Fear is a joy stealer, a liar, and a waste of time. It has the power to blind us from all that is good and hold us hostage, in a place crippled with uncertainty and doubt. I know because it happened to me. After two tragic deaths of people I loved in my mid-twenties, fear, and anxiety consumed me. And worry became my good morning and good night.
Fear Of The Unknown Only Has The Power We Give It
Losing two people in my life at a young age, I began fearing my mortality. More often than not, the stillness of nighttime fueled irrational thoughts about dying. A simple cramp in my leg would immediately bring my uncontrolled thoughts to an unhealthy place, like an impending blood clot that I was sure would take me down or a headache that could potentially be a brain tumor or aneurysm. My heart would begin to race as I had just completed an intense high-cardio workout, and I would frequently check my rapid pulse. The fear was real, and it was choking the life out of me. I functioned daily, but inside, it was stealing my everyday joy. Finally, at 40 years old, I decided I had had enough, and after being beaten down with fear for the past 15 years, I finally let go of it! I realized that fear of the unknown only had the power I gave it. Confronting my fear of dying and allowing myself to be okay whenever my time was to come felt like I was released from a prison sentence. It was a gift of a new life, an answered prayer.
Learning To Be Brave
Learning to surrender my fears and block them from seeping into dark places didn’t happen overnight. I’m a control freak. Yet, when I released that control and reminded myself that I couldn’t control everything in this life, it made more sense to stop hanging on to it. That’s where being brave comes in. Bravery isn’t a one-time thing. However, once I began taking the intentional steps to refuse to give those negative thoughts power, it became easier and easier to live a fearless life. Living fearless for me doesn’t mean that I have now adopted a reckless attitude where whatever happens, happens. That wasn’t me before and it still isn’t. You won’t find me signing up to skydive anytime soon because I’m simply not interested. What does thrill and interest me is my new approach to life. Trusting without knowing what’s to come is the bravest thing I’ve ever done. Everything and everyone has a more profound, more significant meaning. I am truly happy again, so I enjoy life to the fullest. Engaging without feeling tethered to fear has lightened me. My faith is deeper and stronger, and for the first time, I am able to apply principles to my life that I have been reading about for years. Being brave with one fear is what empowered me to tackle the rest.
Living A Happy Life
Once I confronted my fears and was brave enough to take the first step to overcome them, I inevitably became happier. That doesn’t mean that life will be perfect and bad things may never happen again. It means that fear has lost its control over my life and the unknown. I now have the freedom to live and love without worrying about what’s next. And I won’t have to fear whatever comes next, good or bad. I’ve experienced something freeing about not being able to control everything. It was a huge burden I didn’t realize I was carrying until it was gone. Fearing my health, the future, and my family’s safety to an unhealthy level is no more. I will always have my control tendencies, but I’ve learned to keep them in check and focus on what I can do to make my life healthy and happy instead of the things I can’t.
Anxiety and fear can be life-altering and consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. The best thing we can do is acknowledge what fears us, be brave, and confront it. Everyone’s journey will look different, some might be quick and easy, and others might find it drawn out and painful. What’s more important is taking the small steps to get there. And if it’s too difficult to do on your own, seek the people who can help you—a family member, friend, pastor, or spouse. If we let fear in, there will always be something to fear in this life. However, we win every time if we strip fear of its power.
Looking for some simple steps to help overcome your anxiety and live fearlessly? Sign-up for a Free Discovery Call today.