Fear is a funny thing. It has a way of freezing us up. Our natural instincts kick in and the result is that we will stop our movement and progress.
We will overthink the situation.
We will seek the comfortable route or outcome.
We will avoid the fear and go around it.
I am not saying that fear is a bad thing. We have been conditioned to avoid fear for safety purposes. I am sure you remember some of the advice from your Mom.
Don’t play in he road…
The burner is still hot…
Make sure that I know where you are at all times…
Don’t go with strangers…
All of these are good advice. We should not proceed recklessly. But one of her primary purposes as a parent was to simply keep you safe. While safety is important, I’m not sure that our primary focus on safety and what is secure and predictable is always healthy in the long run.
I have learned through the years that significant growth comes from pushing through the fear by doing it afraid. This is from a guy who is more cautious by nature so this “pushing through” is not easy for me. My tendencies are to visualize and analyze the things that could go wrong. I have learned that there is a point where you just need to go and conquer the “what ifs”.
Kathy and I have served all over the world and in the inner city and have become accustomed to serving in environments that are viewed by others as unsafe. We are cautious and careful when we are in these environments. We remain aware of our surroundings and do not proceed in areas alone. Yet we have learned to push down the feelings of fear that will strangle the ability to move forward and serve. Our faith certainly contributes to our boldness and we have reached a conclusion that we have to go past and conquer the fear.
Your fear area may be public speaking. It may be leading others. It may be preforming a task that you don’t think you can accomplish.
Next time you are fearful to move forward, take a deep breath and push through it. Once you have stepped out it will be easier the next time. Fear has a way of fencing us in. There is life beyond the barrier and your world will get bigger and more rewarding. Go ahead. Move forward. Do it afraid!