Monday, March 15, 2010

FEAR…its time to Spring Forward

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves-regret from the past and fear of the future. Which face of fear has its hands clinched around your neck?”
-Dr. Kasmin Boswell

This past Saturday we had to spring forward by moving our clocks one hour ahead. This is poetic because it happens to coincide with our need to spring past fear.
Few things in life create more worry, stress & fear than your future. If you take the right steps today, tomorrow is guaranteed to take care of itself. Allow me to explain…

Fear is one of those things we often experience through ‘feelings,’ yet don’t exactly know how to pinpoint. If you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself frustrated, depressed or melancholy without knowing fully why.

To better understand the many faces of fear, you and I are wise to name them. I’ve listed the most common “fear friends” thereby enabling you to gain a better grasp of what you and I are up against.

The Insecure One- This fear causes your self-esteem to diminish or “appear to have” completely disappear. You fixate on people as objects, rather than persons. You fixate so much on your “issues” that you have no time left to forge toward a viable solution or meaningful connection with anyone else. This fear sees everyone as your means to an end.

The Distorted One- This fear causes you go to extremes i.e. “I’m all alone.” “Nobody loves me.” “I’ll never love again.” You rarely deal with truth because you’re knee deep in battle with shadows, rather than the real issue.

The Victimized One- This fear causes you to feel there’s no way of escaping your pain.

The Stressed One- This fear causes you to feel immobilized; it cripples and criticizes you. You’re emotionally and physically affected.

The Mistaken One- This fear causes radical theft of your identity. This fear takes more than it gives. You might swear you’re too empty to possibly make any deposits into anyone else’s life. You tell yourself if you help someone else, they’ll be little or no time left to think about your problems. Left unhandled, it’ll steal the truth you already know about yourself and situations you find yourself addressing.

The Paralyzed One- This fear causes fear of taking another step and steals your joy. It alienates you from access to the truth you already know.

The Complacent One-This fear leaves us fine with being the victim & telling our story to whoever will listen. We become emotional vampires. Sucking life out of once treasured relationships. This fear tears at the core of intimacy in our relationships because we are too busy protecting ourselves, to do whatever ultimately needs to be done to preserve and/or strengthen relationships.

The Regretful One – This fear causes you to feel as though you can’t be transparent because of believing there’s too much ‘regret’ to overcome. This fear whispers, ‘why bother.’

The Isolated One- This fear causes us to be afraid to share our fear(s) with anyone else; or at least the one’s who can actually help. This fear convinces you that TRANSPARENCY is for weak people & if you’re SMART you’ll tough it out or do what you already have been doing.

I recently discovered Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson’s book “Take The Risk.” In it, he teaches an excellent Best Case/Worst Case Scenario exercise. The bare bones of this approach, is to ask 4 key questions. They are:

-What's the best that can happen if I do this?

-What's the worst that can happen if I do this?

-What's the best that can happen if I don't do this?

-What's the worst that can happen if I don't do this?

Though these questions can be insightful when answered, yet don’t FULLY help you with application to your real life circumstance or help to determine how you will navigate past the grips of FEAR staring you in the face. I’d like to share six points, which inspire me to keep moving and to never let fear overtake me! Keep in mind, fear will come; just don’t allow it to stay.

How you and I may respond to fear

1) Surrender. Recognize you don’t know ALL the answers. Remove pride and ego from your life. Hint: pride and ego are present in the places you immediately think to hide, misrepresent issues or engage in negative self-talk to keep you from proceeding ahead.

2) Resist the tendency to blame yourself or anyone else.

3) Draw near to resources that will sustain you and create a foundation for you to flourish. This shifts your focus from the problem to the solution and/or possibility.

4) Deal with what you’re doing incorrectly. Clean up your stuff. Ex. If you have issues with someone or notice a circumstance, keeps resurfacing, get past it. Getting past "it" includes writing a letter to confess or face the issue; create a strategy to forgive or accept (them or it) and bring closure.

5) Shift your motives. Do everything from a place of humility. Recognize that everything in life isn’t about you. The best life is spent in contribution and commitment to continual learning.

6) Recognize wimpy theology, makes for a wimpy life. You have to choose to be strong and courageous even in the midst of horrific setbacks. Each time you refuse to crumble under pressure, growth occurs. As you grow, you better adapt in the handling of difficult circumstances.

This is a call to mature in faith, courage and integrity. This only occurs through being alert, aware, growing in maturity, being reliable, responsible and inter-dependent.

“Until you see fear for what it is, you’ll remain unable to get your priorities in life straight. Everything else will suffer.”
-Dr. Kasmin Boswell

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