But fear can also be our enemy. It can stop us from living to our full potential. It can stop us from loving - from trusting. It restrains us from making decisions or making choices even. It prevents us from opening our hearts and hindering us from what could be. It can paralyze us from doing what we love or what we enjoy. And above all, it can actually limit us from living life!Personally, fear has always been by my side growing up and has become my worst enemy. The fear of looking bad to people - fear of talking & saying the wrong things - fear of being embarrassed - fear of getting hurt - fear of looking stupid - fear of failing - fear of not being good enough - fear of being alone - you name it, I’ve had it. Today, I still struggle with fear in many different ways. I see it. I feel it. I fight it. It’s not easy and it can be debilitating.
Not many people talk about their fears, simply because of the misconception that the presence of fear means weakness. And because having known the presence of fear can be embarrassing. But you know what’s funny, we all have fear. That’s a given fact, so why are we all hiding it?? It doesn’t even make sense, but we do. Another fact of life and human existence.
So, here’s a confession. The word “fearless” does not resonate with me, nor does it empower me like it encourages other people. Why? Because truthfully, I know I am not living without fear, I do live with fear. I have accepted that. And may I point out that this is not criticizing or diminishing myself. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I have learned to befriend my fear, which drives the strength in me to keep fighting. Because of fear, I learned about courage and bravery IN SPITE of my fear. I get scared, but I do it anyway. I am learning to see and accept my fear for what it is, without it defining who I am.
If you take an inventory of your life right now and see how many times fear has taken over you - or how often fear has stopped you from making a decision, etc.. here’s my two cents. Remember that this is coming from someone who has lived with fear (and anxiety!) most of her life. So if I can do it, so can YOU.
Here are 5 things I do when fear comes close to my face:
- Pause. Breathe. And I sit with it. No distractions. Just be.
- I write. I write everything I am scared of. I make a list and just write whatever comes to mind. Somehow, it gives me clarity. And clarity eases my fear because awareness is enough to make me realize that everything I am afraid of is something I created inside my head - and that is half the battle!
- I read something encouraging, something that will lift me up. And if you haven’t noticed by now, I surround myself with inspirational quotes and empowering words. I read devotional books. I read self-help books that lift me up and teach me and remind me how to show up again and again, in spite of the fear.
- I do self-reflection. I ask myself what really scares me. I get honest with myself and dig deep. And more often than not, I realize that my passion is bigger than my fear. My purpose is bigger than my fear. My reasons for living are bigger than my fear.
- Lastly, I pray. Because at the end of the day… my faith is bigger than my fear.
I hope this helps you in some way, and more than anything I hope it inspires you to find what works for you.
So, if you’re like me, you know how it’s like to live with fear. But, It’s what we do in spite of the fear, that matters. If you have a fear of looking bad in front of people, that’s ok. Let it drive you to find your courage and live through it. Let it push you to find your voice and share your story, because it matters. You can have fear & still be brave enough to live your life. You can have fear-courage-anxiety-strength & be your own warrior all at the same time. This is what makes YOU unique & special.
And when all else fails and if there’s only one thing I want you to remember, and if you have watched the Disney movie, Luca…. Silencio, Bruno! Silence, fear! (If you know, you know) ;)
p.s. Here’s a little secret, sshh… right this moment, I am actually worried and afraid that this content is not good enough and won't be helpful to you. But, I am doing it anyway! ;)
Thank you Elizabeth I just read your article and it inspires me, for I had to encounter a situation that I needed to face my fear, by opening my heart and calling it out and of course seeking God’s guidance,🙏again Salamat 😍
Thank you for this post. It’s given me clarity. You help us all so much. Hugs Elizabeth ♥️