Brother Mike Wagner’s challenge for us to Step Into It is still lingering in my mind. I can’t help but think that one of the main reasons as to why I have hesitated to Step Into something that God wanted me to involve myself in is because of my close relationship with fear. Can you relate with what I’m saying? Below I wanted to provide each of us with some thoughts on fear and see if we can lean into God, overcome our fears, and be used in a greater way to fulfill His will for our lives, and better influence the lives of others who are observing our every move. Hope you enjoy the verses, quotes, article and song. I’ll let y’all chew on this one for a while.
Practicing His Presence,
Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
One author states that, “Fear is like a weed in a garden. Once you allow it to take root, it spreads, replicating itself, until, eventually, it chokes out all the other life there. Trust, love, kindness – none of those things can ever really bloom in a garden of fear.”
If you’re looking for a good documentary to watch, then I would encourage each of you to check out Free Solo. Here’s the trailer to it https://films.nationalgeographic.com/free-solo.
THE UNCOMPROMISING LIFE
You Have to Face Your Fears Because Your Goal Demands it
It’s either commit or give up, dithering [(being indecisive)] is useless
May 27, 2019
I recently came across the phrase, ‘face your fears because your goal demands it’ by Alex Honnold in the mind-blowing documentary Free Solo.
Honnold is a rock climber — one of the best in the world — and Free Solo follows his ruthless pursuit of a phenomenally dangerous goal.
To climb Yosemite’s iconic rock face El Capitan. Without ropes.
He understands that the risk of dying is monumentally high. One single misplaced foot and he’d plummet to his death.
El Cap's rock face is over 3000ft high and extremely exposed.
But free soloing El Cap is his goal. And he recognises that he must face his fear because it is imperative if he is to accomplish it.
And his logical attitude is something we can all apply to our lives to help take away the doubt. And our fears are almost certainly not as high risk.
How fear is worse than what we’re afraid of
Fear is surely the number one reason that we don’t achieve our goals.
It might not always be obvious, but if you dig past the surface reasons and procrastinations, you’ll probably find fear underneath.
We’re afraid of all sorts of things that undermine the pursuit of our goals. We’re afraid of looking stupid, afraid of failing, of losing money, of being rejected and, sometimes, of grave injury or death.
And it’s not that these fears aren’t reasonable or valid. Of course they are. But that absolutely does not mean you shouldn’t face them.
Because if you don’t face them, you cannot achieve your goals. It’s that simple.
Fear itself is dangerous. Probably more dangerous than the thing you’re actually afraid of.
Fear makes us hesitate when it’s safer to put our foot down and go. It makes us panic in precarious situations so that our chances of failure actually increase. And it makes us bail from things we want and need to do.
In short, it’s unchecked fear that is responsible for your goal going down the pan — not the thing you’re actually afraid of.
Facing your fear because you must
Facing your fears is inherently difficult. Often the fear has been built up in our minds so much that our bodies see it as something a lot worse than it is.
We start to breathe more heavily, we sweat, we feel flighty and restless. We can’t think about anything but what we’re about to face.
There’s no room for creative problem solving because we’re laser focused on survival.
And this is just when we go into the situation that we’re afraid of. Many of us never even get that far because we can’t cope with the very idea of facing our fears.
We lose our goals before we’re even attempted them. And if we’re set on never facing that fear or endlessly procrastinating, they’re not goals anymore.
They’re something we will never do.
And isn’t that more frightening?
What’s worse, the fear or giving up?
Picture one of your goals. One that you’ve been putting off because you have to do something you’re afraid of to progress or achieve it.
Now imagine telling everyone, telling yourself, that you’re not going to pursue it anymore. You will live your entire life never having achieved that.
Is that acceptable to you?
The first time I remember letting fear overcome a goal was when I was about eight years old.
I played the piano and had lessons every week. I loved playing and wasn’t bad at it. But then my grade one practical was coming up.
I passed the theory with no problem, but the idea of having to play whilst being watched by three strangers for my practical, was terrifying.
I just didn’t want to do it. I couldn’t face my fear. I couldn’t face it to the point that I told my mother I didn’t like playing anymore and threw such a tantrum that she let me quit.
So I stopped playing piano, an instrument I loved, because I refused to face my fear.
I was a child, so it’s understandable. But we still act like this as adults. Only we get better at justifying it.
Imagine if we spent our energy better
It can take a lot of energy to avoid our fears. I’m afraid of driving even though I passed my test 13 years ago and loved it then.
But so much time elapsed where I didn’t drive, that the idea of it became terrifying.
Avoiding driving takes up so much energy. I have to walk and cycle everywhere, or plan convoluted trips using trains and buses.
But I also have to continually justify not driving to myself as well as friends and family.
I want to drive. I want it so much. And I have recently, but only with a refresher instructor. I could drive at any time, but I can’t bring myself to do it.
And every time I don’t, I’m disappointed in myself.
If I spent that energy actually driving, I know I'd get over the fear.
There’s no right time
Here’s the thing though. There’s never a good time.
And if there is, that time is right now.
Because when you’re afraid of something and continue to avoid it, it grows to behemoth size in your head. It has ever more power over you.
If you don't face it, you will be more afraid of it in a year than you are now.
And when you do face it, it will fade into insignificance. You’ll eventually wonder why you were even afraid of it in the first place. You’ll no longer waste all that energy, it will no longer loom like a thunder cloud in the back of your mind.
You will be free. And you’ll have accomplished your goal.
"You face your fear because your goal demands it. That is the warrior spirit." - Alex Honnold #FreeSolo
Song: Fear is a Liar by Zach Williams
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter