Fear is prevalent in our society, and with the outbreak of the coronavirus, it’s been intensified. Every person is subject to it at different levels, and we either fight back, flee, hide, or freeze. The Oxford dictionary describes fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. What triggers it can be real or imagined. Imagined fear takes its source from our thoughts and ideas. With it comes anxiety and panic. It can even paralyze a person and prevent him/her from moving forward.
So how can you overcome the fear that comes from your imagination?
First, you need to calm down. When fear is in control, your brain doesn’t function well, nor does your body. So, find some personal time where you can relax and get your mind off the fears. Do what you enjoy- a hobby, a walk in nature, running, or a session at the spa. You will feel better, emotionally, and physically. Your mood will also improve.
Then objectively confront your fear. Ask yourself, “what am I afraid of?” and write it down. Describe your feelings. Be honest with yourself, and ask God to reveal it to you. He will show you. Do not try to suppress or hide. Dig deeper and ask yourself, “Is it fear of the future? Of loneliness? Of sickness? Fear of losing control? Of the unknown? Fear of failure? Fear of what people will think about me? Fear of being rejected? Or others. It is essential that you identify it and name it.
Turn to God and give Him your fears. Know that God is with you, and He understands all your feelings. Deuteronomy 31: 8 (NLT) says, “The Lord goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” So put your trust in God. He is God almighty and has power over all your fears. Ask Him to help you. He is faithful. He will. Psalms 34 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Don’t let your heart be troubled. God is your refuge and fortress.
Change your thoughts. Be aware of the negative ones that come to your mind during the day. Don’t let them run free. Stop them immediately. They will only feed the fear and consume you. Replace them with positive ones. You can even speak out bible verses depending on the fear. For example, if you are afraid of the future, you can focus on Jeremiah 29:11, where God says that He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Meditate on this verse and thank God for the good future He has already prepared for you. Realize that God is greater than every problem you may encounter. Nothing is too hard for him. Your mind will be renewed, and God will replace the fear with His peace.
Watch your words. What you say has an impact on your mind, your soul, and your body. Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) says that the tongue can bring death or life. So, choose your words carefully. Try to avoid complaining and speaking negatively. It affects your mental health. Try to see the good in every situation and be grateful for even the little things. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Take action. Ask yourself and God what steps you can take to overcome the fear. Start with baby steps, one at a time. God will give you His strength. Trust Him. It will help in increasing your confidence, and you will feel free emotionally and mentally.
Confronting and overcoming our fears is so important. It helps us live a more meaningful life, become the person we were created for and move towards our real purpose in life.