I would like to say I have it figured out, this fearless lifestyle stuff. You know, walking in confidence in who I am, never giving in to worry, but I don’t. I’ll be winning in one area of my life, just to look over and see the telltale signs of fear AGAIN. It is so frustrating at times, knowing the right moves to make, things to say, yet what comes out of me does not always reflect my desired outcome. Am I alone in this? I don’t believe so. I see it in the eyes of my mom friends, in the voice of my spouse, in the whine of my kids: symptoms of fear. Fear is common for all, yet there is hope; hope that we can rise above any storm with true peace, any challenge with a calm and focused plan, that we can walk through the fire and not smell of smoke. It’s not just possible, it’s attainable every movement of every day... and I want it! If you do too, then go with me on this road.
Overcoming fear is a journey worth walking out.
We have talked a lot about what fear looks like, how sneaky it is, how it devilishly tries to steal from us, and at times, succeeds. We have discussed some key tools to overcoming fear/worry/anxiety (whatever name you give it), which are all fantastic...when they’re actually implemented. That’s the kicker and what I want to focus on today. Action. The corresponding action to what we know will help us in our pursuit of a fearless lifestyle. We overcome fear with simple steps... it’s in daily walking those steps out where the difference is made. Consistency is the key to overcoming fear and fearful thoughts. How do we build momentum in our journey to overcome fear? One step, one moment at a time!
Let’s take just 3 steps towards living fearlessly daily.
1. Start your day off with the right words. You always believe what you say more than anyone else. The words you say carry the most weight. As you make decisions and walk through your day, the words coming out of your mouth have such enormous power! Thoughts become words, and words become the driving force of our actions. Want to change the way you react to fear? Do whatever it takes to get the right words; life affirming, peace filled, powerful words coming out of your mouth first thing in the morning! A few tricks I use to get my mind on track: writing notes on the bathroom mirror, setting my alarm to a song that reminds me to speak over fear, setting my phone screen to a picture or quote that sparks my heart towards peace. When I start my day off like this, with a mindset that I can overcome fear and worry right off the bat, no matter what happens that day I have a much better chance of stopping fear in its tracks. Here is my go-to verse right now:
“Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap my words (in speaking) they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being. So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are.” Proverbs 4:21-23 TPT
2. Don’t take it! You have the power to beat fear. Just because a fearful thought comes into your mind does not mean you have to leave it there. There have been times for me when fear comes for no apparent reason. Like one time driving home, I had the thought, “what if I get home and my kids and nanny have been slaughtered, how am I going to handle that?” What in the world?!? Where did that thought come from?! Not from me! Out of nowhere this harassing thought comes and I have to choose what to do with it. This is my go-to: “For God has not given me a Spirit of fear, but of Power...” When an irrational fear thought hits me, I say this out loud (even if I look foolish) and immediately fear has to leave. Power lies in what you say in that moment to stop those terrible thoughts.
There are other times when the fear is much more rational, like the evening one of my twins fell backwards off the bed and hit his head hard on the floor. He had symptoms immediately that were not reassuring. This nurse mamma had a moment... Real life reasonable situation for fear. The truth is even in those moments when fear is a logical response, YOU STILL DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT! There is no amount of worry and fear that will help in those situations. I choose to believe and listen carefully to God about what I should do. I refused to take the fear, and so can you. To get to a confident place in those moments takes disciplining your thoughts and words, but don’t be overwhelmed by that. Examine one thought at a time and take one powerful step.
3. Stop. Collaborate (with wisdom) and listen. No this is not just a 90s throwback, but a funny line from my childhood that reminds me of a powerful tool to overcome fear; Wisdom. Sometimes the best thing to do is to shelf that fear and get some wisdom on the situation. For me what that looks like is in those times of so-called reasonable fear, I put it aside until I can get some understanding. My go-to verse in full: “For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of Power and Love and a Sound Mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV. A sound mind is a mind that collaborates with wisdom.
Back to my child’s backwards head dive off the bed... I was immediately so afraid, but I set that fear aside and reached for my resources. My first was prayer, the second was a call to our pediatrician. I held my son, had my husband remove distractions (the other clamoring children), and called the afterhours nurse. I know adult medicine, not kiddos. I had to get an expert to help me. I put that nurse on speaker phone and kept her there until I was satisfied. Thankfully he was ok, no need for a late-night trip to the ER or worse, we watched him closely all night. It is okay to reach out for wisdom when you don’t know what to do. This brings peace. Find trusted sources, listen with objective ears, and do not jump to conclusions.
I would caution trusting everyone's “experiences” as tried and true wisdom. If they are operating in fear, then you will be misled. So that awesome song comes to mind when I don’t have the information needed to make a fearless decision... ICE ICE BABY... the “baby” being wisdom! Momma, listen to me! You have been given a sound mind, and when fear thoughts or scary situations arise, remember to stop and collaborate with your sound mind and Godly wisdom!
The journey towards a fearless lifestyle may seem so far away right now. I get it. Thoughts bombard daily life for all of us. Each step, each choice, each worry defeated is one step closer. The hope we hold onto is that although we walk in a world full of fear (rational or otherwise) we have the power, love and sound mind to rise above it. Let me leave you with these famous words from Psalms 23:
“Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of the deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear.” Psalms 23: 4 TPT
Tonya Flowers is mom to three boys, Lucas 9 and 4 year old twins Wyatt and Timothy. She is a nurse and serves FWMOM as our Chaplain.