“Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them,” Brendan Francis.
Here are some steps I adapted from The Art of Manliness: 29 Days to a Better Man: Conquer Fear.
Change Your Perspective On Fear
Fear is only negative if you think it is. Fear is a natural process that if left unchecked will cause us to live timid, restricted lives. Truthfully, in life, there is zero growth without risk. Instead of pushing back fear as an all-consuming, nerve-racking experience, see it as an adventure, a journey that will take you out of your comfort zone and into a whole new life and bring a sense of joy and adventure. If you have ever conquered a fear, you know it can be exhilarating. So why don’t you try and scare yourself just a little today? You might like the outcome.
Adjust Your Perspective On Risk
The honest taproot for many of our fears is the fear of trying something and failing. What if I get rejected? What if I fail? Well, you could, but you will never know until you try. If you don’t take the risk, you will never know, and you are guaranteed to fail.
This might be uncomfortable for you, but my mission is to challenge you. In making such a decision, you are leaving out the possible long-term risk, a risk that could be far greater than a risk to your ego. The long-term risk is the danger of living an entirely average life. The risk is looking back on your life in 10, 20, or 30 years and feeling your stomach turn with regret and remorse.
The primary reason we miss opportunities God sends our way is fear. It is sad to say that when you miss a chance because of your fear, you will never get that moment back again.
Maybe it is time for you to update your risk criteria.
Act with Courage
Teddy Roosevelt put it this way: “There were all kinds of things of which I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean’ horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be scared.”
Think about some of the men and women of the Bible who acted courageously: Ruth, Esther, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Gideon, David. And how about other historical figures?
SFC Leigh Ann Hester, Silver Star, American Hero.
I doubt you have heard of this hero. Sergeant now Sergeant First Class Leigh Ann Hester was the first female to win the Silver Star in the Iraq War. This was later upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross. Here is an excerpt from the citation:
After insurgents hit the convoy with a barrage of fire from machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, Hester “maneuvered her team through the kill zone into a flanking position where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 rounds,” according to the Army citation accompanying the Silver Star.
“She then cleared two trenches with her squad leader where she engaged and eliminated three AIF [anti-Iraqi forces] with her M4 rifle. Her actions saved the lives of numerous convoy members,” the citation stated.
Here are other, more well-known people who overcame fear and became world renown in their field:
Colbie Caillat, Singer.
This artist is one of my personal favorites. I enjoy her style, attitude, and lyrics. She is a two-time Grammy winner with over six million albums and 10 million single sales to her credit. Also, she was a two-time loser on [the television show] American Idol.
Reflecting back, she said, “I was shy, I was nervous. I didn’t look the greatest. I wasn’t ready for it. I was glad when I auditioned, and they said ‘no.’“
Kill Fear With Faith-Filled, Logical Thought Processes
Fear is usually a function of lack of confidence and low self- esteem. Many people are afraid because they think they will fail. But if they do it anyway—if they try to overcome their fear instead of letting their fear limit them—they find they can do it. Fear should not keep us from working.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; What can mere man do to me? Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)
Think on this as we begin the freedom-from-fear journey together. Fear receives way too much airplay. Fear is the big bad boogeyman that grows by negative, contemplative thoughts that are re-runs of painful past events.
Fear is primarily mismanagement of our mental capacities.
Be sure to check out the final installment of how to overcome fear coming this weekend.