Here is the truth: fear drives us more than we’d like to admit.
For so many of us, myself included, fear can tempt us to make safe but not the best choices. Fear can tempt us into limiting what we reach for, or to not take the step we feel compelled to take. Fear seems to dampen our lives, to where we live with less expectations and simply seek to make it through. I believe that in general, fear always makes us live less than we are called to live.
But I believe too that the real power of fear is in how it lives unexamined. We let it whisper but don’t really let it speak. We let it tempt but not really acknowledge what it says. And I’ve found that through examining exactly what fear is sharing is one of the most helpful ways in overcoming it.
So what I do when I hear fear whisper, is I address it through asking…”what’s the worst”?
Because fear whispers to us that the worst will happen, but is never explicit about what the “worst” actually is. And that’s the power of fear, the unexamined and unnamed ominous “worst” out there. But once you name it, it loses its power.
So for example Krista and I are making a large change in our lives. And making this decision wasn’t easy because our lives are wonderful – but we felt called to something new and different. But here is what fear would whisper to me when we were praying about taking on a new job, new role, and new place of work:
- What if you fail?
- What if you can’t hack it?
- What if you move, give up everything that is amazing here, and lose it all?
But honestly if you look at that what’s the worst? I fail, face some shame, have to start over, and if we lose everything and have to move in with my mom. I mean the literal worst is that we tried something and failed.
And this is how you beat fear.
You let fear tell you what’s the worst that can happen, but then never give it the last word. You think about the best, you think about what could come out of it, and you take the bite out of fear because normally the worst isn’t all that bad.
Fear wants to make it seem worse than it is, so you settle. But what if you don’t settle? What if you launch out and try that business, try that dream, try that thing you’ve been thinking about? Because settling never leads to your best, and fear is all about settling.
So push past it and see what happens.