”So, what are you afraid of?” asks your teacher, as you sit there with your mind twirling up with past horrors you’ve encountered, head in your fragile innocent hands with your legs crossed in that lotus position on the carpet … “bugs” “creepy crawlies” “spiders” and “monsters”! … sounds familiar, right? Well probably when you were a kid !
Face it. Fear has become a part of our lives since we could remember the first time we encountered a big animal or dared to go on our first overwhelming rollercoaster. It is part of our psychological makeup and allows us to develop skills of self-awareness by telling us what we know about endangering ourselves, but most of all keeping ourselves safe. But this topic of overcoming fear is one I have a passion on speaking about and over time have developed ways that I personally combat this thing that could possibly become a clasp over you, stopping you from achieving a dream, goal or vision!
Take me for instance, a student with 10% thought about social life, let’s say another 5% about food (I might be lying about that ha!) and the other 85% of my thought on exams, A-levels, deadlines, Uni, and possibly about how I’m going to be drained for the next couple of months really! I would really be laughing if I didn’t know anyone else in my position who generally doesn’t fear for their lives about this portion of their life right now. I mean who wouldn’t? But it’s dealing with the fear that is the solution to all the problems and what matters most is that in the end you are in a contended state of happiness.
Quick story – So it comes around October times when the word UCAS finally starts to echo out of the mouths of thousands of teachers at school. Yep, it was a word that was becoming very familiar for me during last year and was also possibly the thing that made my 2016 a year of absolute fear.
I was really stuck on what to pick to study at Uni. Honestly for months I pondered and I wondered desperately asking for help about what I could do at Uni as it literally defines your life from then on after you graduate. I asked person after person and so on and literally dragged my Dad to all the university open days possible, just for information to clear my head about what I could do. The decision-making really wasn’t the most deafening part for me, it was what this fear was doing to me physically. From this experience I’ve learnt that I don’t really handle worry well – at all. I’m the type of person that when I worry, I worry real hard ! I don’t eat, I fidget, I cry and don’t even mention sleep to me when I’m in a state of worry – What is that ?
It’s like I’m in a constant state of panic whilst the ticking hands of the clock keep my eyes blaring at the ceiling every night, just me constantly being in fear of making the wrong decision. It was truly horrible..
So how did I overcome this fear? Well, I saw it as a battle within myself and how I controlled my emotions. To overcome a thing means to defeat, succeed in battling against or to simply overpower in this case an unpleasant emotion that may be causing you danger or harm: Fear.
I realised that to win this battle, I had to defeat my own emotions. I literally saw it as a war against myself. I guess who really got me through was Christ. Even though I am a Christian, my mother had to actually remind me to read the Bible and seek God’s word – it’s like your so torn up with all this worry and doubt that you actually forget that you have someone to depend on besides physical beings.
Practically, in a war there is an army, right? For me, God was my army fighting this fear that was ruining my days. The verse Isaiah 41:10 tells us that God is with us in every way and that we shouldn’t be dismayed. As well as this, God strengthens us along the way. Constantly having fear allows us to worry, which damages our health and ability to carry out our daily routines. But the fact that God strengthens us throughout this fear really added positivity to my days when all I could think about was that choice I had to make. God really does fight our battles and hardships for you. I guess the hard part is putting your faith and trust in God in the midst of fear. Prayer is a massive help as God urges us to cast all our worries or anxieties on him.
Additional things such as speaking to close friends or family about whatever it is causing you fear. Once you have done this and it still is crippling, it is not a bad thing to seek professional help.
I specifically chose the picture above for a reason. Look at the birds in the picture, they just fly without necessarily knowing where they are going. They just spread and let the wind soar them to their next destination. Having the mindset like that would get you out of any fear such as the situation of mine.
Let go and let God!
Just simply allowing life to flow and putting your ultimate trust in the Lord will carry you through life after all you never know where you will end up.
And I end on this. Fear is just a force that stops you from taking that big jump, that big leap and that big step into what you actually want to do. It may take time to release your fear of exams or maybe fear of the future. I myself had to overcome the fear of blogging and not being successful but here I am today. I would have never been here if I didn’t overcome. Hope you were inspired!
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”