7 Things to overcome the dream killer & achieve your goals.
Here are 7 things that can help you rise above fear, and reach for your dreams.
- Change your self-talk.
What are your dreams? Is it to have a healthy body? To be financially free? To succeed in your career? To have a happy home? To be happy? To live a life of meaning?
What are those thoughts that make you think you can’t achieve these dreams? Do you tell yourself, "I’m from a poor country, a poor family and I don’t have connections so I can never be rich? I don’t have the discipline to exercise and the self-control to limit what I eat? I am too flawed in my character to have a healthy relationship or build a happy home? I can never be happy?
Write down these self-limiting thoughts or beliefs, then cancel them and replace them with empowering confessions.
For example, "I can change my character and become someone that sustains a relationship and builds a happy family. Regardless of my country and my background, I have all I need to become rich. I am a disciplined person who regularly exercises and eats right. I am overflowing with joy and peace. I live a purposeful and meaningful life.
Say these empowering confessions until it paints a different picture in your mind of yourself and your circumstances. It’s important you speak it out with your mouth, rather than just thinking it; its key to fight negative thoughts, not only with positive thoughts, but also with positive words.
If you need somewhere you can get Life-Giving and empowering confessions and promises that speak to your identity and situation, dive into the Bible, download here: https://j794q.app.goo.gl/xtVq2CF5tu7wv2S4A
Achieving your dreams begins by silencing the inner critic that creates fear in you and replacing it with confessions that empower you and build faith in you.
If you need more guidance with silencing the inner critic, consider seeing a mental health therapist or a counselor.
Also, read this article: Shut Up: Silencing your inner critic: https://link.medium.com/2eWZbHDHdnb
2. Don’t underestimate the resources you have.
Often this is why we are afraid, we underestimate the resources we have to tackle the situation we fear, either spiritual, intellectual, emotional, etc
We tell ourselves we don’t have the competence to face that new challenge or task, or we aren’t smart enough or good-looking enough, or we aren’t educated or qualified enough to be in that new role.
Or maybe, like the Israelites, you have listened to people who said you don’t have what it takes to take on those giants standing in the way of your dreams.
But that’s where we get it wrong. Sometimes, when we think what we have is inadequate, it is actually enough; we just don’t know how to use it or we don’t realize its value in meeting our need.
Jesus said, "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain "move" and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20)
This is powerful.
If you have seen a mustard seed you’ll know it is a very small seed. I believe one application of this scripture is that often the resources we need to face the challenges in our lives don’t have to be a lot, with only that little resource we have we can move mountains. That very little money, or little education, opportunity, network, skill, or faith you have is enough to move mountains and do great things.
When new challenges come our way, it's often because we already have the raw material within or around us to overcome that challenge. Yes, sometimes we may need to quickly develop or grow that raw material, but it's already within our reach. As someone said, you are already, ready.
So rather, than retreat in fear in the face of a new challenge, we need to first take stock of the innate or external resources we have at our disposal to face that challenge, and then rise to the occasion with courage that accompanies ability rather than with the fear of inadequacy.
3. Give God Your Inadequacy:
The truth is, sometimes what we have is actually not enough to face some challenges or tasks, and so it's understandable when we become afraid because we think we will fail.
Think about Moses. When God called him he thought he wasn't ready (and in a sense, he wasn't— he no longer had the position or influence he used to have, to make matters worse he had a speech problem and he was old). But as far as God was concerned, he had just enough raw material— a heart yielded to God and a shepherd's staff (or walking stick)
God asked him, "what do you have in your hand?" To Moses, it was just a mere rod, pretty insignificant, But when he dropped it, in a sense handing it over that rod to God, God transformed it into a miracle-working rod that parted the red sea, turned water to blood, and brought water from rocks! (Exodus 4–17) Besides, God used this man that had a speech impediment to talk to Pharaoh and hundreds of thousands of people.
That’s what happens when we hand over what we think is little or insufficient to God, he multiplies it to meet our needs! Just like he did with the flour and oil of the widow of Zarephath and the miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fish of a boy. (1 Kings 17:7-16. Matthew 14:13-21).
So hand over that inadequacy to God, and watch him transform it so that it becomes enough for you to face the giants you fear. As the saying goes, "Little becomes much when God is in it". If he could make me and you out of the nothingness of dust, how much more will he make of the seemingly little or insufficient things we bring to him?
4. Great opportunity or benefit often comes disguised as problems.
If we focus on the fact that behind challenges often lies the opportunity to get better things, or to grow, learn, innovate or become better in some way, we may find the strength to face our fears. Because then, we will realize that behind every cloud is a silver lining, and sometimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.
The story of Joseph is a classic example of this. He lost his mom as a child, was rejected by his brothers as a teenager and they had him sold into slavery. Just when it seemed it couldn't get worse he was falsely accused by his master's wife of attempted rape and thrown into jail.
But in an interesting twist of events, these "unfortunate" circumstances from when he was sold into slavery was divinely orchestrated to get him to be the second in command to Pharaoh and the one God used to save Israel and the world of a deadly famine that ravaged the entire world.
Romans 8:28 paints a beautiful picture of this: for we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. This is a great source of comfort and courage when things seem to fall apart. We can tell ourselves: this threatening situation is not working against me, rather it's working for me. And rather than retreat from it in fear, we approach it with faith.
(Here’s an article that sheds more light on this point: The Gift of Rejection: https://link.medium.com/ZnkBCzS2Bgb
5. It’s the confidence that God is with us, that gives us the courage to face our fears.
If God is for us, who (or what) can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) (words in bracket mine)
This scripture is so powerful. When we live every day with the consciousness of God being with us, and for us, we move from fear into the miraculous world of faith. Things that seem impossible become possible because we realize we have a Father that is always working for us behind the scenes.
We realize that to have God on our side is enough. And we know He’s already on our side, because Jesus assures us, "I am with you, till the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20) And He promises us that "though we walk through the fire, through the storms, He will be with us" (Isaiah 43:1-4). And “even to our old age, He will continue to carry us, care for us and rescue us” (Isaiah 46:4)
And perhaps most beautifully, is the way David said it in the Psalms, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall” (Psalms 18:29 NLT)
What’s that thing that terrifies you? That thing you should do but fear holds you back from? David reminds us that, with God’s strength we can rise above our fears and overcome any obstacle in our way.
(Here’s an article that sheds more light on this point: The Boy & The Giant— https://link.medium.com/YBLoy2Sg3kb
6. Focus on your hope and work toward it, instead of focusing on your fears: Imagine you have a dream to start a family, but you feel you won’t make a good parent or spouse, so you fear you will ruin your family.
If you focus on this negative outcome it will feed your fear and you may never start a family.
If instead, you get a picture of a happy family and you look at this picture often, and if possible you spend time often with a happy, peaceful family, and then you learn what it takes to build a happy home. Overtime your fears will reduce and you will begin to believe you can have a happy home, because you are learning how to create one and your focus is on it.
When we focus on the possible negative outcome of an event we increase our fear but if we focus on the positive outcome and work toward it, we strengthen our ability and hope and our fear dwindles. We magnify what we focus on— either it's fear or faith.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This means that the more we hear God’s word, the more our faith (conviction, belief) in His word grows, and the more we believe that we can become and possess what He says we can.
Focus on God’s word, and not your fears, and His word and promises is the outcome you will get, not your fears.
7. Some battles are not to be fought alone:
Sometimes, the reason it’s tough to face our fears is that we try to face it alone. Some battles are just too big for us to fight alone. Sometimes we fight alone, situations that require a team of people or an army; we are like lone soldiers going into the battlefield so we easily get knocked down.
Proverbs 24:5-6 says, "The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger. So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers."
Sometimes getting support is asking wise people to give you counsel on that situation you are about to face. Or getting people with some understanding in handling that troubling situation to go into battle with you. Or it could be getting people to pray with you, encourage you or support you in some way
You can't always win the battles of life by yourself. Sometimes asking for help is wisdom, not weakness.
You may be asking, "what if I don't have anyone to ask for help?" Then you need to begin looking for. Don't wait until the day of battle to build friendships and a support network you can rely on in the day of trouble. Start now.
Connect more with people in your home, school, workplace, church, social club, volunteer group, community, etc. Don’t be an island and don’t wait until people connect with you— you make the first move.
Proverbs 12:26 (NIV) says, "righteous people choose their friends carefully." Besides connecting with people on a general (surface) level, carefully select people you want to connect with more closely and bring into your support network and step out of your comfort zone and really meet these people.
If you will like to learn how to do this, send me a mail at email@example.com, titled "Connection". I'll be happy to teach you.
So what's it going to be for you?
Are you going to trust the resources God has planted in/around you and face that challenge head-on, or are you going to retreat in fear and miss out on the great opportunities coming your way, but disguised as problems or terrifying giants?
Will you have faith to believe that God, the LORD OF HEAVEN’S ARMIES is with you like a mighty warrior through the challenges and storms of life?
Will yours be the story of the Israelites who retreated at the daunting size of Goliath or that of David who saw Goliath as an opportunity and realized he had the raw material to tackle the situation— a sling and stones, and the Almighty God?
Will you give God your weakness or inadequacy and will you seek support and counsel when you need to, or will you make the mistake of depending only on your ability?
At the end of your life, you may end up being one of these two kinds of people: One who looks back on their lives with deep regret for all the opportunities they let fear stop them from seizing OR the other who looks back with deep gratitude for all the opportunities they seized with faith.
Which will it be for you?
The opportunity you've been waiting for may just be around the corner, don't let fear hold you back when your moment comes.
Live unafraid. Reach for all that God has called you to be.
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If you liked this article, you may like these too
How to overcome The Fear of Failure: https://link.medium.com/4zJ6PCHg3kb
How to find the courage to act when you are afraid: https://link.medium.com/YBLoy2Sg3kb
Till next time. Don’t let fear hold you back from becoming ALL that God created you to be.