Fear: The Gray Area

On being afraid: Often, the scariest things I face are the things that remain gray. Without meaning to, well intentioned people can become paralyzed by the fear of gray areas. The problem in this is that life does not reward your intentions, only your actions. If fear is what prevents you from doing things that are significant, then you better take fear on.

I’ve got some friends, and this doesn’t really seem to apply to them. They are afraid of what seems to be nothing. Heights. Challenges. Whatever it may be, there is no fear in them.

But I do have fears, and I think most of us are afraid in several areas of our lives. So here is something that I have done that helps me with fear. I write the gray area down. For an example, I’m using one that a few people struggle with: meeting new people.

I want to go meet new people, but I’m afraid…

Afraid of what?

1. Rejection. (If they don’t want to hang out with me, I must not be good enough.)

2. Being hurt. (If they do accept me, they might hurt me. This has happened before, I don’t want it to happen again.)

3. They end up knowing me. (I think if they knew the real me, they might not like me. I don’t like me half the time. Once again, this would hurt.)

4. What do I say? (If I don’t know what to say, I might look dumb, and if I look dumb, then I will feel inadequate. Especially if they give me one of those, “You’re really dumb or awkward looks.” That would hurt.)

5. What if these people are murderers. (If they are murderers, they might kill me. That would be the end of me. I’m afraid of being killed by these new people who might end up being my friends.)

Now, there may be more things on your list, but this would be a pretty good starting list. Yes, it might be a little extreme, but I’m really trying to convey the worst case scenarios. The great thing is that once you see what the worst case scenario is,  then the fear of meeting a new person isn’t nearly as bad as it might be otherwise. Often, we are most terrified by the unknown. If you can predict with any accuracy what the worst possible ending will be, then you will likely be less afraid. (Unless it is doing something you shouldn’t do. Such as cheating on your exams, cheating on your wife, or cheating on your taxes. Most things with cheating are things you should be afraid of doing.)

Even if you are just as afraid as you were before you made the list, you now know exactly what you are up against. After writing down all the fear, you might step back and take a second look at those fears. You can also look at your fears, and choose a different outcome for yourself. Such as this.

I want to go meet new people, but I’m afraid…

Afraid of what?

1. Rejection. (If they don’t want to hang out with me, I must not be good enough.) Actually, I am good enough. I know who I am, and I know I belong to God. Their rejection says more about them than it does me.

2. Being hurt. (If they do accept me, they might hurt me. This has happened before, I don’t want it to happen again.) They could hurt me, but not every person in this world is evil. If I don’t meet someone, then trust someone, I know I won’t be able to love someone. Giving love and receiving love are key to me as a human being. It is more important than the fear of being hurt.

3. They end up knowing me. (I think if they knew the real me, they might not like me. I don’t like me half the time. Once again, this would hurt.) Knowing me is a good thing, because I know who I am. I am a son (or daughter) of the Most High. I care about people, and I have something to share that no one else does. My heart. My mind. My life.

4. What do I say? (If I don’t know what to say, I might look dumb, and if I look dumb, then I will feel inadequate. Especially if they give me one of those, “You’re really dumb or awkward looks.” That would hurt.) I don’t have to worry about what to say. The burden of great conversations does not rest on my shoulders. I’ll just be who I am.

5. What if these people are murderers? (If they are murderers, they might kill me. That would be the end of me. I’m afraid of being killed by these new people who might end up being my friends.) Man, if these people kill me, I get to go be with God in heaven. But most people I meet are not killers. I think I’ll be ok.

Writing down your fears makes it a black and white issue. The gray is gone. When you’re not walking in a cloud of fear, you can step forward and live the life you want to live. The command God gives more than any other in the Bible is, “Do not fear.” Why? Because God knows we do. So when you feel fear, give it a name, make it black and white, and then if it is good, do it. Do not let fear control you. Life will not reward your intentions that were thwarted by fear, only your actions that overcome it.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Fear: The Gray Area

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s