The Truth About Fear
Six years ago, I walked away from my stifling corporate job as an Administrative Recruiter to honor my deep desire.
Knowing that it was time to live God’s purpose full-time. I began putting together a Professional Speaking Coaching business that would one day become a world-class speaking and training institute.
About three years into building my business, it was time to make the transition into speaking, my true gift, as my major income stream. In preparation for this I was doing market research on other speakers and professional coaches.
As I read website after website, it became evident that they were all saying the same things. We were using the same words to describe our work and the outcomes we delivered.
I took a deep breath and realized I had gone as far as I could without having the clarity and walking in the knowing of what made me unique as a speaker and coach. I asked God, “God, what makes me different than the others you have called to similar work?”
The next voice I heard was not my own. This voice came from within my spirit and said, “I have put all of the answers within my children and they are not being obedient.
Your job is to help them be obedient to my call. If they will heed my call, the world will be transformed.” I then saw images of famine, starving children, homelessness, poverty, and inner city crime flash through my mind.
Then the voice of God continued by saying, “I have put the answers to all of the world’s problems in my children, if only they will be obedient.
Your job is to help my children be obedient.” From that day on, my fear disappeared and I deeply and profoundly understood my specific calling and purpose in this world.
I have been fearlessly heeding God’s call to be a catalyst to guide God’s children in full obedience with His call on their lives ever since.
About a year later, I was planning the lesson for the Teen Sunday School class I had taught for years at First AME Church in Seattle, Washington.
I was preparing a lesson on fear, and as I was reading the Word about fear I noticed it was used in several different contexts.
I needed a deeper understanding to be able to teach my students. I then asked The Lord, “I have read your Word and I am not clear about fear. Please reveal to me the truth about fear.” In just moments, my reply came and said, “Fear is the lack of surrender or submission to God.”
Wow! What!? I applied that definition and re-read the passages in the Word about fear and it fit! That was it! Fear is the lack of surrender or submission to God.
I have been teaching it ever since and it has fit for everyone I have shared it with. Did you get it? This is the truth about fear. It is so important that you understand this; it is the cornerstone of this course. Here it is again…
Fear is the lack of surrender or submission to God.
There are institutes, classes, workshops, and books solely dedicated to the topic of fear. Once you understand the truth about fear, you can get on with the business of bringing forth the incredible vision that God has planted in you.
To move forward, you must also understand what fear is not – it is not False Evidence Appearing Real. This is the definition of fear I have seen over and over again and it is not fully accurate.
I felt like I would scream if I saw this definition in another book or heard another speaker refer to it.
You must understand the spiritual nature of fear and use spiritual tools, or tools from God, to guide your way through fear.
Fear is not something just in your mind. Fear is not just doubt or your negative thoughts. Fear is a spiritual issue and simply cannot be reckoned with in your mind, your will, or your ego.
You may have been taught that fear is your enemy and you can fight it. You may have believed until now that you can affirm or attempt to overcome your fear with positive self-talk and cute affirmations posted on your bathroom mirror.
You cannot ever affirm your way out of fear. Affirmations will help for a minute, but your fear will come up again shortly and take hold of you.
Perhaps you have been trying to push or move forward in spite of your fear. Fear is the way you can monitor the spiritual doors through which darkness enters your thoughts, habits, and life.
Fear illuminates the areas of your life in which you do not believe God will provide for you. The opposite of fear is faith. Fear and faith cannot co-exist.
You have to choose one or the other. Once you believe God for that particular thing you feared before, it no longer has a stronghold on you and the spirit of fear will find somewhere else to reside.
Removing fear from your life is the doorway to your will and God’s will for your life and business becoming one.
Fear is often a type of feeling we get do to something we feel uncomfortable about or threatened by. That fear may be real such as the fear that someone you know will harm you if it has been a turbulent relationship.
Other fears though such as of bugs, mice, or even the dark though often are made more than they really are by the individual. This isn’t to say that they don’t have a real fear of them, just that they can take action to make the fear more acceptable or to diminish it all together.
It is very helpful if you share your fears with others. Turn to someone you can trust that will offer you support. The last thing you need is to be ridiculed about your fears since they are so real to you.
Having someone willing to listen can help you to take the steps to overcome those fears. Keeping them hidden inside of you isn’t going to do anything but allow them to fester and to grow.
Children often have some fears too and parents need to be understanding of this. A child may fear their parent won’t return.
They may also have the common fear of the dark or that there are monsters lurking under their bed. Parents need to give their children plenty of support and encouragement when it comes to such fears. This is going to be an important part of the self image that a child develops.
Not all fear is bad though as it can also serve as a way to protect yourself. The fear of being kidnapped can prevent children from wondering off.
The fear of being raped can ensure a woman isn’t leaving clubs with men she knows nothing about. It can also give someone the courage to leave a difficult relationship because if they don’t they will soon end up dead.
A person shouldn’t be embarrassed about their fears though as all of us have them. Anyone that tells you they aren’t afraid of something isn’t being honest.
The fear may be small or it may be large. It may be imagined or it may be something very real. Regardless though you should take action to alleviate those fears. In many cases the though of the fear is worse that what it is actually all about.
Facing Your Fear
Fear is part of being on your growing edge.
I’m not certain where this statement comes from. I’d like to take credit for it, but I think someone much wiser than I am said this.
Most people consider fear an emotion to be avoided at all costs. Here, it is considered an indication of change and growth. Could that really be? Let’s break this statement down and see if it is true.
Every human, and at least higher forms of all organisms, have felt fear. It is an innate feeling and one that has allowed individuals to survive by moving them away from danger.
Fear may not feel good, but it can be positive in that it can keep us away from harm. There are physiological and psychological parts to fear and I’m sure we have all had them.
Sometimes they don’t feel attached to anything happening in our lives and at other times they are very specific to the situation.
When fear strikes, blood flows to the extremities, the legs and arms, preparing us to flee the dangerous situation.
There is a momentary freeze, that cold feeling that flows through the body, while the brain processes the information in front of it, determining what action, flight or fight, is more appropriate. Hormones contribute to the reaction.
Thoughts play a huge part in the development of fear and our reactions to it. We play the worst case scenario in our heads and then our hearts begin to pump fast, our faces flush, perspiration begins, mouth dries, eyes widen, looking for the threat that may not be visible.
Being on your Growing Edge
What if you’ve been at the same job, same route to work, same schedule for the past five or ten years and you’re becoming bored? You think there’s more to life but you are not sure how to find it.
Suppose you’re going along your life’s road and this year you are given a promotion to a job which calls for skills you haven’t master, you also get marry, move to a new city, and get elected president of a service organization you’ve been a member of for some years.
Now suppose you become aware that you need to hone skills that are unfamiliar to you . You seek out a way to learn those skills.
You could read books, observe people you know who have those skills, seek out a mentor or a life or executive coach, use trial and error.
But in some way you target what you don’t know and develop a way to learn it all. Hard work ahead, but easier on the fear factor.
These are three examples of being on the growing edge. In the first example, growth hasn’t happened for some time.
You’ve been comfortably living in the familiar, but after a time, this comfort level leads to dissatisfaction and a need to experience change.
This is good. It makes you want to grow. It might lead to developing new work skills or even a new career. Or seeking avocations that make “free” time more exciting.
No matter what, your choice is to stay bored, and safe, or take a chance, sometimes many chances, experience some fear, and grow.
In example two, you can almost feel the frenzy of the life overextended, overwhelmed with change. It’s being on the growing edge in every area of one’s life.
Not too many people will find this enjoyable or even livable. Something would have to give. Fear of change could easily take hold and become the most prominent emotion. Blood pressure rising? I would think so, and temper, too.
Stepping too far out on the growing edge can pose great risk of failure and can be just as bad in one’s life as avoiding fear by staying within one’s comfort zone.
Example three, how to keep some comfort while moving out, taking risks, experiencing some invigorating fear.
Fear of the unknown is keep low and fear of failure is minimized. Recognition that some fear will exist helps keep emotions in check.
Fear is part of the growing edge
So, yes, fear is part of the growing edge. Just knowing that it is and that those who choose to grow experience fear helps keep it low enough to cope with it.
But there are other ways to step into the growing edge, facing the fear but not focusing on it.
1) Often we have assumptions about what it will be like to move into the growing zone that are not based on fact and, indeed, are untrue and frightening. Discover what part is causing you to avoid moving and find out if it is real or just part of your imagination.
2) Re-label emotions. Fear and excitement are so similar that we often confuse the two and moving into the growing edge will have both emotions firing like crazy.
Re-label some of the fear excitement and see if that rings true for you. Think how it is to be on a roller coaster. Fear and excitement, right? And you still got on.
3) Focus. You can choose to focus on the fear in starting a new, unfamiliar process, or you can focus on the process itself. The second will get you much closer to your goals.
4) Limit stepping into the growing edge to just one or two areas at a time. Growth takes time, energy, and perseverance. Expecting to make many changes at the same time will increase the need for these as well as the fear that is a part of change.
5) Don’t diminish your accomplishments. I have worked with many people who, once they have accomplished the change, talk as if they have nothing to be proud of.
They do, and so do you. It takes courage to face fear of the unknown and of things that can make you cringe, even if they hold you back. So be proud and aware of your accomplishments.
Where has the growing edge taken you? What fears have you had to face? Share them with us over the next months by writing to [email protected]
We look forward to hearing from you.
Control Your Fear Before It Controls You
“Fear Factor” is one of my favorite TV shows. It highlights the courage of the participants to engage in the most fearsome and disgusting acts.
Most of the contestants are willing to sacrifice their dignity for the sake of the prize money. So what does that imply? It implies that with the proper mindset, determination, and will power, you can conquer your fear.
Everyone has some sort of fear. It may be brought about by any one or more of the following reasons.
1) by a traumatic past incident (like being bitten by a dog)
2) by the influence of other people
3) by their own negative way of thinking
But are you going to let fear take over your life? Will you remain a hostage of your fear forever?
You must take the necessary steps to overcome your fright. It’s all in the mind.
Do you envy other people when you see them enjoying wild rides, and you’re just stuck in a corner because you’re too terrified to give it a try?
My suggestion is to face your fear head-on. Imagine yourself enjoying the experience instead of exaggerating the things that make you worry. (Unless of course you have health problems, then taking wild rides may not be a good idea).
Do you want to be a doctor but you’re afraid that your intellect can’t handle the pressure or you’re worried about financial insecurity?
Well here’s the good news. If you’re really determined to achieve your deepest desires, a powerful force will enable you to reach them amidst every obstacle that comes in the way. I’m not kidding.
Someone or something will always be there to help you attain your goals. Just have faith in your abilities. Your will power have the utmost capacity to accomplish anything with the proper mindset.
You could use visualization to help you in defeating any kind of fear.
Are you afraid of heights? Then imagine yourself being on top of a mountain, overseeing the magnificent sights. Enjoy and feel the moment. Take away all worries and anxieties.
Then just do it! Face it head on! Go to the top of a building and savor the great feeling of being able to face your fear.
This applies to whatever thing that triggers your fear factor. Just imagine being able to defeat it, then confront it with the definite belief that you have the capacity to do everything you want if you just put your mind to it.
Face the thing you fear the most and you’ll never have to fear anything again in your life.
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