(image – Cosmosnotes.com)
This week, let’s take a look at the top four fears that hinder our growth. Recall, the lilies in Matthew 6:28 – “how the grow, they toil not, neither do they spin…” There is no need to toil and expend effort needlessly if we truly believe that God is our source. Toiling and striving cease when we learn to completely depend upon Him instead of trying to toil, work and force our way through life.
Yet, we do this anyway. Why? Why is it so incredibly hard to truly “let go and let God?” Why do we get so fixated on what is missing and what our circumstances dictate and what our logical mind tells us?
It’s because somewhere along the line, we began to believe the lies. We believe the lie that we are not enough. We believe in the lies of lack, limitation and failure. We believe that we are limited because we keep messing up. We believe that if we don’t work, compete, prove and perform that we will not be enough or be acceptable. We begin to accept limiting beliefs because of what happened in the past and all of the disappointment and shame that went along with it. We accept lack, limitation and failure as part of our normal existence.
The toil, the spin, the struggle is from an underlying root of fear. Because the root of our behavior is fear, the motive is impure. Any underlying belief or motive not rooted in Faith is Fear.
Any underlying motive, whether we are conscious of it or not, still drives our behaviors no matter how much scripture we read or how much we pray unless we begin to deal with it.
The underlying belief in lack, limitation and failure in any area of life – finances, relationships, callings, careers, etc. manifests in these top four fears:
Fear of Messing Up
The driving question that drives this fear is “What if I mess up and disappoint God, myself and others?”
Even though in our minds, we know that we are not perfect, somehow we still manage to put this extra pressure on ourselves to prove and perform. We think that if we mess up and make a mistake that it’s the end of the world. We want people to think well of us, not badly. This closely related to the Fear of Other People’s Opinions and the Fear of Losing Love.
What happens to your faith when you…?
- Make a mistake
- Fall short
- Miss the mark
- Don’t show up fully
How do you talk to yourself then??? What are the voices in your head? What damage do we inflict on our own hearts when we do this? I love this quote I once heard: “being hard on ourselves does not inspire deeper insights, change or lasting peace; …there can be no lasting change, unless anchored in patience and self-acceptance…
Remember, Fear and faith do not mix. Love and fear do not mix. Faith works better, faster, stronger from a place of LIVING LOVED than from a place of shame from past mistakes.
Fear of Missing Out
The soul level question for this particular fear is “What if I miss out on a blessing, an opportunity because I can’t get my act together? What about all of the time I’ve wasted?
I’ve been around the mountain a few times with this one myself – especially when it comes to thinking about the time lost because of poor decisions and bad relationships. There are many scriptures that come to mind but one stands out in particular – Joel 2:25 where God promises to restore the years that the locusts have eaten. The locusts of mistakes, missed opportunities, bad relationships, disappointments and set-backs.
God can redeem and restore our past as long we continue to believe and keep moving forward as Paul encourages us to do so in Philippians 3:13 “…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to what lies ahead…I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The key phrase is to keep moving forward. Another one of my favorite quote by Marshawn Evans puts it this way – “Miracles manifest in motion. God blesses moving targets not sitting ducks…” In other words, you must keep moving and not stay stuck in the past mistakes out of fear of missing out or time already wasted. If you are in motion, the opportunities will come around again, but if you are sitting still and not preparing yourself, you will not be ready and miss out again. As quoted from my book, Get Out of That Dead-End Relationship NOW, “Time is always in forward motion. Time does not stand still or go backwards. God can’t redeem anything if you are standing still and do not move forward in a position to receive.” Start moving in your destiny NOW and you will not miss out!
Fear of Losing Love
This fear silently screams “What if I lose being loved because I have too much baggage or what if I lose love because I am not enough?”
When we fear losing love or not receiving love it’s because of one of two things: 1) we believe we have too much baggage and issues from the past and no one will want us or; 2) we believe that we are not good enough or not worthy enough to be loved. It is opposite ends of the same spectrum. It’s the “I’m not enough” or “I’m too much” soul level lies. I’ve been on both extremes! Either I have felt that I am too much because of being a single mom, or I’ve felt that I ‘m not enough because I didn’t feel worthy.
We were created to receive and to give love. We are created for community and companionship. But most importantly, we were created to love God FIRST, ourselves and then others. To the extent we can receive the love of God for ourselves personally is the extent we will be able to receive love from others. If the relationship between God, me, myself and I ain’t right, then no other relationship will work! When we are dependent upon other frail humans for all of our love needs, we are bound to be set up for grave disappointment and put ourselves in vulnerable positions of looking for validation and love from people who barely know how to love themselves either.
Geri Scazzero in her book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman states it like this: “For many Christians today, the love of God remains an intellectual belief we affirm rather than an experiential reality that transforms our thoughts and feelings about ourselves. As a result, we continue to look for love from other people in destructive ways…”
One of the key scriptures in my life that continues to help me in this area is Ephesians 3: 17 which states “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love. Scazzero further states, “When we grow to the point where we experience the depths of Christ love for us, we will be set free from our need to borrow love from others”. Because we have learned how receive God’s love and have learned to love ourselves, we can grow to the point where we no longer fear losing love.
Fear of Other People’s Opinions
And finally, the ageless question that we all struggle with from time to time, “What will people think of me if I do/say/be this or that?”
When the opinion of others becomes greater than God’s opinion then we have violated the first commandment which is 1) don’t have any other gods before me and 2) which is don’t make any idols. ANYTHING that you put before God – a job, a car, a relationship, children, money, a big career or ministry including other people’s opinions — even the opinions of family and those whom you esteem and respect and love can be an idol.
If their opinions carry more weight in your mind than God’s opinion, i.e., what He says about you and what His word says, then that other human’s opinion is more important than God’s and is an idol.
Again this goes back to needing to be validated from the outside instead of knowing deep on the inside that you are already enough. We still keep trying to prove something that ALREADY IS!!!
The root of people pleasing is fear – the fear of being rejected and the fear of people knowing the real you behind the smile. REMEMBER: God has not given to you the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind! This is true freedom!
If you want to walk in greater degrees of freedom from all of these fears realize this: the more you fixate upon and feed the fears, the bigger they become.
If you stay in that same mental and emotional zone, you will create more of the same. The best way is to be delivered from these fears to make a very intentional effort to deeply renew your mind and elevate your thinking with Word of God through affirmations, prayer and meditation. There is no quick fix and it is not a one time job. We are talking about continually saturating your mind until you see a difference in your outlook and perspective so that these fears are no longer driver your behaviors. This takes time.
I encourage to begin the process by taking baby steps today to address your fears and renew your mind. God is with you and well able to help you overcome. Remember Who You Are and Whose You Are!
Until Next time,
Stay connected to my #GetRealBeHealed Movement by clicking here! For a FREE audio on 3 Signs of a Toxic Relationship go to www.tonikabreeden.com and download today. If you are struggling in a dead-end relationship, check out my book Get Out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW available on www.amazon.com in paperback and Kindle.