I'm an entrepreneur, and a thrill seeker at times.
When I was a kid, I would fight at the drop of a hat no matter how much larger, older, or meaner the opposing party was. When my brothers would dare me to do something crazy, I would take any risk to prove I was tough, brave, and worthy of being part of the crew.
I love taking on challenges. I love achieving big goals. I love working without a safety net.
I'm also afraid a lot.
I've literally hidden in a utility closet to avoid dancing in public. I've put off making difficult phone calls for years upon end. I regularly dread going to public events.
Most of my fears boil down to a fear of being authentic. Something in me is afraid that if people see who I really am, they won't like me. I'm fearful that I'll be a disappointment, that I'll be laughed at, that I won't be valued as a person.
I'm afraid of writing this blog post right now.
Fear isn't always a bad thing. We all have a healthy fear of being hit by a bus, which is what keeps us looking both ways before we cross a busy intersection.
Most of the time though, fear is a paper tiger. For all it's imposing size, and sharp teeth, it can typically be torn in half and set by the wayside.
One of the best ways to know you're being haunted by something harmless is to watch other people's reactions to your fear.
Is your fear something other people do all the time, and aren't overly concerned about? Are people surprised when they find out your secret fear?
If so, you likely have an unreasonable fear. Unfortunately the only way to get past it, is to stand up to it.
As I mentioned above, I have a fear of dancing. I know that sounds crazy, and many of my friends have had a good long laugh at me for how fearful I am of it.
My fear of dancing can usually be swept under the rug in day to day life, but every year in April our town has a "Daddy Daughter Dance."
EVERYTHING in me wants to find an excuse to not be there. Everything except the part of my heart that loves my daughter, and wants her to feel special, valued, and celebrated.
So what happens every year? I shut the fear up.
I put on my best clothes, and muster the courage to go dance the night away with my daughter. It's incredibly hard. I'm sure I look ridiculous. We have a blast.
I could stay in my comfort zone. I could come up with an excuse to get out of the dance. I could hide in a supply closet (again). But if I did that, this hilarious photo-booth picture wouldn't exist...
...and more importantly, an evening of dancing, laughing, and connecting with my daughter wouldn't happen.
I can almost hear you saying, "omigosh, dancing? Really? Your fear is silly and mine is real. I just can't get over it. Mind your own business, and let me hang out in this supply closet."
I can assure you this isn't the only fear I've faced. I only share it because it's the best example I have of an unreasonable fear.
There is other fear to be shut up.
Maybe it's the fear of repairing a broken relationship. Maybe it's the fear of starting a new career. Maybe it's the fear of standing up in front of people and saying something important.
These are big things, and sometimes there are real consequences for taking action, but here are 3 things I know...
1. You are wonderfully made.
2. When you hide from your fear, the rest of us suffer.
3. You'll regret letting fear win.
I'm by no means bragging about facing my fears, or diminishing yours. I still have fears to face. I'll have more paper tigers prowling around me in the future I'm sure, but I think it's important to say it out loud when you've shredded one.
If you won't listen to me, maybe you'll listen to the One who spoke the universe into existence. (I probably should have started with this).
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
If God is for you, who can be against you? He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. We literally have NOTHING to fear.
So, next time you feel the paper tiger stalking you, remember who you are, and who has your back.
It's time to shut the fear up.
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P.S. My friend Amy didn't just start Bolder Band to make great headbands, and It's no coincidence that the word "Bold" is in the name of the company.
Click below to browse the site, and keep being the Bold Beautiful YOU!
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