“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God…” Isaiah 41:10
Have you ever imagined how on earth animal trainers manage to control a huge elephant? It all starts from an early stage, as the trainer tries to inflict fear into the elephant by controlling its mind through repressing obstacles and challenges. When training a baby elephant, a rope is used to tie its leg firmly to a secured wooden post. The baby elephant then tries to pull and break the post severally, but unable to do so as it wasn’t strong enough yet. Eventually, it gives up trying. As the elephant grows older and stronger, whenever it gets tied to the same post, it never tries to break away as it remembers the struggle and believes it’s unable to overcome, even though it was fully capable of pulling it off. This is exactly what fear do to us.
Fear limits the human thinking, making you think that you are incapable. It limits your thinking and makes you afraid of trying, afraid of failure, and afraid of rejection. It often makes you feel there is no need to try, and that you can’t succeed anyways. If you give in to these thoughts, fear will prevent you from reaching your potentials and achieving your dreams.
Here is God’s promise to you and me:
‘I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:9-10 – New International Version (NIV))
Here are few tips on overcoming fear:
- Be willing to take a risk
To gain confidence and to overcome fear, you must take a chance regardless of the anticipated outcome. You might be hurt, humiliated, or embarrassed – that is not the end of the world! So start speaking to those fears by doing what you have longed for; pick up that project again, go back to school, learn that language, speak up at work, and start to show love again. Feel the fear and do it anyway! The bible says, ‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe’ (Proverbs 29:25 – New International Version (NIV)).
- Learn from your mistake and make of fun of it
Get over seeking approval and acceptance from people. We are human, we all make mistakes. When you make a mistake, look at the funny side of it and help yourself with a laugh, because people will also laugh with you, and even become more supportive. If you cry, they will sympathize with you, and see you as a sorry case, or even worst, a failure. In fact, you have the power to dictate how you want people to feel about your mistakes.
Here are two favourite quotes about mistakes that continually inspire me:
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” Elbert Hubbard
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” John Powell
In other words, mistakes are often better teachers than success as it allows you to learn more, and also teaches how not to do things. So be realistic, don’t be too self-conscious; take a chance!
- Reward yourself
When you learn something new from trying or by taking a chance, reward yourself. When you make mistake, and you don’t feel hurt or embarrassed, reward yourself. When you complete a task or project, reward yourself. When you achieve success, reward yourself. When you achieve you dreams, reward yourself.
Stop scrutinising yourself through distorted lenses and start seeing yourself with 20/20 vision. Always remind yourself that you’re held in great esteem, valuable, gifted, capable, and skilled, and above all, you are precious and honoured in God’s sight. Once you continue to do this, in no time will all your fears and worries be replaced by self-assurance and self-confidence.
Bible Verses: Isaiah 43:4, Jeremiah 29:11, 2 Corinthians 12:9