You know you’re doing something wrong when you start off the new year with fear. Sure, we all feel afraid at some point, but a new year should mean new beginnings. For some people, a new year is a new chance to start over fresh. So, what is there to fear? The unknown? Making ends meet? Conflict?
On the first day of January, hip hop artist Lecrae posted the above sign to encourage his fans to not feed their fears. And what an encouragement it is!
The other night, I spoke with a friend about some of our fears. We talked about how our fears paralyzed us and affected our decision making as well as our happiness and our peace. As a result, our fears often affected our relationships with other people. We choose not to do something because we’re afraid of the person or how something would turn out. In the end, we both realized that this year, of all years, we must learn to face our fears. Easier said than done.
Identify Your Fears
What are you afraid of? Perhaps it’s a person or a situation. Ask yourself how you become afraid of it. Figure out the roots so you can gain a better understanding of it.
One of my biggest fears is disappointing others, especially the people I love. After reflecting on this fear, I learned that it stemmed from childhood. I strived to please my parents–getting the good grades, becoming successful, etc. I never wanted to feel the pain of rejection or disapproval that I once felt when I disappointed my parents. It resulted into an unhealthy drive to please people and perfectionism.
Confront Your Fears
After identifying what it is you fear, go on and face it. How do we face it? Do the reverse of what it is you usually do.
My fear led me to become a perfectionist and this horrible obsession to order and control. For example, when an event didn’t go exactly as I planned, I’d get frustrated. I had to confront this fear by being flexible, knowing and understanding that there are things that I just can’t control. In other words, I feared giving up control. To confront my fears, I gave up control. And you know what? It was freeing.
You Got This. God’s Got This.
The Bible says, “Fear not,” (and variations of that like, “Do not be afraid”) 365 times. You aren’t alone to face your fears. God’s got your back.
Hebrews 13:6 (NIV):
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
So what are you waiting for? Start this new year right. Go and face your fears.
(Image via Stuffosaurus)