Show Notes: (Audio attached at the end of the post)
Listener Question: “Todd, sometimes, I seemed to be paralyzed by fear. I have things in life that I want to do but I’m always thinking that it might not work out or I’m afraid to even take a first step. I want to believe that I can live my life fear-free. is that even possible?” – Gavin.
The quick answer to that is no. It’s not possible not to be afraid. Being afraid is natural, human response that we use for safety. If I wasn’t afraid of driving my car 120mph, the odds of me crashing increase. If I wasn’t afraid of being on the wrong side of town late at night, I’m inviting trouble and danger.
So where does Fear come from? First, it comes from the unknown. If you’ve never been to Europe, there is an element of fear as you step off the plane and try to execute your plan for a vacation. If you can’t see in the dark, you are fearful of what might be out there.
It also comes from past experiences. If you’ve spoken in front of a large crowd and you didn’t think it went well, you are less likely to do it again because of the fear of failure. The interesting thing is that experiences are basically neutral. We assign meaning to them which we deem as negative or positive. Let me say that again. Most events that happen in your life are pretty much neutral. But based on your experiences, based on what we’ve been told, based on other factors, we bring meaning to the experience. If you place a negative experience on the event, you’re much more likely to be afraid of doing it again. (But that’s another conversation for another day.)
How do you combat fear? Let me give you 3 ways.
- Know that God is with you always (Matthew 28:20)
- Learn the phrase “Make Reality Your Friend,” from Peaks and Valleys.
- Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that can happen?”
Another aspect of fear that you need to remember is this. You can never be completely without fear in new or strange environments. So how do you move forward? “Do it with fear.” This means, recognize that you are afraid but move forward anyway.