“Do you remember the last time we had this conversation?”
A mentor of mine asked me this question recently. We were processing through some fears which have been dominating me. These fears left me somewhat paralyzed, unable to move forward with a simple decision.
Of course, I remember the last time we had this conversation! It was when I told him that I was afraid of Danalyn Mackmer, a woman I’d met at church. She and I had been hanging out, dating even, but things had started to get more serious and I was scared. In that conversation (which I unpack here), he told me, “You can run to her or you can run away from her.” Danalyn Mackmer is now Danalyn Savage, so you can guess which option I picked.
By the end of our most recent phone conversation, it was pretty obvious the option I was going to take. Deep down, I knew it was time to chase fear again, but I guess I needed help clarifying all the reasons why. Like a good mentor, my friend didn’t give me all the answers. He simply listened well, reflected back what I said and reminded me of our past experience together. He reaffirmed what he saw in me and let me know that he was available for whatever I needed.
The Choice is Yours
Zig Ziglar once said, “F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” While these are rather simplistic definitions, I think Zig was right. He knew what my mentor did that day he counseled me. We can either run from fear or we can run towards it.
How about you? What are you afraid of today? Is there a difficulty you’re facing that terrifies you?
I want to encourage you to face your fears, to run to them and live courageously. I believe what you perceive as fear or even adversity could be an incredible opportunity.
Maybe you don’t realize it, but the stakes are high! This moment you’re in the middle of – it is a defining one. What you do with your fears now can shape your future for years to come.
My fear has dominated me recently. I’ve been hesitating to move forward because of it. My sense of insecurity and past disappointment have been winning. But that’s about to change! I’m chasing fear once again!
5 Reasons Why You Should Chase Your Fears
As I’ve been processing these fears, which tempt me to run away, I made a list of all the reasons I need to “Face Everthing And Rise”. I hope they’ll be as helpful for you as they’ve been for me.
1. Others are watching you.
None of us really understand the influence we have. We are totally unaware of the people who admire us and take their cues from us. Whether it’s a sibling, a co-worker, a classmate or a friend, they are watching our actions and listening to our words intently.
2. When you overcome fear, you inspire others to discover courage too.
Just as fear is highly contagious, courage spreads too. As we takes steps to overcome fear and share our story, other people who’ve been domianted by fear – who’ve been “forgetting everything and running” – turn around and gain the courage to rise.
I’ve been surprised how sharing about losing weight, being generous, writing a book and owning my weaknesses has led other people to make major changes in their lives. I never told them, “You need to ______.” Yet, they became inspired when I shifted from fear to courage and they began making their own shifts too.
3. You have a unique opportunity.
In fact, you ARE a unique opportunity. The Bible describes your uniqueness. You were created in the image of God. You were knit together in your mother’s womb. You are God’s masterpiece and He planned in advance good works for you to do. God loves you. The same power that brought Christ back from the dead can live in you and empower you to do even greater works than Jesus did.
This life you have is a unique opportunity. No one else has your mix of experiences, relationships, giftedness and character. God has been preparing you for this opportunity. He has entrusted you with this moment.
4. Your opportunity has a limited window.
Pete Wilson once said, “The opportunity of a lifetime has to be seized in the lifetime of that opportunity.” The position may not always be open. The person may not always be receptive to feedback. The spotlight may not always be on you. The stage may not always be yours. The trust may not always be there.
While patience is massively underrated and essential in our frentically-paced world today, waiting for the right moment must eventually translating into seizing the opportunity.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. If you feel like saying something, speak up! If you see an opportunity, seize it! Take the chance and move forward. Opportunties are like milk – when you go for it after the expiration date, it’s really messy.
5. You’ve been given this opportunity as a stewardship.
In teaching on the life of Nehemiah (an transformational leader described n the Bible), Andy Stanley challenged a group of church leaders when he said, “Leadership is a stewardship, it is temporary and you’re accountable.” Stewardship is a word which means what you have is not ultimately yours. A steward cares for the something which is owned by someone else and he or she is held responsible for the care and use of that something.
Our gifts, talents, relationships, resources, jobs…our very lives – they are a stewardship. We’re called to spend them on the good of others. This opportunity we call life is temporary. We must be good stewards of it – and I believe we will be held accountable for what we did with it.
So what will you do with the adversity you’re facing? What’s your decision about the opportunity you’ve been presented with? Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise?
[Tweet “What you do with your fear defines your future.”]
Be strong and courageous.
[callout] In my ebook, I talk about why courage is greater than fear. If you struggle with fear, that chapter could make a huge difference for you. Get your free copy of The Greater Than Challenge: A Guide to Reframing Your Life. [/callout]