Let me start with a quick clarification: some never overcome fear of certain things like that most people have, like spiders, sharks, dark alleys, etc. I am not referring to these kinds of fears – I am talking about the kind of fears that hold you back from pursuing what you’re passionate about, your God-given destiny.
It’s impossible for the devil to tangibly hold you back from your destiny, he can only prevent you from owning it. His go-to tool is fear because if you’re afraid of what you’re called to, you will hold yourself back. All he has to do is keep you focused on the perception of fear and you will self-sabotage and stay small. I say “perception” because it’s not a brick wall that stopping you, it’s more of a thick fog that you need to walk through. The devil is terrified of what you are capable of so he’ll do everything to keep divorced from your calling.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God knew that we would need to learn how to dissolve the power of fear in our life. He gave us the verse above as a reminder and a promise. The remainder is that fear doesn’t come from Him, and the promise is that we can live in a way that it doesn’t overwhelm us.
Because fear’s not from God, it’s your job to discover how to turn it into fuel rather than a handicap. The key isn’t to ignore fear but rather to identify times that you feel afraid, push through and find yourself feeling fulling alive doing what you were so afraid of.
A few examples would be the fear of public speaking, fear of your voice being heard in relationships, fear of intimacy, or the fear of ‘taking the leap’ to do what you love. Fear often makes you want to hide, stay small, and stay quiet. If you find this happening to you, then it’s a good indicator that you need to lean and overcome fear for a season. When you do this – when you lean into your fears and face them – they lose their power. The more you lean in, the more you realize that fear is just a façade. The more times you choose to push through fear, the weaker that fear becomes in your life and you’re able to experience God’s pleasure over your decisions. This is how perfect love cast out all fear.
It can feel overwhelming and terrifying at first. The first time I did a periscope I felt afraid and I didn’t want to do it. I had sweaty palms and could think of 100 other things that I “should” be doing instead. After doing several of them I may feel a little nervous but I don’t experience that same fear anymore. The dilution of fear in this area has only come after my willingness to push past it a dozen times. I have a fear to have my voice heard, but by choosing to do this blog and to do my periscopes, I am no longer held hostage by that fear. All of that to say: You can choose to hide behind fear or use it as fuel to move forward.
A lot of people ask me how to overcome fear, and I tell them that ultimately the “how” is hidden in your free will. You have to choose to be afraid in a moment, choose to push through that fear, and begin to experience all God has for you on the other side. Free will is such a big deal to God because we have to CHOOSE a relationship with Him. Once you have outlined your fear roadmap, it’s up to you to exercise your free will. You have to consciously choose over and over again until fear loosens its grip on you.
I’ve never met anyone who has eradicated fear in their life without action. To think you can stay comfortable and remove fear is immature at best. What is important to keep in mind is that chasing leaning into your fear is not fun or comfortable, but it is key to becoming fully alive. When you’re pursuing your passion it’s ok to be uncomfortable… just make sure you stay connected to your heart.
There’s no need to go on a rampage chasing after what everyone else is afraid of. You need to do a thorough look into your own heart, and every fear you chase after needs to be connected to your sense of destiny, not just an exercise.
The Challenge: Identify two or three areas you feel excited about but intimidated by. Then, write down two things you’re going to do this week to go after them. Take action this week on at least one of them. Each week, outline one thing you’re going to do to continue to push through the fear. It must be an action, something you can check off a to-do list.
P.S. If you feel stuck or afraid a life coach or life consultant help you identify what is holding you back.
P.P.S. Everyone is more than capable to overcome fear in their life. You have what it takes but need to take the first step.