience to Mexico. I have this fear of trying things that look dangerous, or really trying new things at all. I also don’t care for heights. I had a friend challenge me to do the ropes course, which was INSANE… zip line, climbing, all kinds of craziness. Because my kids were watching everything I did, as well as participating in the same ropes course, I decided that I needed to tackle this fear. Friends I did it, and you know what, now I am not afraid of that ropes course anymore. It is amazing what can happen when you are encouraged to confront your fears by people that love you and then you get the courage to do it. You break free.
- Invest In Yourself and Make Yourself A Priority: My mom always put others before herself and I took on similar attributes. The problem is that when you put EVERYONE’s needs before yourself, you begin to suffer majorly. You matter. You are a priority. When you make yourself matter you become a better person and gift to those around you. Prioritize your personal needs and don’t let anyone else take control of the way you feel about yourself. One of the main ways that I invest in myself is through exercise. I take the time out for a long run, a lift or a class to regather myself. As we all know, exercise releases endorphins and we immediately become better and happier people. Whatever you enjoy doing (reading, golf, exercise, a massage) take the time to do it.
That is my two cents for the month!! I hope this helps someone out there and remember that I am no pro, I am just on this journey with you all gathering gems along the way to grow and become a better version of myself. Hopefully in the process I can help someone else! Thank you as always for stopping by the blog!! Have an amazing rest of the week!!!
Photos by: Nicole Quiroz