What frightens you most? What image creates panic, anxiety or worry? Take a few moments to dwell on your fear.
Envision the fear coming true and then laugh. You are likely thinking, how ludicrous. How can you expect me to laugh at my worst nightmare? Because, more than ninety percent of the things we fear most never happen.
Don’t believe me? When is the last time you woke up with a giant tarantula crawling up you arm? The last time a snake slithered across your feet? Or you were mercilessly stuck in an elevator for days on end? Exactly, we fear the improbable.
In a recent gallop poll Americans listed things they feared the most. Number one was snakes. Any guess what number two is? That’s right, public speaking. Now, it is my turn to laugh.
Growing up, the thought of being forced to stand before a classroom of my peers and actually express my thoughts or opinions was horrifying. The fear so overwhelmed me, I tried to skip school if I thought I would be called upon to speak. However, the thing tormenting me most was I did not understand why I was fearful.
Prepared, practiced, poised and articulate, it would take many years to understand I did not actually have a fear of public speaking. What I subconsciously feared was my thoughts or words would not be accepted. I took many sleepless nights to discover public speaking was not what I feared most, but rejection.
The fear of rejection is often more traumatic real rejection. Anyone who has tried out for the varsity team, survived a lengthy court case or applied for a job understands the waiting process is often more stressful than the outcome.
Fear of failure is paralyzing. Fear can thwart our dreams, preventing u from reaching forward with dreams, goals or aspirations. I think it is totally ironic my vocation requires I stand and speak to large audiences around the world.
Each time I am introduced, I laugh. I laugh at my fear and the thought of how those fears almost prevented me from living my dream .
What fear is keeping you from living your dream? Whose words have discouraged you or kept you from reaching for the thing or person you desire most?
Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. The size of your fear is not nearly as important as your willingness to confront your fear. Take this opportunity to document your fears. Interrogate them.
Are they based on fact? Do they act as a smokescreen keeping you from pursuing God’s best for your life? 2 Timothy 1:7 declares, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.”
Did you thoroughly read that verse? If we were to hit the rewind button and read this verse in the reverse order it would read: In order to have a sound mind, to possess power and to walk in love requires you live fear free. That is powerful.
Look at your list of fears then read this verse one more time. What fear is keeping you from living a victorious life? Continue alternating, comparing your list of fears with this passage. Freeing isn’t it?
Fears are no match for the freedom found in God’s Word. Look at your list again. This time give yourself permission to laugh. When you can confidently face your greatest fear and laugh, you can master almost anything else in life.
Discover more of Dr. Tracey Mitchell’s encouraging wisdom here in her article Devil in a Dress