There is always a little fear when stepping out into the unknown. You may face the fear of failure because you just aren’t sure what’s out there—but this is a good place to be. It will stretch you, and without a doubt, challenge you, and will ultimately make you better.
If you are serious about getting to the next thing for your life, you will have to learn to beat any fears that have the potential to stop you in your tracks. Your dreams and goals will not be handed to you on a silver platter, nor will they just magically happen without being challenged by the forces of fear. You have to stare fear in the face and not back down.
"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."- John Wayne
If you never conquer your fear, it will conquer you. Fear is a dream killer. It has the potential to enslave you into a life that’s less than what you are capable of living. If you are struggling with fear, then there’s no present time like right now to start conquering it.
Here are three reasons you should conquer your fears right now.
If you don’t conquer your fear, it will institutionalize you forever.
The Academy Award-winning movie The Shawshank Redemption gives a clear picture of what fear can do to a person. The main character, Andy, played by Tim Robbins, is an innocent man who ends up in prison. He is there for many years, and during that time, he makes a small group of friends.
Andy is determined that prison is not his final resting place and that there is more for him. He devises a well-thought-out plan of escape and carries out the steps of breaking free over the course of several years. While his eyes are set on freedom, there are others in his small group of friends who have been incarcerated for so long that they can’t imagine an outside world, nor the thought of living in it, for fear that they wouldn’t know how to survive on the outside. The very thought of Andy wanting to be free and live outside of the prison is foreign to them. They have become institutionalized.
Although Andy finally escapes, his friends are stuck in a fear-driven mindset. There’s a heartbreaking scene in which an old prisoner is up for parole, but the fear of the outside drives him to break out in a behavior that causes the prison board to revoke his parole. He was literally moments away from freedom but was afraid because he didn’t know what was waiting for him beyond the prison doors.
Whatever you do, don’t let fear keep you stuck in a place that is preventing you from experiencing your best life now.Don’t let your fears stop you. Don’t let your fears keep you stuck. Don’t let your fears control you.
Fear keeps you living in the “What If.”
There are so many people that will find themselves living in the awful, discouraging place called what if. It’s a place that will torment your mind by causing you to focus on a past moment of an opportunity that you never had enough courage to pursue.
- What if I would have given that relationship a chance?
- What if I would have just applied for that job?
- What if I would have taken that leap of faith?
- What if I would have pushed passed my fear?
- What if I would have just tried it at least one time?
There has to be a time in your life where the fear of regret is greater than the fear of trying. Sometimes people will camouflage their fears with excuses.
The most destructive force against your dream is your excuse. Don’t let your excuses sabotage your future. Excuses are dream killers and progress stoppers. Some people even use them as a safeguard so they won’t have to take a step of faith and try something new. The only thing that lies between them and their destiny is the barricade of excuses that they have placed on the road themselves.
You can make excuses, or you can make progress, but you can’t make both.
Have you ever had a dream that never got off the ground because you gave yourself one excuse after another as to why you couldn’t or shouldn’t? If that’s you, then it’s time to drop the excuses (fears) that are killing your dream and get after it.
Here are some positive what-if thoughts that can protect against the negative ones.
- What if I take a step of faith, and everything works out fine?
- What if I don’t let the opinions of others stop me?
- What if I believe that failure will compel me to keep pushing toward the goal?
- What if I look fear in the face and still keep moving forward?
- What if I believe in myself like never before?
- What if I reach for my dream and get there?
"Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear." -George Addair
Your fear might be keeping you from helping a lot of people.
Often times, when God gives you a big dream, it’s not only about you, but it’s about all the people God will help through you. This is why big dreams can be overwhelming. The forces that cause fear oftentimes know more about your future than you do. The forces of fear are not only trying to stop you, but they are trying to stop all the people that will be helped as a result of you fulfilling God’s dream for your life.
Let the fear of not helping people become greater than the fear of having to step out into the unknown and totally trusting God.
At the end of the day, you are the only one that has the power to conquer your fears. Fear is a choice. You have to decide if you will choose fear or faith. Your destination will be a result of whichever one you choose.
If you’re standing at the edge of what if, then right now is a good time to go ahead and take the big leap of faith.
Don’t worry about trying to figure everything out first. The figuring out will happen once you take the first step and move beyond your fear.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." -2 Timothy 1:7