Ok, so let me get right to it.
A couple of months ago, I sent out a survey asking my community what was the biggest obstacle keeping them from achieving their goal, dream or vision. (Feel free to take it here.)
I am sure you can guess what the number one answer was.
Yes, if you guessed fear, you are right.
This sneaky four-letter word has caused many cemeteries to be full of books, businesses, products, medical cures, music, art… you name it.
In the past, it has caused me to put a pause on a number of things I had been working on to fulfill my life purpose.
It’s kind of like a frenemy.
Let me share this story and I’ll explain why I call it that.
My best friend and I had a few years ago where we were talking about fear.
“We should do a zip line obstacle course and then make the choice to face all of our other fears head on and be fearless,” she said.
“That’s a good idea,” I responded.
And then, I remembered.
Sophomore year of college.
ExCel Leadership retreat.
The mountains of Georgia.
It was a weekend retreat with 23 other sophomores who were chosen to participate in several team-building activities as a way to prepare them to be future leaders. The zip line was the culminating activity. Although it was 16 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.
I remembered how that four-letter word had snuck up on me prior to doing it and then how exhilarated, free and bold I felt afterwards.
I remember coming to the end of the ropes course, getting up to the zip line starting point, and thinking to myself, “There is no way I am jumping from this skimpy little rope. They have got to be kidding!”
I looked down, realized how high up I was and began to think of the many ways I would get down. It definitely did not include the way it was designed for one to get down! When I thought about jumping, I literally felt like I was about to commit suicide. Needless to say, I was up there for quite some time before I giving myself a pep talk and deciding to do it.
It didn’t matter that I had watched many of my friends before me make it down seamlessly or that they were now cheering me on from the bottom.
It didn’t matter that the ropes course instructor who had years of experience was talking me through the entire process, made sure everything was working and guided me the entire time.
I had some people in my ear saying, “If you don’t really want to do it, Charlene, you don’t have to.”
I had come to a crossroads—a point where I had to stop watching other people do it and was faced with having to do it myself, whether I had people cheering for me on the sidelines or not.
I had to do it, not for others, but for myself. I had to face fear head on. I closed my eyes, said a little prayer and jumped. Oh what a feeling! As you can tell, if you’re reading this post, I survived! Since then, I have done another zip line and other things that used to produce fear in me, with much more confidence.
See that four-letter word, which had a death grip on me that day, can be one’s frenemy. In the urban dictionary, this word combines the words friend and enemy.
Fear can be a friend to you when you are comfortable where you are—talking to you to convince you that you are in a good place right now and don’t need to change or step out in faith, even when you know you do.
We all have or have had those friends—the ones we call when we want them to agree with us about something or co-sign with us on a situation, even if it’s not the best decision for us. They are often the ones that say, “If you don’t want to do it insert your name here, you don’t have to.”
Fear can also be your enemy. It will keep you from your destiny and purpose, paralyzing you in a way that will cause you to doubt yourself, who God is and what He has already placed in you.
This four-letter word’s main purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. It will steal your joy, your purpose, your peace and your freedom. It will kill your hopes, your dreams and your ideas before they come to fruition. It will destroy your confidence and eventually, YOU.
Either way, whether fear is your friend, your enemy or a combination of both—your frenemy—it WILL win, IF you allow it.
The choice is yours.
Choose to live your life more abundantly! Don’t become a prisoner of fear. Instead, become a pursuer of freedom, peace, joy and all that you were DESTINED to be. Jump today and leave that four-letter word behind! You CAN do it!
Reference: The Urban Dictionary
Photo credit: CJP photos, EFTTappingTechniques by Natalie Hill, Daredevils zip line