Last week, I wrote a lot about focus and passion. I’ve even hinted at the idea of quitting your job or rethinking your business.
What’s stopping you? Allow me to venture a guess…
Fear, man-kind’s ugliest 4 letter word.
Fear is the enemy.
It will creep up and tell you that you can’t.
It will tell you that you’re wrong.
It will take your idea and squash it before you can even blink.
Fear disguises itself as your ally.
It will put you in a boring little box.
It will stop you from taking chances.
It will keep you safe from actually having to make a difference.
To the leaders in the room, fear will rule your life and control your every decision. It will steer you right into the ground if you let it.
If we’re going to accomplish anything in this life, we’ve got to overcome fear.
Here’s how to do just that:
1. Tell Yourself Who You Are
The Worst Hypothetical Day of My Life:
Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up and tell myself, “I am a child of my heavenly Father, purchased through Christ, and saved by God’s grace.”
I’ll go to my office and get some troubling phone calls. All of my deals will fall apart. My clients will leave me. One of them will falsely accuse me of some wrong-doing. I’ll lose my license and my business.
On the drive home, I’ll total my car.
While walking the rest of the way, I’ll get mugged. The thief will run up my credit cards and empty my bank account before I can get to a phone.
When I finally get home, I’ll find the house burned to the ground; my possessions lying in a smoky heap on the lawn.
Tomorrow night, I’ll go to sleep(somewhere) and tell myself, “I am a child of my heavenly Father, purchased through Christ, and saved by God’s grace.”
You are exactly who you tell yourself you are. If you don’t know this on the front end, the world is going to tell you who you are. We tend to be extremely afraid of what that story is going to look like. We try to be safe, so we hide. In doing so, we let our fears dictate who we are and what we do.
Don’t let fear write the story for you. Who are you?
2. Dream Like a 5 Year Old
Have you ever asked a 5 year old what he wants to be when he grows up? It’s always something cool, right?
- Pro Basketball Player
- Rock Star
That little kid doesn’t ever say, “I’d love to be a cowboy, but I’m too scared to divert funds from my IRA in to buy a horse. I think I’ll pass.”
He doesn’t mumble, “I sure would like to be a rock star, but it’d be much safer for me to go to college and get a degree in corporate finance.”
There’s no rational thinking to hold these little guys down. No worldly fears to bring them back to “reality.” A 5 year old looks at the world and says,
“I’m going to do something amazing. You just try and stop me!”
3. Shut Worldly Negativity Out
That’s a terrible idea. It will never work.
You’ll never amount to anything. You’re meant for mediocrity.
You’re not smart, talented, charming, or good looking enough.
Even when they’re not said directly, these accustations are on display in the world around us. We’re surrounded by people who’ve willingly sacrificed their God-given purpose on the altar of the so called “American Dream.”
- 9-5 in an cubicle, laboring over a job you hate because the money’s “right.”
- Overuse of the phrases, “If only…” and “I wish I would have…”
- Addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, video games, and chocolate cake.
Are you going to focus on the negative images? If so, they’ll surely drag you down with them. You’ve got to define your purpose, figure out how you’re going to accomplish it, and focus on getting to work. Surround yourself with positive examples and up-lifting, encouraging friends.
Don’t turn a blind eye to the world. We are trying to change it for the better, aren’t we? Just don’t let it stop you.
Banish the world’s accusations from your thoughts and press on.
4. Pray It Forward
For me, this is the most important thing I can do to overcome fear.
I know who I am because God has revealed that to me in scripture and in prayer.
I can dream outrageously because I know that He will guide those dreams into His will.
I can shut the world out because I know that I am in this world, but I am not of it.
And when I fail in each and every one of these areas, which I do frequently, prayer is the one thing that brings me back. The mistake we often make is that we expect prayer to change God, when prayer is really meant to change us. It brings us back to His will. It re-centers us. It brings us peace.
So will you change? Will you tell fear to take a hike?
Please do. Fear is the only thing that will keep you from becoming every bit of the amazing person who you were created to be.
What have you done to overcome your fears?