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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The fears that prevent us from taking that first step out of our comfort zone are usually connected to feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy.
We don’t want to appear stupid or foolish.
We don’t want to be rejected.
We need people. We need to feel we belong. But we often sacrifice our ability to connect, achieve and overcome when fear takes center stage. We retreat rather than stepping out.
Each of us has a multitude of talents and abilities.
You may be good at one thing but not good with other things. For example, someone who excels in math may have difficulty working with people.
Another may enjoy or take great pleasure in working with people but struggle with the complexities of math or technology.
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses and accept both. Draw from your strengths to adapt or work with things that are not easy or unpleasant.
Focusing only on what we are good at or what we are not good at keeps us from expanding our capabilities.
There is so much we can accomplish.
We are more than just a carefully constructed career or role. My husband was an educator and musician. Yet, together, we planned and built two houses. After his death, I built one by myself.
Don’t limit yourself; you have skills and aptitudes that remain untapped or unidentified until you purposefully look for them.
Build on your passions.
- What makes you excited?
- What could you work with for hours on end and not get tired?
- What endeavors make you feel whole and complete?
Now, ask yourself, what is keeping me from exploring those possibilities, dreams or passions?
Identify the fears that keep you from trying. We can learn from our past and the choices we have made – both the good and the bad.
Failure is not a weakness. It is a learning tool.
Fears are not to be dismissed lightly.
They tell us to be careful. They can keep us from unnecessary disasters. At the same time, if you keep saying to yourself, I can’t, without exploring why you are fearful, you lose opportunities that are immeasurable.
If the fear teaches you to explore and be cautious it is a good thing. If fear keeps saying, yes, but what if I fail or make a fool of myself or . . . we need to explore further.
Face your fears head-on.
Some are rational and others irrational. Rational fear recognizes, prepares, and avoids unnecessary danger. Irrational fears keep us from trying, from stepping out into unknown territory.
Sit down and have a conversation with your fears. What are they telling you?
Consider and accept your weaknesses.
Everybody has them. We just think ours are so horrific and repulsive that if others find out, they will think less of us. When we accept them, we find others have no problem with them either. In fact, others are more willing to become real and authentic with you when they see you being authentic.
Acceptance of our weaknesses becomes part of an inner strength as we work with them.
Life is a journey.
There are risks that need to be evaluated and acted upon. Open yourself up to exciting possibilities. Step out in confidence and from a position of strength. If you don’t succeed the first time, try again.
Be the wonderful you that God made you to be.