In the pursuit of any dream there is always one questions which rises to the surface again and again: How do we overcome our fears and move forward into the future we can see? How do we overcome the things that stop us? How do we overcome fear itself?
Now that we have explored what it actually looks like to live our dreams (which isn’t what you might think it is) and what actually stops us from living them it is time to consider how we overcome them and move forward into the future. What are the elements of overcoming fear? How do we move forward in the face of the unknown? Where do we begin? And how do we develop the courage, and faith, to move forward into the unknown?
In the next few moments we will explore an idea – that overcoming fear is simple… if we are willing to commit to the process necessary to overcome it…
- You must learn WHY you want to pursue your dream.
- You must develop a relationship of TRUST with your Creator, your God, or your Higher-Power.
- You must actually TRUST in Him and your dreams, in ACTION, and STEP FORWARD into the darkness of the unknown. You must have FAITH.
The Power of Why
The first step to overcoming fear is to get clear on why you are committed to your dreams. If you know why you want to do what you want to do then you will have the strength to overcome whatever comes. In fact, consider it a blessing when you fail, or fall, for with each failure you will re-explore your commitment to your why and it will grow stronger. With each success it will also grow stronger. With time your why will be strong enough to overcome, and work through, any adversity. With time it will grow strong enough to trump any distraction, comfort, vice, or pleasure.
It is the failures of our lives which weed out the dreamers who are not serious about their dreams from those who are. It is the failures of our lives which separate those who are willing to grow, and push, and strive to achieve their dreams and those who would rather wallow in the comforts and assured securities of their comfort zones. I have been in this latter group at various points in my life. Each one of us has. That is nothing new. It is but part of the process, and a vital part at that… for in this realization we are learning what matters to us most. Is it the reality of the dreams that exist within our hearts or the reality, and comfort, of where we are in the moment? What will win? Which one will gain the support of our attention? Of our focus? Of our faith and power?
There are points, moments, in all our lives when we will be offered the choice to pursue our dreams or put something else above them. Perhaps, as you read these words today, one such moment in your life has arrived. Perhaps it is time to stand up, sacrifice the superfluous things which distract you from your dream, and start the process of moving, even imperceptibly, towards your dream. Now mind there are important things which seemingly distract us from our dreams that are necessary to life – like a job to provide for your family while working on pursuing your dream. It is not these things we protest. They serve a purpose and what they serve is greater even than our dreams. The people we love must be cared for and they must be taken care of. But the question must be asked – are all the things we provide truly necessary or are they merely the superfluous extras of life? It is in protesting these superfluous, or extra, things of life that we find the time to work upon the dreams we have for so long-held within us.
Trusting in a Higher-Power & Forward Walking
It may seem counter-intuitive to some but the most effective, and permanent, way to overcome fear is found in developing a relationship with your Creator. It is in that relationship and the resulting experiences of your life that you will learn to trust in Him. You will learn how little we need fear when He is at the helm of our lives. He does love us and He is not far from us. If we listen to Him, He will guide us and direct us for our good. He knows all things we stand in need of before we ask – the question we must ask ourselves is this: Will we hear Him when He speaks to us? Will we recognize the promptings, intuitions, and revelations as they come?
If you cannot say with confidence, at this moment in your life, that you know your Creator will take care of you, or that you know you would recognize His voice. then perhaps it is time that you get down on your knees and deepen that relationship by inviting Him more fully into your life. It will not be instant but it will come. He will come into your life and begin your education in trust. He will take care of you. He will teach you. He will guide you. He will direct you and lead you forward, through your fears, into a brighter day.
In a world where so many fail to see the hand of God there are those of us who cannot help but see His hand everywhere. Over the course of my life I have seen how every fear has stemmed from my desire to control things, and my inability to trust Him with the details of my life. These fears that stop us from living our dreams, no matter what they are, stem from one fear: a fear of the unknown. Our Creator is in all, above all, and through all. If we have developed a relationship with Him, and we trust Him, then we know that what we cannot see He can help us see. He can help us face our fears and gain strength in the struggle against them. At every step He will ask us to trust Him and to step forward into the darkness of the unknown. There is a quote by Edward Teller that has been on my mind ever since I heard it, “Faith is knowing that when you step into the darkness of the unknown one of two things will happen; either you will find something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”
Our fears represent the unknown. It is with courage, faith, and trust that we take action and step forward, out of our comfort zones, into the darkness of the unknown. Are you ready to take that step? Are you ready for that journey? Are you willing to trust in your Creator and move forward?
If the answer to that question is no then please consider pausing in your life, inviting Him to join you, and begin the process of deepening your faith and trust in the Lord. As you do so your fears will become smaller and smaller, or at least your courage to face them will be bolstered. It will always be scary to face your fears but if we know why we face them, and know that our God, our Creator, our Higher-power has our back – then what do we have to fear?
Go now and begin to act according to the light and knowledge you have received. Clarify your why – the very reasons you seek to do what you want to do. Discover within yourself that overcoming fear stems from faith in your higher-power and develop that relationship. Set your priorities according to what you find and choose, by your walking, what matters most to you in your life. Those things towards which you consistently move, even imperceptibly, will inevitably come to pass.
Walk, therefore, forward into the light of a brighter day, and on eagles wings sing the song that only you were born to sing.
Overcoming Fear Series:
- What does it mean to live our dreams?– July 24th
- What stops us from living our dreams? – Aug 7th
- Overcoming Fear Itself – Aug 21st