Recently, as we have been learning to juggle 3 kids I have gotten to spend a bit of one on one time with my oldest, Charlotte.
She has struggled in recent months with her self confidence and being extremely fearful. It was terribly sad to watch because it caused her to miss out on some awesome experiences.
We really began to notice a shift in her when it came to big boys. Any boy a little bit bigger than her was terrifying for her to be around. It all went back to one experience in a bounce house where a bigger boy fell on her. After that day she wouldn’t go in the same room with big boys, she would cry, and it got to the point where it was completely irrational. It took time, facing her fears, positioning her again and again to realize that not all big boys are scary because you had one bad experience.
During that same span of time we had a daddy daughter date at Chick-Fil-A. We love Chick-Fil-A. On this day we went to the one in the mall. We got our food and sat down to eat. I looked accross at Charlotte and her eyes were wide like saucers and she was terrified. I looked over my shoulder and there was no one at the table behind me. Then I looked over my other shoulder and there it was…the Chick-Fil-A, 8 foot tall, mutant cow. Charlotte was eating her nuggets in between tears. It was so sad. I cleaned up our table and we went to leave. As we walked away, Charlotte eyes were fixed on the cow to the point she was tripping over her own feet and walking backwards.
These two experiences with my four year old reminded me of how silly I look like, that we look like, when we live in fear of something. When we are afraid we make irrational decisions, are led by our emotions, are blinded to where we are going, and usually stumble. It doesn’t matter if it is heights or bugs, two of my biggest fears. They are silly and irrational fears. They cause me to miss out and sometimes stumble or be led by my emotions.
The Bible has a lot to say about fear. It says “Don’t be afraid” or “Fear Not” 365 times in scripture. Once for everyday of the year.
The Bible actually tells us fear is not from God. “God didn’t give you a spirit of fear…”
If the Bible doesn’t want us to be afraid, fear doesn’t come from God, and most fears are irrational and silly, what are we to do? Cause everyone is afraid of something.
You practice courage and you do it afraid. You do it anyway. You step up. You step out. You take a swing. You try. And try again and again.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
Fear only ever keeps you from doing and the only way to conquer it is to do that which you are afraid of.
Recently, I overcame a fear by doing it.
Now, I am not a fan of fast things. Roller coasters, cars, bikes, etc… Modes of transportation are for just that, getting me safely from point A to point B. I am not a daredevil. That stuff scares me. So, I miss out on a lot of fun stuff.
I went four-wheeling! I know some of you are thinking big deal you wimp. It was a big deal. I have been offered many times before and never went. I didn’t want to go fast, what if I got hurt, etc…
We had friends in from NJ and we were offered to go four-wheeling. I reluctantly said I would take them hoping I wouldn’t have to actually ride it. When we arrived I was given the demo on how to use the four wheeler, told I was in charge, and then showed the lay of the land. I was terrified. Everything in me wanted to let them take the four-wheelers out and just relax on the farm that day. But I couldn’t…my daughter was with me and was begging for Daddy to take her for a ride. So, I sucked it up and did it anyway.
My buddy John took me out so I could get a feel and see where all the boundaries were. I took it nice and easy and thought this isn’t so bad. Then I faced my first hill. No one told me that you should lean forward and apply steady acceleration. It was a small hill but that didn’t matter. I went up and fell off the back of the four wheeler right on my butt. Thank God the four wheeler went forward and didn’t fall back on me. My worse fear had happened and guess what…it wasn’t so bad after all. Sure my butt hurt for a few days but when I got back and picked up Charlotte we rode and rode. She screamed, “Faster, Daddy!”
I had so much fun! I did it anyway.
Now not all fears are this fun to overcome I understand but the point still remains, “Fear only keeps you from doing”. The only way to overcome is to do it.
Fear of public speaking means time to write and present a speech at work, church, or an open mic night at a coffee shop.
Fear of meeting new people means it’s time to head to a mall, coffee shop, bar, sporting event, somewhere you can meet new people. Heck go speed dating just to break the fear in your life.
Whatever your fear. Do it afraid.
Please comment below or message me about your fear. What are you afraid of and what are you going to do to overcome it? What fears have you already overcome and how did you do it?