“If fear exists in your mind let it go, and replace it with love, happiness, and positive thinking. These are the antidotes to fear.”
–Sam Gregory Jr.
Isn't fear a typical response to change? I've been reflecting on my response to change. I used to live a very fearful life. (I blame it on “first-born” problems). I had to make sure everyone in my family was safe and would often weigh all the “what-ifs” for every possible scenario. I believed everyone's wellbeing was my responsibility. But throughout my adult life, I have had to learn to navigate difficult times where fear could have easily overtaken me–weighing me down and paralyzing me from ever being able to move forward. I had to say “no” to the paralyzing feeling and “yes” to replacing fear with positivity.
Here are four ways to replace fear:
1. Be curious.
“The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it, and turn it inside out.”
Most of the time, we are fearful of what we do not know. But if we let ourselves become curious about the unknowns and approach risks with excitement, we can then replace fear with a healthy curiosity. Whenever I approach something new, I start to wonder what it would feel like to try it, how trying the new thing can positively impact my life and even wonder what my life would look like if I missed the opportunity. Curiosity has made me come fully alive and live life instead of letting life pass me by–safe yet unlived.
2. Be confident.
“The quickest way to aquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do.”
Confidence is hard. When we are afraid, it typically comes down to doubt. We can't always trust who is in control, and it's sometimes even scary to trust ourselves! But if we keep in mind the importance of confidence, we can overcome our fears. We may not be able to overcome our doubts, but we can be confident in who we were created to be and confident that we can overcome whatever it is that is out of our control. We are conquerers!
3. Be courageous.
“She was powerful, not because she wasn't scared but because she went on so strongly, despite the fear.”
When we find courage, we find power. Fear is an emotion that controls us. We can find ourselves acting irrationally and selfishly. We make decisions based on emotion instead of on what is best for ourselves and others. When we think of courage, we often think about moving forward. However, courage can sometimes be found in taking a step back to examine the situation at hand, become curious, and then move forward with confidence.
4. Be championed.
“Encourage each other and build each other up.” –1 Thess. 5:11
We need each other. Let yourself be championed by someone who is already curious, confident, and courageous. They will not only set an example for you, but they will encourage you to let go of fear and move forward in positivity and freedom.
When you find yourself becoming fearful, examine yourself and reach for one of the replacements above!