Conquer Your Fears

Monday, August 24, 2015

In his book Simplify, Bill Hybels provide great insight to conquering fears. He says we all have certain fears that others might find funny or irrational; but they are real fears, debilitating fears, fears that keep you imprisoned to Satan’s lies, and they are anything but funny.

Constructive Fear – Anxiety while driving an icy road; fear might keep your foot light on the pedal; fretting over a huge presentation at work. A little fear may help you value an opportunity. It motivates you to fasten your seat belt or pay taxes.

Destructive Fear – fear that is baseless, useless, and crippling. Doesn’t protect us from reasonable dangers or all us to ponder eternity with a serious mind. It nips away at our emotional well-being, cluttering and complicating our lives by erecting false barriers in our work, our relationships, and even our recreational pursuits.

Getting Freedom from Fear

1.     Understand fears origin. Dr. Wolpe, a 20th century S. African psychiatrists studied origins of phobias.  For example, public speaking tops the list of the most common phobias. He discovered that almost everyone who experiences high degrees of fear about speaking in front of an audience can recall a time when they gave an oral book report in elementary school, or a 3 minute talk in a 7th grade speech class – or a similar time when all eyes in the room were focused their way – and somebody laughed or the talk didn’t go well – or the teacher embarrassed them in some way. From then on, the thought of speaking in public has caused fear and trembling.  When we peel back all the layers of self-protection that cover up these destructive fears, we often find one or two significant events at the core.

2.    Expose Fear’s Lies –  Fear begins with a thought that starts to escalate. The technical term for manufacturing worse-case scenarios is catastrophizing. The evil one loves to help you spin your worst-case scenarios, because they consume, distract, and derail you. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:14 Fear thrives on deceit. Expose the lies that fuel your fears.

3.    Face Fear Head-On – Avoiding fears cause them to escalate. The power of fear begins to diminish when a person takes the time to understand its origins, expose its lies, and face it head on.

“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it.” Winston Churchill

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

To face your fears:  talk to friends, replay your memories of the past, journal, write, go to a counselor, get to the root. Then “do the thing you think you cannot do.”

4.     Speak Words of Truth – Speak truthfully when fear starts grabbing the wheel of your mind.

Types of Truthful Words

1.     Self-Talk – You can tell yourself you are going to fail OR you can use truthful words. Say all the truthful positive things you know about yourself and the situation. Speak firmly to yourself. When you are overwhelmed by fear and begin to “go there” with the fear, say out loud: “Stop it!” Stop manufacturing your worst case scenario. Ask, “What strengths do I possess that will help me say no to this fear?” What is the logical truth that most people believe about this fear? (Ex:  The elevator is safe; Most dogs are friendly)

2.    Scripture -  use the passages that give you comfort. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

3.    Prayer – Pray firm, bold prayers of expectation. Not vague, benign prayers.

Adapted from Simplify by Bill Hybels – Chapter 6.

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