What are you afraid of?
Hi guys! So I started writing an article about how everything in life and everything that has ever happened to us has led us to where we are in this moment. However, I was struggling with that and I had to ask the Holy Spirit to tell me what to write.
Yes, I definitely struggle with figuring out what to write and even writing sometimes. But one thing that has helped me since I started this blog is the Holy Spirit. Once I realise that what I want to write isn't flowing easily, I know it's not time to write it. So I store the article in my drafts and move on, that is, until my spirit is ready.
Anyways, today, I was struggling and I asked the Holy Spirit for what to write and fear came into my mind. Now, I know fear is a deep issue and we all struggle with it on the big and little thing. I'm also aware that I'm not a psychologist or therapist, so I don't know the science of it.
However, believe me when I say that I know the emotion. I am terrified of spiders, snakes, insects, in fact, everything that creeps has me screaming and running out of a room. My little sister can testify to the fact that if we both see a spider, we're both running out of the room, especially when the spider looks like it isn't tired. Or if something was flying around, you'd hear me screaming and most likely see me running away or trying to swerve. It's not a joke guys, my sister and I will run.
There was a day my sister and I were redecorating our room and we saw a huge spider. Before I could even call her name, my sister pushed me, ran out the room and then shut the door while locking me in the room. Thinking back on it, it was hilarious and absolutely comical.
Anyways, aside from that, I also get scared of rejection and failure. I'm super bubbly and playful naturally, but one of the things that held me back and kept me quiet for so long was the fear that people would reject me. The fear that people would mock me, taunt me or even disregard me.
I remember when I was in law school, I used to hug everyone. I'm a hugger guys, so anyone I knew was getting a hug from me. Anyways one of my closest friends in law school at the time swerved my hug once and I cringed inside. To my friend it was just a joke, but to me it was a rejection. Then my friend did it again as a joke and after that day , I didn't even realise it, but I stopped going in for a hug with my friend.
I hugged everyone else, but never initiated a hug with this friend. It wasn't until about a year later that my friend approached me and said I'd stopped hugging them. That's when I realised that I'd stopped going in for a hug because I feared being rejected.
There are many times that I haven't started a conversation with someone I thought was cool because I feared that they'd reject me (I don't just mean guys by the way, I mean people in general). But thinking back, I wonder what my fear has affected.
Like I said I've had to battle with the fear of failure. For those who don't know, I enjoy singing. There have been so many opportunities for me to join singing competitions, lead songs etc, but I've rejected the majority of them because I was afraid of failing. I was afraid that I would go on the stage or altar and fall flat.
It doesn't mean that I wouldn't have been able to execute what I needed to do. It doesn't mean that if I'd taken the chance I wouldn't have succeeded and been proud of myself. No, it means that I lost the chance to see what I could achieve. I lost the chance to enjoy moments of achievement and the chance to try myself. I lost the chance to vote for myself.
The issue with fear is that it holds you back. The most annoying thing about fear is that most of the time, the fear is irrational. Sometimes there's no reason to fear, but because our mind tells us to, we do and then lose opportunities that could progress our lives.
So the whole time that I was afraid of being rejected by my friend, I could have gotten many hugs in. The many times that I said no to leading a song, or singing, I lost several opportunities to grow, learn and build.
I know that it's almost impossible to not feel fear, but what we need to do is use fear to drive us to do better and be better. Weaponize the fear that's trying to control you and take charge of your life and your own decisions.
I've come to a place in my life (thank You Jesus) where I don't let fear hold me back as much anymore. Because I've learnt that whether you do it or not, the fear will remain, the only difference is that when you push through the fear, you've had the chance to fight back. Pushing through the fear means that you've taken charge of your own decisions and made the decision based on desire and not fear. The desire to do something, to stand for something, to try that new thing, or go for that project. The desire to change your situation, to speak to that person, to ride that rollercoaster.
There's this phenomenon called the fight or flight response. It means that in the face of fear and danger, you have two options, to either fight or run. So what will you choose? Isn't it better to fight and overcome, than to run and encounter the same problem over and over again?
At the end of the day you'll end up living your life on the run. Running away from a challenge that could lead to your breakthrough. Fear either makes you courageous or a coward.
But when you fight the fear, you get a chance to show courage and grow in courage. Don't get me wrong, I know that fear has a way of dispelling logic and throwing sanity away when confronted by the things that scare us. So I know it's not easy to overcome your fears.
But fear is a bully, the moment you begin to confront it, is the moment it begins to recede. I believe it's important to work on our fears step by step. A little here and a little there and you'll realise that you're making bolder moves.
I used to hide myself in novels so I wouldn't be rejected, but now I boldly approach strangers and compliment people on the street. I'm a lot livelier than I used to be. But I'm still working on it. I'm not there yet, I'm not close to perfection at all. But what I am, is working on it.
So I beg you, don't stew in your fear. Don't let fear stop you from starting that business or from stating your cause boldly. Don't let fear diminish you and your abilities. I haven't heard any successful person say they made it in life by giving in to their fears.
The one thing that fear will definitely do though, is hold you back.
So why should you allow fear to limit you? I'm not against weighing your options and coming to a logical or spirit filled decision. What I don't want you to do is make decisions out of fear. Because at the end of the day you'll end up with regrets.
So once again, I love you and God loves you, so let's be bold together!