Overcoming Fear Part 2
Growing up I was very, very shy. I am by nature a “shy” person and an extreme introvert. What I used to experience was however something far greater than my natural God-given personality. Because of this, I found it very difficult to speak to people in any situation. The days that I had to stand in front of the class at school to talk were very painful. I was physically sick and would try to stay home and this fear carried on into my early adult years. It came to the point where I would hide out in my bedroom if anyone came to my house that I did not know.
Roll on just a couple of years from that to a time when I had to give a presentation in front of a large group of people. Their introduction to me was that I burst into tears and had to leave the stage at the rehearsal. Looking back to that time with the knowledge and understanding I now have, this is what was going on inside of my head at that point. “What if I make a mistake?” “What if no one likes me?” “What if they laugh at me?” “What if they don’t like what I have to say?” “What if I burst into tears again?” “I can’t do this! I am really no good at this!” “I am really stupid for even thinking I could do this” etc. etc. etc. etc.
Your past situations and circumstances do not determine who you are
Right now I am sure many reading this can relate to exactly what I am talking about.
The truth was that my thoughts and feelings that night were based on an experience I had had years before at school. As a child, I had stood in front of the class and some kid laughed at me. This consequently set the rest of the class off. Without realizing it, I had allowed an experience as a 10 year old to define who I was and what I was capable of doing. The memory and belief I had created around that event was preventing me from moving forward in life. What happens from past experience is that we collapse and identify the experience with who we are as a person. I want to tell you something life changing right here and now. Your past situations and circumstances and even your future ones DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT determine who you are as a person.
That night as an adult I was blessed to have someone organizing that event who did not know about my past. She came alongside me and said “Lynda you CAN do this” and she then proceeded to give me a few reasons why she believed I could. At that moment I had to make a decision and as a result without realizing it at the time, that decision would set the course for the rest of my life. My choice was to either give in to my fears and the beliefs that I had about myself or trust that by the grace of God, I could push through and actually do what I needed to do.
I remember gritting my teeth, praying like mad and going back on that stage. I was so incredibly afraid that I was physically shaking and I thought I was going to throw up. I did however do it. To cut a long story short, I actually won an award that night for my presentation. I did it afraid but I had to consciously choose not to allow the fear to stop me. I also had to get present to the reality of the truth.
God did not give you a spirit of fear
I would like to say that everything after that was wonderful but that is not the case. For many years following that, I still struggled with fear around the situation of standing in front of people and talking. Today as I write this, after having stood on platforms all over the world sometimes in front of at times 1000’s of people it is getting much easier. I still have my moments but they are getting fewer and I know that I have the power to choose. I can choose to let my fear define me and restrict my ability to be who I was created to be or I can allow who I was created to be to define my fear.
Most people reading this will have something they are afraid of and statistics tell us that public speaking is the most listed fear people have. People are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of dying. Whatever you may be afraid of, based on 2 Timothy 1:7, I want to say to you today that God did not give you a spirit of fear but of power love and soundness of mind.
Fear is an emotion that tries to control you and keep you from doing what God has destined for you. Furthermore, fear is often based on our experience or someone else’s experience. It will stop you having faith in the promises and the Word of God. In addition to this it will also rob you of peace and is usually the root cause of anxiety.
Your greatest fear can be a signpost
Today in Jesus Name I release power, love and soundness of mind over you. I command the grip of fear to be released off of your life and I release boldness, faith and courage. I actually see people who are very afraid. They are literally paralyzed and unable to walk into the things God has for them. Today in Jesus Name I release that off of you. I say rise up in new life and walk free. It’s time come out of the prison that fear has held you in. I decree that by the power of the Spirit of God and the Word of God that new boldness and new courage is coming into your mind, will and emotions. I decree that from this day forth you will no longer be controlled by fear in Jesus Name.
In conclusion, there is one more thought I want to leave with you. Often the area of our greatest fear is a signpost to our purpose and destiny.