Fear can be paralyzing, so powerful that it dictates your thoughts and before you know it you are running the other way. However, despite our general avoidance of fear we must understand what fear is and how fear works in our lives to help us. Here are 3 tips to help you overcome your own fears.
1. Understand What Fear Is
Many people don’t truly understand what fear is. It’s not something negative, its not a situation, a person, or a place. Fear is an emotion that can be stimulated or triggered by our environment.
Most of us hate that uncomfortable feeling we get when fear overwhelms us but fear is actually a good thing. Fear is an important emotion that God gave us for two main reasons: 1) to give you valuable information about your environment, 2) to move us.
For example, you are walking late at night to your car and something just doesn’t feel right, your fear kicks in and you are more alert. That alertness is good because it helps you to focus. Without that fear, you might blindly go into dangerous situations and put yourself at risk to harm.
Another important aspect of fear is that it helps us realize our courage and how God wants us to be courageous for Him and others. On the other side of fear is courage and if we never had fear we would never truly appreciate the times where we had to be courageous.
2. Reflect On Past Successes
Too many times when a fearful situation comes into our lives, we often forget of all of those times that God helped us through it.
The times when we were terrified but then afterwards realized, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad, thanks God!” I think God might tell us, “Don’t you remember that time when…?” We forget so easily but if we make a conscious effort to continually reflect on how God always helped us through every situation it will be easier to push through when fear comes knocking.
3) Your Fear Of Missed Opportunities Should Be Greater
In order for you to grow, God will often put situations in our lives that will take us out of our comfort zone. When we first see it we usually think, “I can’t do this!” But there are 2 main ways that you can approach a fearful situation:
1) Reframe your thinking. Instead of looking at a situation that makes you fearful as a barrier, look at it as an opportunity to grow.
2) Understand this statement,
My fear of missed opportunities of spiritual growth must be bigger than the fear that is holding me back from acting on those missed opportunities.
For example, I had a terrible fear of teaching Bible study for Vacation Bible School a few summers ago. I hated it! I complained for literally two weeks and I probably came up with every possible excuse for not wanting to go.
But what I eventually realized was that my fear of regret, of looking back on an experience that helped me tremendously in learning to have faith and trust in God, was bigger than my fear of being embarrassed, fear of speaking, and fear of rejection.
The same goes for you, God brings so many opportunities into your own life that can help you grow to be a better person in Christ. Don’t miss out on them and you’ll discover more and more how God is shaping you into the person he sees you as.
Hope this helps you.