Sunday, July 31, 2011

The things you would do if you weren't afraid

I've been thinking a lot about fear lately. Jacob and I both recently read a book called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, which in many ways is as cheesy as it sounds, but there ain't nothing wrong with a little cheese now and then. It's caused both Jacob and I to sort of re-evaluate. I feel like most of the things in the book were things that I had learned before, and had believed and lived by, but for some reason had forgotten. Things like the power of "positive self-talk," and not allowing yourself to be trapped by "what if's."

So yesterday I started thinking about "all the things I would do if I wasn't afraid."

I would open my heart more fully to everyone around me.

I would be a better friend...I would call more, write more, and visit more.

I would chase bigger dreams.

I would travel more.

I would paint more.

I would get involved in more things that I'm passionate about.

And a lot more. 

But as I was thinking about these things, I realized that for a lot of them, the ONLY thing that's holding me back is fear. Some I started to say "I don't have the money," or "I don't have the time," but even those are just excuses...I'm afraid of making a financial decision that will make my friends and family judge me for a fool. I'm afraid of using my time "unwisely."

I came to realize years ago that it really doesn't matter what anyone in the world thinks of you. Only what God thinks of you, and what you think of you. It sounds selfish at first, and it's hard to let go of the opinions of others---especially those others whom you care the most about. But it's really not's freeing. Selfishness traps you in always choosing what you do and say based on how others will react towards you. When you decide that it doesn't matter what others think of you, you are free to love them and serve them without worrying about what they might think. One of the things the fear book talked about was the idea that "the less you need someone's approval, the more you are able to love them." And if you care what God thinks about you, then you will treat people around you kindly, including yourself. Sometimes, we misinterpret the principles of sacrifice and God's commandment to love others and exclude ourselves from that love. And it takes awhile to figure out what God desires for you, but ultimately, I believe that He is a loving parent, who wants happiness for us, and shows us what we can do to obtain happiness.

And I don't believe He wants us to be afraid. I don't think He wants us to limit ourselves with fears about ourselves, our futures, about what others may think.

So what are you afraid of? Even if the worst possible thing happens, you'll probably be okay. So, go. Do. You don't have to eliminate your fears. Just don't allow yourself to be paralyzed by them. Give yourself time to do the things that scare you. Let go of all the "what if's." Stop "should-ing" all over yourself. =) Dye your hair pink. Save up the money and visit Norway. Introduce yourself to a stranger.

Live the life you've always imagined for yourself.


Anonymous said...

What a great and inspirational blog entry. Thanks; I needed that!

Love you!


jovelle said...

I just stumbled across your blog here and this is the second article that I read.....very insightful. Fear stops us from doing a lot and I have been thinking about that this week.....especially how fear stops me from opening my heart up to people and those that I do open it up to, still don't get all of it! It's really shameful that we fear being known completely by another person and that we feel the only one we can trust with our heart completely is God.....but at least we trust the one with all the answers! Just keep praying <3

Monica Bonner