The Fear Factor

Years ago there was a show our family loved to watch – Fear Factor. Joe Rogan, now famous podcaster was the host and he had individuals do the scariest and most fearful things. It was creepy, scary, and fun to watch.

I wish I could say the same about the fear factor in each of our lives. Watching how we handle fear in our life, what we do with it, how we manage it is not nearly as much fun as watching Joe Rogan. But regardless, we are faced with our own fears and how we handle them is vital.

We all have fears. Fears of one kind or another. And even though we were born with just two fears, there are six basic fears we all must deal with.

  • The two fears we are born with
  • fear of falling
  • fear of loud noises
  • Six basic fears
  • poverty
  • criticism
  • ill health
  • loss of love from someone
  • old age
  • death

Most of us deal with multiple fears. Hey, welcome to humanity. So check out the list, identify yours.

Here’s the deal though, each of those 6 fears have multiple symptoms that demonstrate in our life. And that is where it becomes very complicated and tangled.

Let me list symptoms and you associate each with the fear you think it is a symptom of:

  • lack of ambition
  • self-consciousness
  • hypochondria
  • inferiority
  • jealousy
  • laziness
  • keeping up with the Jones’
  • fault finding
  • indecision
  • procrastination
  • lack of exercise or over exercise
  • self-coddling
  • fear of failure

I actually have a book with lists beside me with dozens of symptoms for each of those fears, not just these listed. So, if we are living and breathing, there’s quite a pile of tangled strings for us to undo.

But that is the key – we each have to manage that ball of twisted symptoms and fears. Denial doesn’t work, it just pushes fear below the surface. But denial also makes personal growth and progress impossible. When the symptoms aren’t heeded and dealt with our life becomes stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, out of balance, and eventually we are being managed by the fear, rather than us managing the fear.

We make excuses, procrastinate, have diversions, avoid, find fault, etc., etc., etc. when fear is ruling our life. I know, I do it.

So what’s the answer?

Anthony Robins, in Awaken the Giant Within, has a 6 step plan that I have whittled down to 3 steps: (sorry Anthony, it works better for me.)

ONE – Identify your fear

TWO – Redirect your fear

THREE – Act on your fear

Identify your fear – call it out, unmask it. Don’t deny it. My personal fear project for nearly a year has been the fear of failure. That belongs to the fear of criticism from the list above.

Redirect your fear – Science tells us you get what you focus on. So if I want failure, I should focus on it. But I don’t want failure, so I must redirect my focus. I choose to focus on success, God’s ability to help me through, and placing my trust in Him and His ability. I redirect my focus on trusting God who is with me, and not on my debilitating fear.

Act on it – it’s pretty easy to say I trust Him, but I must act on it. Faith without works is dead, empty, void, a lie. Taking action on my fear is fearful! No lie. But each time I do, and by repeated practice, my strength becomes greater, my trust in Him becomes greater and that fear diminishes. Without action, nothing would change. I must be brave and step into action.

Just a note here. Most of my blogs are intentionally not overtly or overwhelmingly biblical. That is by design. However, with this particular theme today, I must say, that the only way to overcome your fears that will last is by learning to trust Jesus as your focus, rather than your fears. Practice redirecting your focus on Him. Take your eyes off of your fear and step toward Him. You will never be disappointed.

“You have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

FDR

The most frequent command in the Bible is DO NOT BE AFRAID.

There’s a reason for that.

We humans are so fearful. But our God cares and will unravel our sorted mess of fears and symptoms if we focus on Him and place our trust in Him, thereby conquering The Fear Factor.

.Cheers to you.

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