There are lessons to be learned from fear. It may be a natural response to many situations, but all too often fear is unwarranted and prevents us from moving forward in life. What has fear taken from you? What fears haunt you?
Failure of our education system. Sex Trafficking. Hate Crimes. Racial Profiling. Child Pornography. Teen heroin use and overdose. Social media bullying. I can keep the list going, but when I read these problems, it sends chills up my spine. What about you? When you hear about the news, all the issues that surround us, and the people affected by them, are you angry? Underneath that anger is there a ball of fear because you worry that these problems could impact you, your children, and the people you love?
You’re not alone.
Fear, while a natural emotion and response to things that have the potential to threaten or cause harm, can also make us irrational if we allow it to control us. I’m not talking about the fear that comes if you’re on a morning jog and find yourself squared off with a pack of growling pit bulls. Anybody would probably be terrified by that.
But what about the fears we have as parents? I’m a mother of two adult children. The world that I raised my daughters in looks very different than the world we live in today. Yes, I had many fears while raising them, but I can’t say that I was worried about them being bullied online or overdosing on heroin. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have fears like any parent does. But in order for me to be an effective parent, one who didn’t stifle development or become an angry person, I had to learn to feel my feelings and let the fear go–especially fear of the unknown–and trust that things were working as they should.
False Evidence Appearing Real
Many of my clients started by telling me that they “just weren’t ready at this time.” Almost all of their concerns were centered around fear. To put it frankly, fear stinks. It robs us of so much. It robs us of opportunities because we’re too afraid to fail, of relationships because we don’t want to get hurt, and it robs us of our destiny because we’re afraid of change. Yes, it’s an emotion and at times is a natural response to a circumstance, but we have to choose whether or not we allow it to dictate and limit our life. Fear of rejection (my book won’t be a success and people won’t read it), fear of failure (I don’t want to write a book and mess up), and fear of the unknown (how the heck am I going to write my book?) are all real fears that my writers had in the beginning.
What is fear?
What if your fear is based on an something that hasn’t happened and may not ever happen to you? Would that change how you respond to life’s daily challenges and the nightly news? Years ago someone shared that acronym with me, and it totally changed my perspective. I hope it changes yours.