This question was introduced in a conversation that I was having this week:
What are some of your fears? The ones that keep you from doing what you really want to do?
I was reminded of an instance when I was around twenty years old. At the time I was working at a camp, and was participating on one of the high ropes courses. This was supposed to build morale and community among the group. Well I attached the carabiner to the harness and climbed up. Only when I was at the top did I realize that thirty feet in the air looks a LOT taller when you’re actually up there as opposed to when your feet are placed firmly on the ground!
I braced myself to continue across, even though I was shaking more than I had ever felt in my life. I kept telling myself over and over, “Just take one more step. Just keep going. Just take another step.” I did make it across, and didn’t fall, even though at times in the middle it felt like my support was going to pull me down. I ended up completing the entire ropes course and later that summer even got certified to belay the high ropes for campers. It became second nature to climb up a pole, attach myself to the top, and hang nonchalantly from my harness while dangling in mid-air. It’s a little different for me when standing on the edge of a cliff with nothing attached to me, but that’s a different story.
I used to have this fear that my house was going to catch on fire. This escalated to the point that my dad even took my sisters and my to my room and showed me how to kick out our screen window and crawl out to safety! I used to be concerned about what people thought all the time. This still does surface today, but not nearly as much as it used to. I’m not worried about being a perfectionist, and I’ve learned even when I am STILL embarrassed by certain situations, I can laugh it off and continue on with life. I think this will always be something that I am constantly reminding myself of. Truths of who I am.
These are a few things that scare me:
- Standing on the edge of a cliff
- Hearing that a good friend is sick or dying
- Moving to a new place
- Meeting lots of new people
- Expressing my true emotions, even with friends and family
- Writing a book with the possibility of getting rejected
What this taught me is that while I can still experience fear, I don’t need to allow that to stop me from doing what makes me happy. There are a few things that try to stop me from doing what I feel that God is calling me to do, or even just what is in my heart. Though I might hesitate for a moment, I no longer let that stop me. I grit my teeth, take a deep breath, and remind me that it’ll all be okay when I’m looking back later. It’ll make a good story.
So what about you? What are some fears that you experience, and how do you handle them?