Some people have really funny fears, like bridges or fish (Or donuts . . . according to my friend Julia Ryan. Someone please tell me that is not real!). And then there’s the really absurd fears like . . . um . . . guys (which I dealt with for a good portion of my life . . . #homeschooled).
Ten year old Amanda
*finds vending machine*
*Oh my word there’s a guy buying food there I’ll just walk all the way across the parking lot to the other vending machine AHHHHH THERE’S ANOTHER ONE WHERE ARE THESE THINGS COMING FROM it’s looking at me oh mercy someone save me*
Anywho . . .
But there are also those fears that make sense. Like change, failure, and death.
I unknowingly have discovered the antidote to fear . . . do you want to know what it is? TOO BAD you’ll have to check back tomorrow.
Just kidding! Here it is below . . .
Ready? Here’s the life-changing, empowering secret to conquering any fear:
. . .
Yeah, that’s right! Don’t think!
I naturally do this, and a friend the other day made me realize that this often disobliging characteristic of mine is actually, in this case, rather perfect. I jump into things with little or no regard to consequences. This has caused me many, many lovely difficulties (as you can imagine) BUT it has also helped me conquer my fears.
So let’s talk about to major fears I’m sure all of us deal with: failure and change.
Yup. That’s my number one fear. Sounds super prideful, doesn’t it?
But it’s the truth! I hate failing. That’s why I don’t like participating in group games—because I know I’ll lose (unless it’s Scrabble, charades, or Mexican train) and I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT FAILURE. Whether it’s dodgeball or kickball, I’d rather sit on the sidelines and cheer for the people winning than see myself lose.
That’s why playing the piano in front of people terrifies me (shaking knees, sweating hands, heart beating faster than Thumper’s cute wittle bunny feet . . .). That’s why before every soccer game I play, I feel like I could puke or pass out.
Or maybe both. (Preferably not at the same time.)
That’s why driving scares me; getting a job scares me; and a lot of other things scare me.
But do you know what I’ve done? I’ve hopped into this fear without thinking. Isn’t that so lovely? *sarcasm*
I’ve signed up on the rotation to play for my church’s offertory. I take part in annual piano competitions and quarterly recitals.
FEAR OF PLAYING PIANO? COMBAT IN PROGRESS.
I was fifteen years old when my dad tromped into the kitchen and nonchalantly asked, “Hey . . . would you like to play soccer?” Never mind I’d only touched the ball a handful of times as a little kid in just-for-fun leagues. I said, “Sign me up!” without considering ANYTHING and found I was soon blissfully in over my head.
FEAR OF CONQUERING A SKILL I’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE? COMBAT IN PROGRESS.
I don’t think these fears will ever be 100% conquered, but I actually think that’s good. It’s the fear that drives us to better ourselves—it makes our pride kick and say, “Hey, dude—you are not going to stop me from living my life.”
New schools . . . new houses . . . new siblings . . . why must life change?
I’m perfectly content right now. I don’t have the perfect life by any stretch of the imagination, but life is still really good. Staying sixteen forever, playing soccer with my buddies, taking walks with Lucy and Benjamin . . . that don’t sound so bad.
But, ya know what? Life has to change. I have to get “old” . . . I have to step on that soccer field for the last time one day and hug all my teammates goodbye . . . Lucy and Benjamin won’t be babies forever.
As humans, all we can see is the here and now. The future is this obscure, abysmal hole of interminable possibilities. Good and evil wrestle together, formulating ideal and not-so-ideal realities.
Maybe today is good—BUT maybe tomorrow will be even better.
Yeah, the future is scary. Just ask a teenager whose mood changes give her whiplash (can I hear an amen from all the girls around the world?). But we can’t stop God from writing the pages of our book. He has more planned for us, and wishing we could stay in this period of time isn’t going to stop Him from leading you on to the grander things He has on the next page.
The next time you feel like passing out because of your fear, just stop.
Take a breath.
And hop right into whatever fear you’re facing. You’ll feel like you’re drowning at first but then life will throw you a really cool donut-shaped inflatable and you’ll be perfectly fine!
(Unless you’re afraid of donuts . . . then it can be a duck. Unless you’re afraid of ducks . . . then it can be a piece of pizza. Unless you’re afraid of pizza . . . then it can be a commercial, run-of-the mill, handy dandy, plain Jane blue innertube. WHAT YOU’RE AFRAID OF THE COLOR BLUE OKAY COME ON!)
So . . . who’s ready to conquer their fears?
Guys, this is what canned applause is for.
*insert thunderous applause*
What are you afraid of? What do you do to combat the fear of failure? The fear of change?