Fear is a Bully

What is the main thing that holds us back in our lives? I believe it to be FEAR. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not having enough. I have come to the conclusion that fear is a bully. It tells us lies like:

You could never do that.
You won’t be successful.
That’s too risky.
People won’t like you if you do that.
You aren’t worthy.

Fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by an impending pain, danger, evil, etc., or the illusion of such. Did you know that we were born with only two fears? The fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Most fear is learned. Fears of things like spiders, snakes and the dark are called natural fears. 

Our fears develop at an early age, influenced by our environment and culture. For example, a young child isn’t automatically scared of spiders or snakes but builds on cues from his/her parents that he/she should be scared of these things. Other fears, outside of these natural fears, are learned over time from direct observation, transference from others or experiences. 

Fear isn’t all bad. Some fear is tied in with our fight or flight response and is designed to protect us from harm. However, the majority of our fears are irrational, and they hold us back from reaching our God-given potential. 

Below are three strategies to help you stand up to fear, the bully:

  • Name Your Fears

This can give you the awareness and strength to deal with them. Then you can talk to yourself about them. When you feel fear creeping in, identify it and try to bring your brain back to the present moment. Ask yourself, “What do I know to be true right now?” Sometimes our fears feel so real, we forget that they haven’t happened (and that they may not). 

  • Do It Afraid

It may also be helpful to take small steps and do it afraid to get past your fear. An example    might be to ask for help on something small if you are afraid to ask others for help. If you are fearful of public speaking, maybe lead a meeting to get your feet wet. Taking baby steps can turn into big steps! 

  • Trust God

If we are being honest, fear often results from not trusting God to do His job. Trusting in Him is our ultimate remedy for fear. First John 4:18 says that perfect love casts out fear and that He is love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”


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