Gripped by Fear?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

 It’s the middle of the night.  You’ve been tossing and turning.  Now, you stare at the ceiling – heart racing.  Something’s got your stomach in a huge knot and it’s making you nauseous.  Trying to figure out why you’re so anxious, you start to narrow it down to what happened earlier today. But facing reality is the last thing you want to do when you’re suppose to be in dream mode – peacefully drifting into a place where there’s no pain, no rejection and no suffering.  Forehead sweaty, you sit up abruptly.   You haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep in 5 years.

There are six anxieties that are basic to all mankind: fear of criticism, illness, old age, death, poverty and losing a loved one.  Has one or more of these universal fears taken over your life?  Caring about these things is very different from worrying about them.  Worrying is pointless and can lead to anxiety, depression and an inability to lead a positive, productive and full life.

The first thing to do is address the root of your fear.  It could be any one of the fears listed above or something else entirely.  Whatever it is, you have to first recognize it and acknowledge how you feel about it. For example, whenever you’re starting to feel anxious and abnormally stressed, say to yourself, “O.K.  I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job because of the way my boss has been treating me lately.”  After you’ve acknowledged it, choose to overcome it.  Say to yourself, “I can’t change my boss; I can only change me.”  You’ve just taken over the driver’s seat.  In this situation, your feelings about losing your job may or may not be accurate.  But all you can simply do is figure out a way to work more effectively, respectfully talk to your boss about his/her expectations of you and how he/she feels about the progress you’ve made thus far (or the lack there of).  Planning and being prepared is always smart, so revisit your resume and make sure it’s up-to-date.  After all, no one has absolute certainty about his or her job.

The moral is simple.  When fear starts to suffocate you – you need to recognize it, acknowledge it and then decide to overcome it by doing something (positive) about it – And above all, have faith.  God is bigger than any problem you’ll ever face in life.  So, when you’re at a lost for words, or lack direction, ask Him to guide your steps.  You may be surprised where that may lead you.