Photo Credit: Vic via CC Flickr
First of all, I want to say that not all fears are bad. The feeling of fear and fright can actually be good and are “built-in” mechanisms in our bodies. For example, if you were walking and suddenly saw a big, ole bear coming your way, you would experience a level of alarm and handle it accordingly. That would be a normal reaction. Animals, such as lions, use fear, to their advantage. Sometimes they can scare their prey so much, that they can “freeze” in terror.
The most important key to handling and facing fear is how you decide to deal with it and how much to choose to let it control your mind.
There are many times throughout our lives that we can become fearful of something. It has once been said that 70% of things that people worry or are fearful of never happen. In other words, the fear that they have of the thing that might occur either 1) never happen or 2) won’t be as bad as they think.
There are a couple of stories that I would like to share with you today which demonstrates some examples of how fear affected the lives of these people….
A man who hid for 32 years fearing punishment of pro-Nazi wartime activity says he used to cry when he heard happy voices outside, but dared not show himself even at his mother’s funeral. Janez Rus was a young shoemaker when he went into hiding at his sister’s farmhouse in June, 1945. He was found years later after she bought a large supply of bread in the nearby village of Zalna. “If I had not been discovered, I would have remained in hiding. So I am happy that this happened,” Rus told a reporter. Throughout those years he did nothing. He never left the house, and could only look down at the village in the valley.
Today in the Word, October 17, 1993.
Black Bart was a professional thief whose very name struck fear as he terrorized the Wells Fargo stage line. From San Francisco to New York, his name became synonymous with the danger of the frontier. Between 1875 and 1883 he robbed 29 different stagecoach crews. Amazingly, Bart did it all without firing a shot. Because a hood hid his face, no victim ever saw his face. He never took a hostage and was never trailed by a sheriff. Instead, Black Bart used fear to paralyze his victims. His sinister presence was enough to overwhelm the toughest stagecoach guard.
Today in the Word, August 8, 1992.
Louis Pasteur is reported to have had such an irrational fear of dirt and infection he refused to shake hands. President and Mrs. Benjamin Harrison were so intimidated by the newfangled electricity installed in the White House they didn’t dare touch the switches. If there were no servants around to turn off the lights when the Harrisons went to bed, they slept with them on.
Jane Goodsell, Not a Good Word About Anybody, Ballantine.
As you can see by these powerful short stories, many people…even famous and well-known individuals lie in fear…mostly in fear of the unknown or things that they don’t know the truth about or understand.
I could very easily talk or write about how to face fears, what causes it, etc. but the reason for this short article is to ENCOURAGE you to face your fears and change your thinking when fear begins to enter your life.
Here are a few great quotes that I hope will help soothe your soul and mind the next time you come face to face with a fear. It might be a good idea to memorize some of them…
“Saw a little girl touch a big bug and shout, “I conquered my fear! YES!” and calmly walk away. I was inspired.” ~ Nathan Fillian
“I have to face the fear. I have to take control of the situation and find a way to make it less frightening.” ~ Veronica Roth, Divergent
“If you are in a prison of fear … break out!” ~ Stephen Richards
“If we let fear control our decision making we always make the wrong decision.” ~ Butch Bellah, The 10 Essential Habits of Sales Superstars: Plugging into the Power of Ten
“All great men had to endure hard times and overcome challenging circumstances.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” ~ Rosa Parks
“Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” ~ Dorothy Thompson
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dali
“Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.” ~ Charles Stanley
“Fear can be good when you’re walking past an alley at night or when you need to check the locks on your doors before you go to bed, but it’s not good when you have a goal and you’re fearful of obstacles. We often get trapped by our fears, but anyone who has had success has failed before.” ~ Queen Latifah
Start to take a courageous step TODAY to begin your journey to defeating the fears that hold you down…and live the life that you were made to enjoy!