Prayer To Keep Me From Fear When Times Are Hard
Bible Verses About Having Strength During Hard Times
A week or so ago I put together a massive post with well over a hundred bible verses about money and talked about how we need to make sure that we always put God first in our lives before money – and everything else.
We can easily allow money to become our master, and God can quickly move to the background if we’re not careful.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24
One thing that occurred to me in the midst of listing all those verses, however, is that I never really touched on a topic that seems to be especially important right now in the midst of a double dip recession when so many people are having a hard time. The idea of looking to God for strength in the midst of hard times.
Bible Verses About Strength
Today I decided to bring together some encouraging and challenging verses talking about how and where we need to find strength in the midst of turbulent times. I hope you find them uplifting as well.
Where Do We Find Strength?
Where do we find our strength? In the Lord our God!
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.
Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
Psalm 9:9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 34:10b Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
Isaiah 26: 3-4 Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Psalm 32:7-8 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Exodus 33:14 My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Psalm 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.
Don’t Worry Or Fear, Find Your Strength In Him
It can be so easy to give into worry, fear and despair, but with Him we can find strength, and look forward to wonderful things. He gives us hope!
Isaiah 43:1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Luke 12:25-26 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
Philippians 4:6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 27: 1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me,it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;though war break out against me,even then I will be confident.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Psalm 145: 18-19 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
God Gives Us A Spirit Of Strength And Power
Through faith in Christ we are given a spirit of power, love and discipline, and for that reason we have nothing to fear. We can hold onto his promises and be confident that he’ll see us through even the darkest of days.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
Psalm 138:3 When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.
Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 112: 1, 7-8 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid.
Psalm 91:1-2 You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust.”
Psalm 112: 1, 7-8 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid.
Hard Times May Come, But He’s There With Us Through Them All
Though we aren’t promised an easy life, we are told that Christ will be there with us when we believe in Him, that he won’t give us more than we can handle with His help, and even our hard times can be used to glorify God.
2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Philippians 4: 12-13 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . . I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.
1 Peter 5: 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Hebrews 4:16 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Deuteronomy 31:6,8 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
Strength In Christ Our Lord And Savior
As the verses above illustrate, we’re told to call on Jesus Christ, and that he will hear us and give us strength, hope and a grace sufficient to carry us through. He will be our ever present help when we’re in need, and he can give us a peace that passes all understanding. For me that’s extremely encouraging.
How about you? Do you have any favorite bible verses about strength, and where you can find it? Did one of the verses above stick out more than the others for you? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Want to find more verses on Strength in the Bible and don’t have your own? Get a free Bible.
6 Ways to Praise God During Hard Times
More and more it seems that suffering and hurt are prevalent everywhere we look. Those poor, innocent people that were murdered at a movie theatre in Colorado on July 20, 2012 are just one of the many tragedies in the lives of our fellow man today.
I think now more than ever, we need to stand as Christians and unite as one body and pray for our country. Satan is so easily using people for his wicked agendas. This is not a surprise, but it still hurts.
If you are hurting right now while reading this, know that your tender, loving Father has His arms open and He is always ready to hold you if you just let Him. Many people that are hurting today are cursing God and some believers have abandoned God. They did not have Christ as their solid foundation.
It is so important to have a strong faith through the best of times so when the winds blow, we will not be moved. Trials and hard times come for a reason and that is to grow closer to our Father. So, how can we praise Him during the darkest hours? Let us look at scripture for clear examples.
Timothy 2:8-9 says, remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal.
But the word of God is not bound! Remembrance of Christ and His death at Golgotha needs to be the center piece through which we praise God in the hard times. When we suffer, we can remember that He suffered, and His suffering gave us freedom! This is one reason some leave the faith.
They forgot what even brought them into God’s loving hand. Praise be to God, our Almighty King that gave us the final sacrifice to atone for our sins!
Trials and hard times come for a reason and that is to grow closer to our Father.
Every time we connect with God in prayer, we are praising Him because we are acknowledging our need to set our burdens on His strong shoulders.
Isaiah 25:4a says, for you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.
These are things we can praise Him for while we are praying! He takes care of His children! Even in the darkest part of the storm, He is there as a stronghold to keep us standing against the crashing waves and raging winds. A man on his knees in prayer can stand before any tragedy.
When you read Psalms, you can find so many verses about God’s children singing praise even in the midst of hard times. David writes in Psalm 142:4b-7, no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “you are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.
” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.
This particular Psalm was a written prayer, but it could just as well be sung. So many songs today are written straight from the Psalms. One particular song that has always touched my heart on this issue of hard times and suffering is “There Will be a Day” by Jeremy Camp.
This song always brings tears to my eyes.
Time in the word
Anything that we do as Christians that focuses our time on God brings Him glory and praise. When we look to His word for healing and guidance, we again are telling God that we need Him and we praise Him for His sovereign nature in all circumstances.
In Hebrews 4:15-16 it says, for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This is a passage of love that speaks to all who are hurting. Jesus was tempted in every way so we can be completely firm in our belief in Him.
My fellow brothers and sisters, write these verses on your hearts. We can have confidence in our Father in all circumstances. Stay in the word! It can heal the broken hearted.
Fasting is an outlet that provides a spiritual and physical reliance on God. Fasting is not set on any particular facet. Many people fast from food for an extended amount of time, but fasting really involves giving up anything that means a lot to you in order to spend time with God instead. This is a precious way to praise Him. When you fast you stop “me” and focus on Him.
I have had the opportunity to participate in the 30 hour famine a few times and I cannot describe the feelings of reliance that I had personally with God in the final 10 hours when food sounded amazing and I gave my cravings to Him instead. He has sustained me every time I have fasted. The spiritual bond always grows with fasting because God is feeding that bond as you rely on Him.
Forgiveness always reflects praise on the Father. We forgive obedience to Christ. We forgive because it is always the right thing to do. There is real spiritual maturity and growth when we can look at specific people that have wronged us personally and forgive them.
This is because sin always comes from the devil and not from the individuals themselves. There is massive spiritual warfare fighting for us every day. Satan’s legion of demons are always hunting.
It is our job as believers to rebuke them with scripture and always forgive those who trespass against us. The true fault is always against the devil and his wicked schemes. Even Christ on the cross asked His Father to forgive those crucifying Him(Luke 23:34).
May we all strive to be that! Praise be to our Sustainer in all circumstances!Looking for some more music related articles?
Take a look at these other similar type articles:
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How to overcome fear and anxiety
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Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Fear can create strong signals of response when we’re in emergencies – for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked.
It can also take effect when you’re faced with non-dangerous events, exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. It’s a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesn’t stop you from living.
What makes you afraid?
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things – fires – can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you won’t fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What you’re afraid of and how you act when you’re afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
What makes you anxious?
Because anxiety is a type of fear, the things we’ve described about fear above are also true for anxiety.
The word ‘anxiety’ tends to be used to describe worry, or when fear is nagging and persists over time. It is used when the fear is about something in the future rather than what is happening right now.
Anxiety is a word often used by health professionals when they’re describing persistent fear. The ways that you feel when you’re frightened and anxious are very similar, as the basic emotion is the same.
What do fear and anxiety feel ?
When you feel frightened or seriously anxious, your mind and body work very quickly. These are some of the things that might happen:
- Your heart beats very fast – maybe it feels irregular
- You breathe very fast
- Your muscles feel weak
- You sweat a lot
- Your stomach churns or your bowels feel loose
- You find it hard to concentrate on anything else
- You feel dizzy
- You feel frozen to the spot
- You can’t eat
- You have hot and cold sweats
- You get a dry mouth
- You get very tense muscles
These things occur because your body, sensing fear, is preparing you for an emergency, so it makes your blood flow to the muscles, increases blood sugar, and gives you the mental ability to focus on the thing that your body perceives as a threat.
With anxiety, in the longer term, you may have some of the above symptoms as well as a more nagging sense of fear, and you may get irritable, have trouble sleeping, develop headaches, or have trouble getting on with work and planning for the future; you might have problems having sex, and might lose self-confidence.
Why do I feel this when I’m not in any real danger?
Early humans needed the fast, powerful responses that fear causes, as they were often in situations of physical danger; however, we no longer face the same threats in modern-day living.
Despite this, our minds and bodies still work in the same way as our early ancestors, and we have the same reactions to our modern worries about bills, travel and social situations. But we can’t run away from or physically attack these problems!
The physical feelings of fear can be scary in themselves – especially if you are experiencing them and you don’t know why, or if they seem proportion to the situation. Instead of alerting you to a danger and preparing you to respond to it, your fear or anxiety can kick in for any perceived threat, which could be imaginary or minor.
Why won’t my fear go away and leave me feeling normal again?
Fear may be a one-off feeling when you are faced with something unfamiliar.
But it can also be an everyday, long-lasting problem – even if you can’t put your finger on why. Some people feel a constant sense of anxiety all the time, without any particular trigger.
There are plenty of triggers for fear in everyday life, and you can’t always work out exactly why you are frightened or how ly you are to be harmed. Even if you can see how proportion a fear is, the emotional part of your brain keeps sending danger signals to your body.
Sometimes you need mental and physical ways of tackling fear.
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is when you feel overwhelmed by the physical and mental feelings of fear – the signs listed under ‘What do fear and anxiety feel ?’ People who have panic attacks say that they find it hard to breathe, and they may worry that they’re having a heart attack or are going to lose control of their body. See the ‘Support and information’ section at the end of this booklet if you want help with panic attacks.
What is a phobia?
A phobia is an extreme fear of a particular animal, thing, place or situation. People with phobias have an overwhelming need to avoid any contact with the specific cause of the anxiety or fear. The thought of coming into contact with the cause of the phobia makes you anxious or panicky.
How do I know if I need help?
Fear and anxiety can affect all of us every now and then. It is only when it is severe and long-lasting that doctors class it as a mental health problem.
If you feel anxious all the time for several weeks, or if it feels your fears are taking over your life, then it’s a good idea to ask your doctor for help, or try one of the websites or numbers listed at the back of this booklet.
The same is true if a phobia is causing problems in your daily life, or if you are experiencing panic attacks.
Face your fear if you can
If you always avoid situations that scare you, you might stop doing things you want or need to do.
You won’t be able to test out whether the situation is always as bad as you expect, so you miss the chance to work out how to manage your fears and reduce your anxiety.
Anxiety problems tend to increase if you get into this pattern. Exposing yourself to your fears can be an effective way of overcoming this anxiety.
Try to learn more about your fear or anxiety. Keep an anxiety diary or thought record to note down when it happens and what happens. You can try setting yourself small, achievable goals for facing your fears. You could carry with you a list of things that help at times when you are ly to be become frightened or anxious.
This can be an effective way of addressing the underlying beliefs that are behind your anxiety.
Increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise requires some concentration, and this can take your mind off your fear and anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques can help you with the mental and physical feelings of fear. It can help just to drop your shoulders and breathe deeply. Or imagine yourself in a relaxing place. You could also try learning things yoga, meditation, massage, or listen to the Mental Health Foundation’s wellbeing podcasts.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and try to avoid too much sugar. Resulting dips in your blood sugar can give you anxious feelings. Try to avoid drinking too much tea and coffee, as caffeine can increase anxiety levels.
Avoid alcohol, or drink in moderation
It’s very common for people to drink when they feel nervous. Some people call alcohol ‘Dutch courage’, but the after-effects of alcohol can make you feel even more afraid or anxious.
Some people find that complementary therapies or exercises, such as relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, or t’ai chi, help them to deal with their anxiety.
If you are religious or spiritual, this can give you a way of feeling connected to something bigger than yourself. Faith can provide a way of coping with everyday stress, and attending church and other faith groups can connect you with a valuable support network.
Talking therapies, counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, are very effective for people with anxiety problems, including Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which takes you through a series of self-help exercises on screen. Visit your GP to find out more.
Drug treatments are used to provide short-term help, rather than looking at the root of the anxiety problems. Drugs may be most useful when they are combined with other treatments or support.
You can learn a lot about managing anxiety from asking other people who have experienced it.
Local support groups or self-help groups bring together people with similar experiences so that they can hear each other’s stories, share tips and encourage each other to try out new ways to manage themselves. Your doctor, library or local Citizens Advice bureau will have details of support groups near you.
Mental Health Foundation
Our website offers information on mental health, mental health problems, self-help and how to get help.
The Samaritans provides emotional support 24 hours a day
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 08457 90 90 90
The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01455 883300
UK Council for Psychotherapy
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7014 9955
NHS 111 provides information 24 hours a day
Telephone: 111 Steimer, T. (2002). The Biology of Fear and Anxiety Related Behaviours. Dialogues Clin Neurosci, 4, 231–249.  Öhman, A. (2000). “Fear and anxiety: Evolutionary, cognitive, and clinical perspectives.” In: M. Lewis & J.M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.). Handbook of emotions (2nd Ed). New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 573–593.  Öhman, A. (2008). “Fear and anxiety: Overlaps and Dissociations.” In: M. Lewis, J.M. Haviland-Jones & L. Feldman Barrett (Eds.). Handbook of emotions (3rd Ed). New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 709–729.  Lazarus, R.S. & Averill, J.R. (1972). Emotion and Cognition: With Special Reference to Anxiety. In: C.D. Spielberger (Ed.). Anxiety: Current Trends in Theory and Research, Vol II. Academic Press: New York, pp. 242–279.  Gray, J.A. (1988). The Psychology of Fear and Stress (2nd ed). Cambridge University Press: New York.  Emmelkamp, P.M.G. (2003). “Behavior therapy with adults.” In: M. Lambert (Ed.). Handbook of Psychotherapy and behaviour change (5th Ed). New York: Wiley, pp. 393–446.  De Oliveria, I.R., Powell, V.B., Wenzel, A., Caldas, M., Seixas, C., Almeida, C., Bonfim, T., Grangeon, M.C., Castro, M., Galvao, A., de Oliveria Moraes, R. & Sudak, D. (2011).
Efficacy of the trial-based thought record, a new cognitive therapy strategy designed to change core beliefs, in social phobia. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2710.
Why Your Fears Won’t Come True
Fear doesn’t work the way we think it does. I’ll teach you something cool about fear that you can start putting to use right away.
When something scares you, you usually just have an aversion to the notion of that thing. Just the thought of making certain phone calls, confronting certain people, or making certain commitments makes the butterflies bubble up.
This is the point where we usually back down, and distract ourselves from the thought of it by checking email or doing some cleaning or organizing that suddenly seems important.
Quitting my last job to go traveling was something I was afraid of for a long time before I did it. It was a very small company, my boss had been good to me, and I knew it was going to be a blow that came nowhere. The thought of it made me nervous, and I decided to put it off till the next day, ten or twelve times.
Most fears keep us at arm’s length that: we back down at just the idea of doing something nerve-wracking. The fear has done its job — to keep us from going there — and so we don’t look any closer at what it is we’re really afraid of about that idea.
If you do look closely at almost any fear, it’s always a specific moment you’re fearing. A moment with awful feelings in it — awkwardness, pain, shame, guilt, horror, angst. Life unfolds only in moments, so what else could the problem be except some of the moments that you might run into?Ultimately that’s all you are ever fearing: moments that you believe will force you to experience feelings you really don’t want to experience. If you really break it down there’s nothing else that drives us but the appeal of feelings we want to experience and the fear of feelings we don’t want to experience.
Whatever the feeling is, it’s a feeling you’ve already experienced at some point in your life. You couldn’t be afraid of it if you hadn’t.
The longer we live, the more nasty experiences we have, and the more fears we carry around. But we forget that it’s really acute experiences we’re trying to avoid, and instead we let entire categories of actions and notions get dismissed from our lives, because they represent those experiences.
The cat who was afraid of grass for all the wrong reasons
We had a cat who was afraid of the front lawn. She would creep up to it, sniff it a bit, then tear across it she was being chased.
I watched her do this a few times before learning that my Dad had once turned on the sprinkler hose while she was lying beside it.
After that, to her the lawn was a bad place, because it represented the threat of a terrible experience she didn’t want to have again.
She got over it, probably after accidentally having a few good experiences around the lawn. Animals are probably better at forgetting this stuff. Humans cling to fears because our thinking is so hopelessly lost in symbols and categories. We hold onto this idea that we can fence off the painful areas of life if we’re careful enough.
They aren’t all big things. There were so many foods I didn’t eat for years just because my first run-in with them was bad one. I didn’t eat onions for a second time until I was an adult, just because I ate a piece of raw white onion when I was little.
I didn’t recognize that there are a million different ways an onion-eating experience could actually go down — after all, who eats large chunks of raw, white onion? — but I had already cordoned off “onion” as a no-go zone for me, because I refused to ever subject myself to the burning, acidic experience of my first close encounter with an onion.Onions in all forms became fearsome symbols of that lone, unbearable experience, and so I steered my whole life clear of them. This is the distance at which we normally detect and respond to our fears — from far enough away that we don’t really understand what it is we’re fearing. I was fearing the return of a single, awful moment I had when I was a kid.
One day more than a decade later, I bit the bullet and tried something with onion on it, because it was either that or eat nothing. And I had a different experience. It wasn’t bad. “Onion” came to symbolize a much better experience.
What you fear can’t really happen
What I’ve come to realize is that all my fears of the future are actually fears of the past.
Each of us has a whole bank of awful moments in our memories, each of which are so painful that we can’t accept that we could experience the same pain again.
If the thought of something you want to do rouses fear in you, think: what is the experience — the feeling — I’m actually fearing here? You don’t have to psychoanalyze yourself and try to figure out the childhood memory it comes from, but it doesn’t take much thought to identify the precise experience you can’t bear to risk happening.
By obeying our fears from arm’s length, we end up cordoning off enormous areas of possibility. Life is inescapably risky and painful, not to mention 100% fatal. So don’t think you can dodge pain, awkwardness or by backing down from something a bit scary.
The real bad stuff isn’t going to be something you had the foresight to worry about anyway. From Baz Luhrmann’s famous speech: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”
Now, of course there are all sorts of unpleasant scenarios that can happen. But there is no way you can cordon off enough of life to eliminate the risk of pain, and that’s what our fears are trying to do.
And I can tell you, as somebody who’s been a lifelong master cordon-offer, building all those walls will guarantee you way more pain than almost anything else. There’s no better way to limit your skills, experience, personal power, income and prospects. How do you think people get stuck in jobs and relationships they know are killing them?What you fear, whatever horrible scenario you think you’re avoiding — it isn’t going to happen anyway. Similar outcomes may happen, but it will never unfold quite you expected, because that would make you a genuine psychic.
The difficult phone conversation you’ve been putting off: there is no way it will go down exactly you expect it will. It will take a different line, a different tone, either slightly or entirely. But your fear, as it is, will not come true.
Whenever you notice you have some unnerving scenario brewing in your mind, remember one inalienable fact — no matter what scenario you’re picturing:
This is not the way it’s actually going to go down.
It can’t be, because you can’t predict the future. All situations are far more complex that you can possibly calculate, and fear has a way of completely screwing with your higher faculties. Whatever horrible moments you’re afraid of, they cannot match the way the situation is actually going to go down.
Fear of the future is fear of the past. You can’t fear the future because you don’t know the future. You’re just deathly afraid that certain parts of the past will happen again.
Next time you travel to somewhere new, either a new city, a new neighborhood, or even a new building, try to picture what it will be — what it will look , what it will feel to be there.
No matter what kind of information you have about it, your imagined impression will be wrong. Because you’re building it only with what’s already in your head.
What it’s actually built of, what it actually looks and feels , is not there in your head so you just can’t get it right.This is what fearsome thoughts are made of: stuff that’s already in your head — experiences you’ve already had, and categorically not experiences you’re yet to have. You can’t know the moment you’re afraid of, because it doesn’t exist yet. So your fear cannot come true.
Whatever happens, the form it will take will be different. It might be bad, it might be good. It might open a door for you you never knew was there.
But I think we typically over-fear by default. Time and time again in my life I have been surprised at how easy and rewarding most of these scary propositions end up being when I go ahead with them anyway. When they really hurt me is when I keep them at arm’s length, untackled, where they stalk me and mock me.
Those dreaded conversations, when I finally take them on, never turn out quite I thought. I’ve rehearsed long tangents of tricky conversations that never happened. I’ve even flow-charted intimidating phone calls in my head — if he says A I’ll say B, if he says C, I’ll say D.
This is almost always useless. He never says A, or C. That’s because whatever I’ve predicted, that’s not the way it’s going to go down. Because I’m just chicken, not psychic.
I can guess at what’s going to happen, and of course I’m apt to guess that something terrible will happen, just so that I can convince myself it’s a dangerous action to take and I can feel justified in relieving myself from the responsibility of doing it. It lets me off the hook for the moment, and I gain another roaming spectre in my life and another long-lasting no-go zone. Well done.
Fear is fun
When you feel fear, take that as a reminder to bring curiosity to the moment. Something new is on the other side of it. If you act in spite of the fear, something exciting is going to go down. Nine times ten you’ll end up gaining some situational benefit, and ten times ten, you’ll feel stronger immediately.
And maybe there is a passing unpleasant feeling that will come with it. It’s probably a good trade-off anyway. Some of the best prizes in my life have come just on the other side of something I was afraid of, and they didn’t end up being difficult or painful at all. They were so close to me the whole time, and I would never have known what they were offering.
Even if the situation does unravel into a debacle of some kind, if you can remember to keep that sense of curiosity alive throughout it, if you can drop the insane hope that you can control things by fearing them, if you can keep your sense of humor close by, it can actually be amusing to watch everything fall apart.
Think of what a powerful notion that is: fear is fun.
Have fun today.
Photo by Jonycunha