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Fear is Only a 4-Letter Word!

Fear [ feer ] v. to be afraid (to do something) or of (a person or thing); dread ( Oftentimes, fear is a fantastic, or groundless,

feeling. Its basis is our imagination running wild, arresting our development, which is frequently classified as laziness, procrastination, non-motivation, shyness, and so much more. Make no mistake, fear’s primary intent is to wreak all kinds of internal havoc, ultimately rendering us stoppable.

Understand this. Fear needs us to be stuck, holding our purpose and excellence hostage. Think about it. Have you ever had a great idea or wanted to participate in an activity so badly one second, then in the next few seconds you are reasoning why you shouldn’t do it or wouldn’t be good at it? Or worse! You compare yourself to others, becoming convinced of your perceived inadequacy. Also, the more you think about it, you get physically ill, which further justifies why you should not proceed.

How can our thoughts be so instantaneously polarizing, excited about the possibilities, yet trapped in the seeming impossibilities? Kendra Cherry’s recent article, “How the Fight-or-Flight Response Works” affirms that our reaction to fear or pressure manifests physiologically, thus, causing us to either run away or face the conflict. Cherry validates our intense kneejerk reaction to either avoid or confront a known, quickly approaching school bully is real. However, how do we handle the dream-snatching bully in our heads, especially when it is worse than the real life one?

The point of this blog is to give you some quick tips and tools that have helped my students, friends, and me move beyond fear towards accomplishment.

We probably can all agree that fear arises in any circumstance – the uncertainty in responding to a crush’s text to submitting a college or job application. So how do we challenge ourselves in those instances? I've given five simple tips to do just this! Full disclosure? I use these strategies throughout my week.

  1. Strategically place affirmations, or notes of encouragement, or biblical scriptures, like 2 Timothy 1:7, around you. Great spots are on your phone’s home or lock screen that won’t disappear or on your bathroom mirror. Seeing them regularly reminds you to be brave.

  2. Watch or listen to positive messages and/or podcasts on social media or satellite radio.

  3. Wear or carry a small memento, a special object that reminds you of a loved one, to build your confidence such as wearing a color that empowers you or a watch from someone who believes in you.

  4. Surround yourself with positive thinking people such as a mentor or friends who are optimistic, ambitious, and who are willing to motivate you.

  5. Finally, adopt a slogan, theme song, or mantra like BIDIA, which I’ve used many times to celebrate when I have conquered a fear, or overwhelming challenge.

Overcoming fear should be as typical as brushing our teeth, becoming second nature to us all. Activating the courage divinely given to you. It must be done in your mind, first, then your body. It means fighting to reach beyond your wildest imagination. So, let’s reach together! #BIDIA

BIDIA Mantra graphic (The PREP Factory)/ CREDIT to Phanie Wickes, The STAND Foundation (2011)


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