How do you reverse what you’ve taught yourself and trained your mind to think for years? How do you become unbound by fear and stop trembling at the thought of venturing beyond where it’s comfortable? For me, I start over from scratch.
I’ve been scared my whole life. Most of us can relate to missing opportunities, not going to events, not making that phone call, not speaking those words, not taking care of our feelings, or not even feeling at all because we’re held by fear. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked back on things are cringed because I let this horrible handicap of fear take me away from who I am.
So, last year right before New Year’s Eve. I was sitting in the car with my awesome friend Luvvie. We were having one of our inspiring conversations about life. I remember very vividly declaring to her (and to myself) that in 2011 I wasn’t going to be scared and fearful anymore. I told her that I was sick of letting fear be the reason I don’t go and pursue what I’m passionate about. I recognized in that moment that fear was the main reason I hadn’t fully become a trainer yet. Fear was gripping me and it was helping me make excuses for my actions. Fear was bullying me. It kept my mind in “Oh, I can’t do that” mode. I was very comfortable in the feeling of getting nowhere fast. I’d become complacent and convinced myself I wasn’t worth anything good or great or awesome. I concluded I wasn’t smart enough, or skilled enough, or beautiful enough to have my own dreams be realized. In my mind, everyone around me who was doing well could have my undivided attention and support. I was ok with cheering all my friends on in what they were pursuing and I made sure they knew I was there for them. But I wasn’t there for me… until that night.
The words I spoke went straight to my own ears. I heard them first. One of my favorite pastors says “Whatever you speak takes legs and begins to walk.” I believe this is true, and is very true in this situation. Once something is spoken into the atmosphere, it becomes truth. Before that night, I’d never said out loud that I was through with fear. I was definitely sick of it and knew that it was stopping me, but I’d never made a loud declaration that it wouldn’t grip me anymore. It seems that all I needed was to hear it out of my own mouth and the journey to becoming fearless began. I started saying “no fear in anything I pursue” over and over when I’d feel myself crawling back into that safety zone. As my transformation out of fearful living began, I prayed that God would show me exactly what I’d been afraid of. Sometimes when folks are scared of something, they don’t even know why. After lots of prayer and thinking and talking and analyzing, my biggest fear is rejection. If I fear I’ll be rejected in any way, shape or form, I won’t do it.
Making myself fearless is going to take work and dedication, as any transformation does. The reality is that I have to almost become a totally different person in my head and in my heart. Combating fearful thoughts and behavior with the exact opposite. Speaking “no fear in anything I pursue” out loud over and over until I believe what I hear.
I hope you were able to somewhat relate to this post and if you find yourself in fear, begin the journey to making yourself fearless. I was inspired by Sakita Holley and her contest with Nike’s Make Yourself Movement to write this. It was a great way to remind myself of the journey I’ve began.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face…you must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Have you ever been crippled by fear? How did you overcome it?