Fear is a crippling emotion and one that can have dire consequences to our health. However there is a way to stop fear dead in its tracks.
Fear is need announced. It is important to understand that. You would not have the fear unless you needed it for some reason. The fear you are experiencing is not even a version of reality. It is a illusion that you think you are experiencing and thus it feels real. Your experience is real because you have given it a fearful meaning. In any given moment there are an infinite number of outcomes that could happen and we choose the fearful one.
You might have a fear of heights or if you watched Shark Week on the Discovery Channel then it could be of sharks. It is crucial to understand that when you experience that fear that the emotion is communicating something to you. You might be thinking, “Yeah Dan, it’s communicating ‘Don’t Die’!” I get it believe me.
Understand that only your mind can produce the fear. Often when we experience a new moment that we have never had before, then our brain searches for a past event to help us interrupt this new event. A problem that can occur is that the brain finds a negative experience and we could create fear. Often I have done this and lived in fear.
Think about it this way, if you are fearful of meeting new people then ask yourself where does this fear live in you? It could be a time in your life that you had a negative experience meeting new people and you are fearful that this new moment will happen just like the negative one. In essence, we choose to relive the negative, hurtful moment in the new experience of now.
However we need to be careful classifying and judging situations and things as right and wrong. A plane is neither wrong or right it just is. I make it wrong by saying, “That plane could crash if I was on it,” and thus I make it wrong. Yes the plane could crash but that moment has not happened and it may never occur. Live in the now and not in the realm of the “what ifs.” All we have is now. Tomorrow is not yet later today is still far away.
I have two principles that I constantly remind myself of and I share them you in hopes that they will help you in whatever fear moment that may occur.
- God is always with me. Even when I am flying in a plane, God is always with me. Even if you are swimming in an ocean with sharks, God is always with you. Even if you walk into a party and your friend has not shown up yet and you think you are alone, God is always with you. Matthew 6:8 tells us that even before we ask God would have already answered. God is always there.
- I am always safe. Why? Because God is always with me.
What I do is I remind myself of these principles throughout the day. I also take time to relax and pray in the mornings and just be in the moment with God. It is a daily habit that has empowered me to overcome my fears. These are simple principles but there is no love in fear. In fact, the bible says in 1 John 4:18 that “perfect love drives out fear.”