It’s been a week since I committed to face my fears and run to God instead of reaching for food or alternatives for food. Forty days to run His direction instead of running to my coping mechanisms.
And I’m not alone.
Many of you emailed saying you’re joining me in your own journey to face your fears. We’re praying for each other and turning to Him instead of embracing
- negative self-talk
- fill in the blank.
Fear lurks in our minds and takes root in our heart. It robs us of joy and opportunities to fully live.
To face your fears and be victorious you need two actions:
1. pushing through the fear and
2. running towards God while facing your fears head on.
One reader practically asked, “How do you do this?”
How To Push Through Your Fears
Facing your fears requires retraining what you think and believe. If you believe big cities are dangerous, when you travel to a city, you’ll be anxious of potential danger you believe is all around you. If you train yourself to believe that people walk safely through cities every day, you are more likely to walk down a busy city street without fear and anxiety and actually enjoy the people, sights and sounds of the city. It’s all in how you look at it.
What we believe influences what we think and how we act.
1. Whatever’s your fear, you have to identify the lies you believe related to that fear:
- I’m ugly and fat so people won’t accept me.
- I’m not as good as her, so why would anyone want to listen to me?
- My feelings are too scary and painful, so if I numb them, I’ll be happy.
- I can’t do anything right, so why even try.
- If I give up control, I don’t know what the outcome will be.
- If I don’t worry, then what?
2. Then, counteract the lie with truth and repeat this belief in your mind and it will begin driving your thoughts.
- I have friends who value me even though I’m not a perfect weight.
- Each one of us has value and what I have to say or contribute is important.
- I am strong enough to feel my emotions and it’s necessary in order to heal.
- I am successful at things and it’s okay to not a master everything.
- I can’t control other people and I need to let go.
- Worry robs me of joy and I want to live in peace with joy.
3. Facing your fears requires living the new truth of your self-talk:
- Realizing people’s judgments or rejection doesn’t define you or your worth.
- Putting yourself in a setting where you walk in confidence in your appearance noting you weren’t rejected!
- Saying what you want to say rather than being quiet wishing your voice could be heard.
- Walking away from your choice of self-medicating (food, alcohol, smoking, control, worry, etc) allowing yourself to feel your emotions.…cry, weep and wail if you need to – then give yourself grace and honor the emotions. Tell yourself truth about the fear (some of those statements above) and walk forward! Honor your emotions but balance them with the truth you are practicing. Give voice to the emotions by talking with a trusted friend, a pastor or a trained counselor. Write what you feel in a journal, go for a walk, give yourself time and space to figure out the source of pain in those emotions and honor the pain. Continue to seek counsel if needed.
- Then run to God with all of it.
For the Christian, this entire process requires bathing your mind and soul in His word because His word has power and truth. Establishing new self-talk is done by praying, repeating and declaring His word for your life and fears. What are verses that address your emotions or your fears? Find those verses, say them in your mind. Write them out – post them on your bathroom mirror and in your car (Deuteronomy 6:9). Believe them as God’s personal word to you.
Some verses shared on the Facebook page that readers pray in over coming fear include:
- “For I hold you by your right hand- I, The Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’” Isaiah 41:13
- “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
- “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
- “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
- “The Lord works out everything to its end” Proverbs 16:4
- “Come near God and He will come to you.” James 4:8
This is a lot of information. I’ll write more in the next blog post on the second step, running to God. I’d love to hear your thoughts, where you struggle in the process of retraining your mind and heart – or verses that are helpful to you. Please share – we’re all in this journey together!