5 Simple Strategies To Overcome the Fear barrier.

Here are 5 perspectives that can help you overcome fear and reach for your dreams.

1- Consistent action beats fear.

I remember the first time I was told to speak before an audience. I froze. I held the mic to my mouth but no words came out.

I was around 15 and the fear of speaking to many people was overwhelming.

Fast forward to today and public speaking is one of my superpowers. What changed? One thing. I spoke and spoke to lots of people so many times over the years that followed till the fear almost dissapeared.

(I say almost because till date I sometimes feel a tiny bit of hesitation when I'm to speak to people)🙈

Often times, fear lies to us, it tells us there is danger when really there isn't. What we simply need to do is develop experience in handling that thing we fear.

Often times we are afraid because we lack the experience or skills needed to succeed in the thing that we fear.

Think about it: when you begun to learn to drive, you may have had a twinge of fear— what if I have an accident? But you persisted and the more you drove, the more your fear reduced till it was erased.

Imagine if you allowed the initial fear keep you from ever learning to drive? You will have forever remained fearful of driving.

I like how Bob & Debby Gass, in their devotional, The Word for Today, describe this consequence of allowing fear lead to inaction: "When you let fear take hold, you become even more fearful and end up creating a debilitating cycle that works like this:

Fear breeds lack of action. Lack of action breeds lack of experience. Lack of experience breeds ignorance. And ignorance breeds fear. It makes you afraid to do the very thing that would be beneficial to you."

So the cure for fear is repeated action. Keep on doing the thing that you fear. The more you do, the more you develop experience and skill at it, and the more confident you become, and less fearful

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.

But that's where we get it wrong. Sometimes, when we think what we have is inadequate, it is actually enough.

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

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 is that sometimes 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— or at least we can start to move it

That very little money, or little education, network, intelligence, skill, or faith you have is enough to move mountains.

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 inadequate 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 things we bring to him?

4- See past your fears to the opportunity they hold.

If we focus on the fact that behind the challenges we fear often lies the opportunity to grow, learn, innovate or become better in some way, we may find the confidence to face that challenge, because 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 Biblical 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 that became instrumental to saving Israel and the world from being killed during a deadly famine that ravaged the entire world.

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.

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.

5- Some battles are not to be fought alone.

Sometimes, the reason we fear to face our giants is that we try to face them 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.

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 encourage you or support you in some way

You can’t always win the battles/problems 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.

Besides connecting with people on a general (surface) level, carefully select people you want to connect with more closely and step out of your comfort zone and really meet these people. Then in times where you’re afraid to face a difficult or fearful situation, you will find people that can support you.

So what's it going to be for you?

Are you going to trust the resources 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 yours be the story of the army 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?

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.

What 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.

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Dipo Adebayo

Dipo Adebayo

I am a water engineer, interpersonal skills coach & teen counselor. I write on hope and rising above shame, rejection, fear & failure. Follow on IG @dipoadebayo