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When I was younger, one of the most common phrases among us girls was: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” This meant when we knew that someone disliked us, or if we considered them an enemy, we wanted them close to “keep an eye on them”.
The belief was if we were aware of what they were doing at all times, we would know if or when they planned to do something to harm us. We need to have a similar mindset towards fear.
No, we are not going to clutch our fears and refuse to let them go. We are going to acknowledge our fears so we can be aware of them. We are going to hold our fears up to the light and examine them. We are looking for:
You may be wondering what is the point of examining of our fears. Well, one of the biggest reasons we are afraid is because we don’t know enough about a situation. Typically, the thing we are afraid of leaves us with a vague feeling of panic and nausea. It makes us fearful to examine it too closely - that’s why we must.
I remember watching The Ring as a teenager. That movie scared the living daylights out of me. And though I knew it was impossible for that creepy girl to crawl out of the television and give me seven days to live, I had this vague dread for months afterwards. I was uneasy until the Grammy Awards the following year.
When the cute, bubbly Daveigh Chase took the stage, I couldn’t believe I had been scared of a blonde cherub. The actress looked nothing like the on-screen character who had me petrified a few months before.
My fear instantly disappeared as the truth (how she really looked), overwrote the lie in my head. We have to do that to all our fears: expose them for what they truly are. Will it be easy? No, but here are some things we can do to start leveraging our fears.
1. Acknowledge that it exists. Pretending we’re not afraid only serves to make us more anxious. The subconscious mind overemphasizes the fear and makes it ginormous in our heads. The bigger we think it is, the more we try to avoid it and the cycle continues.
2. Find the hidden lie. A fear is usually the cover up for a lie. We are afraid because we don't have enough information about something. We fear the future because it’s unknown. Because it’s unknown, we tell ourselves it will be horrible. If it is horrible, then it’s something to be feared. If we can examine our fears to figure out what lies at its root, we have ammunition we can use to destroy it.
3. Expose it to light. Fear attracts darkness. It loves being hidden
in dark places. But when we bring our fears into the light, we see them for what
they are. When we expose our fears to the Light, we receive Truth that can
dispel any darkness.
4. Challenge it. When you are afraid of something, meet it head on. Now, I’m not telling you to run rashly into a situation… Like if you are afraid of dogs, don’t climb into a cage with rabid dogs… take baby steps. Maybe you want to pet a puppy before you go out and buy a pit bull.
Make a list of your fears. Note the reasons why you are afraid. Create an action plan to face your fears. Do them one at a time. Seek help if you need it. Or ask someone to be your accountability partner. But do something towards overcoming your fear. There’s freedom on the other side of fear.
Challenge: Choose one fear you want to leverage.
Join our Accountability Group as we work on facing one of our fears by November 9, 2018.
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