Overcoming our fears

October 9, 2012

Overcoming our fears

4.5 years ago I had the opportunity to go to New York on my own.  It was an incredible experience!   During my time in New York, I overcame a huge fear in my life – the fear of getting lost. I was very anxious about getting lost before I left and then it happened (maybe a self-fulfilling prophesy?)

I must admit that I did panic a bit when I realized that I was lost but I didn’t allow that feeling of panic to stop me from taking action and finding my way.

In the past this hasn’t always been the case for me. I have allowed fear to dictate a lot of things in my life.

3 areas in which fear has hindered me

1. In my marriage.

I have allowed fear to hinder my marriage.  For many years of my marriage I allowed fear to hinder and stop me from being open and transparent with Lauren. The specific fears were: the fear of rejection, the fear of conflict and the fear of hurting her.

2. In my relationships with others.

I have also allowed fear to hinder and stop me from being open and transparent with others. For many years I allowed fear to stop me from sharing personal struggles and hurts with other people.

The number one fear here was again the fear of rejection. I truly believed that if people knew the personal struggles and hurts that I was experiencing that they would reject me. This fear has been tougher for me to overcome but I know that I am making progress.

3. In stepping out in faith.

I have also allowed fear to hinder me from stepping out in faith. There have been many times in my life where I have felt compelled to do something but haven’t due to the fear of the unknown. The unknown is very scary. The unknown means that I have to completely trust God.

This is tough when you have tried to control and manage your life so much that you do not find yourself in the unknown. I don’t think anyone likes the unknown but it is the most freeing place to be because it means that you are completely in God’s hands.

I find myself in this “territory” in many areas of my life right now and there is still a certain amount of fear but there is a new sense of peace and confidence as well.

Overcoming our fears

A good friend of mine gave me this acronym for fear – False Expectations Appearing Real. None of my fears are grounded in reality. They are founded on false expectations and faulty thinking. Realizing this has helped me to begin to overcome my fears.

What fears do you need to overcome?

Kevin Martineau

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I am the Pastor at Port Hardy Baptist Church on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I am married to my best friend and I have three beautiful daughters.

19 responses to Overcoming our fears

  1. Insightful as always Kevin. As funny as it may sound, I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks to dealing with fear is putting a name to it. Far too often we dial back our lives to accommodate fear and it becomes that ‘comfort zone’ we often refer to, and the longer we live behind those walls the harder it becomes to create meaningful change.

  2. Thanks again for sharing, Kevin. Great reminder on the acronym, which I’d heard before. But that photo is sure scary! :)

  3. I so agree with your article. We’ll never truly experience the fullness of life as God intended when we allow fear to paralyze us.

    In the past, fear literally halted my progress in all areas of my life. When I look back, that was the darkest time in all my life.

    I have since come to the light, I still struggle with fear but I definitely have come a long way and now know from my personal experience, the power of fear.

    Today, if I believe that I need to do something, I go against my fears. I do it, even as a tremble and time and time again, my false expectations, never became real!!! And we never come to this truth unless we take that leap of faith!

    Cheers! Good article!

    • I really like your point about taking the leap of faith. It is so true! We must crash through our fears and instead of letting them hold us back.

      Thanks for sharing Karen!

  4. Hey Kevin,
    Lovely post this is!!! I always fear the second pointer you have mentioned, the fear of being open. Sometimes in order to keep pace with the group dynamics, I often do injustice to my thoughts and feelings and I just agree with the rest, instead of frankly telling them what i want and what I feel. This post is like a wake up call for me and gave me enough strength to realize and accept my mistake. Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful post.

    • Hi Aayna:

      Declaring ourselves can indeed be very scary. It is so important to come to a point where we know how we are and we are not afraid to live that out.

      Thanks for sharing!
      Kevin

  5. This is an excellent post Kevin, I believe that we are taught from our youth to be afraid. Not in a healthy way that keeps us from jumping off cliffs into piles of barbed wire, but afraid in our daily lives. That kind of far, the kind we see in our eyes every morning when we get up to start our days, that is debilitating.

    And like you are saying with the acronym, fear is indeed false, and only appears real.

  6. Everyone has their own weaknesses. But its the way you handle yourself on how to face these fears that matters.

  7. We need not limit ourselves because of various fears we have. Try and try – go on and prosper. That’s the spirit we need.

  8. When you come to think of it, the only thing we need to overcome is fear. For it can only be the only obstacle that separates us from doing our best.

  9. Fears are meant to be conquered. Life needs to be lived to the fullest. With fears in your head, you won’t be able to feel the fulfillment. So why bother thinking about them?

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