Fear is a beast. Everyone feels fear at a certain point in their life. Fear destroys you, keeps you from your goals, and tries to keep you down. I felt fear going to Baylor, leaving Baylor, and now running my business. I’m sure you struggle with it too. Fighting it every new step you take, letting it exhaust you to the point of not being able to do anything.
And its all fake.
Yep. The fear isn’t real. The emotion is, but the caricature of the fear you think of is made up.
Only you can take responsibility for inventing the monster that is holding you back.
You are probably arguing with me, telling me I’m wrong. But deep down, you its true. So keep reading, because you can’t slay a dragon without knowing its weaknesses.
Fear is a lack of knowledge. To you, that doesn’t seem right.
I think a story best illustrates this example.
There was a time I was terrified of everything. I was scared my bed was going to eat me (I was pretty little), scared my family was going to die, and I was scared of losing a game in basketball. At different points in my life I was scared of different things.
In high school, I was terrified of bullies. There were kids who loved to degrade me and tell me how awful I was at everything. They felt relentless. School was terrifying. Every morning I woke up wondering what I was going to mess up that day, how many turnovers I would have at basketball practice, how I was going to lose our team the game, and what friends were going to reject me that day.
I would force myself to go to school. I cared what everyone thought of me, and wanted everyone to like me. Walking from the parking lot into school was difficult. Everyone seemed to be watching me, waiting to pounce on my first mistake. Entering the school, I would wonder how I was going to be threatened or yelled at. It was an awful place for me to be in.
I didn’t know what to do about it. Deep down, I wanted someone to know, but no one needed to know. I didn’t want them to know.
The egotistical jerks who made fun out of me were only doing it out of insecurity and a need to build their own ego. All the taunts and spit were a lie they were selling themselves.
And I believed what they were selling me.
At the time, I didn’t see the immense stress and pressure they were under. Some of them didn’t like how different I was, how hard I worked. There was a lot they didn’t like about me. The sad truth is, there was a lot about themselves they didn’t like. And much of it was reflected back on me.
I gave my life to Jesus and he showed me the light. Instead of believing the bullies lies, I chose pray for them. My posture became more confident and bold. Their opinions didn’t matter. There was nothing to be afraid of.
This is when the war within began to be won in my heart. Instead of setting my eyes on what was going to happen to me at school, my eyes began to see the pressure they felt in different areas.
I decided to quit being a victim. I forgave them in my heart and I was no longer scared of them.
They would attack me for the new music I was listening to (they made fun of me for not listening to music about sex, drugs, and disgusting practices), my life changes I made, and whatever else they didn’t like about me.
But like I said before, I quit being the victim. I would stand up for what I believed and smile as they made fun of me. I wouldn’t falter when they laughed, I stood tall. When I went home, I prayed for them instead of losing sleep in fear of tomorrow.
I waged wars on my fears, and I won.
Actually, no. I DOMINATED my fears.
I don’t know if I ever earned their respect, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. They stopped scaring me a long time ago.
This fear was a lie. A lie that was trying to drive me into the ground. And I began attacking it. I still messed up and was still scared, but I attacked my fear with relentless tenacity. My fear was done holding me back.
Jesus gave me the confidence to focus on other’s needs over my own. He taught me to accept the pain other’s experience and to not take their insults personally.
Because they were worth caring for. This truth set me free.
I became free after that. Their insults died down once I ignored or laughed at their ridiculous insults. They didn’t want anything to do with me anymore because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
Now that I am older and it’s a level playing field, I can talk to them very easily. Sometimes, its more awkward for them than me.
Stop living in fear. I didn’t know what would happen if I challenged my bullies. I didn’t know what would happen if I became a Christian. I didn’t know I would feel rejection from some friends when I became a Christian. There was so much I didn’t know, there was nothing to lose by attacking my fears and deal with the consequences.
Trust me, the consequences were AMAZING!
Attack those fears. And never stop. As Jordan Peterson would say, push the limits of life. You have nothing to lose but experiences and joy!
Keep running. You don’t win a race or a marathon by running away from something, you have to run towards the finish line.
Ever heard the saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,”? It is telling you to not let fear hold you back.
Make the phone call, have the conversation, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
The job or business sounds hard and like a ton of work? You can do it. Attack that fear! The job is difficult because either you truly believe it is difficult or you believe everyone who tells you it is difficult.
That job or business you want to run is being run by someone who doesn’t think it is too much work. In fact, they think it is worth their time! They find it fulfilling!
Stop listening to the voice telling you not to and listen to me instead.
I believe in you.
Everyone here at TripleC believes in you to achieve your dreams.
I’m doing what I love, even though people were scared for me, even though I wasn’t scared. They told me scary ideas and circumstances, but I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Ask yourself, what do you have to lose? If you lost it, could you get it back? How long would it take to get back?
If it would be easy to get back what you lose, then why not risk it all?
Do you see what fear does to you? Do you see what you are missing out on? Do you see what you are doing to yourself?
Now stop it.
It was terrifying starting my window cleaning business. My second job took my over thirty feet in the air in a lift I had never used before. I didn’t think the job was too big, but the sheer height of City Hall almost was.
I would just be shaking in the boom lift, almost unable to move. When a slight breeze blew, the bucket I was in would just rock back and forth. Trust me, when you are thirty feet in the air, away from the base of the lift, and the shaft of the lift if almost fully extended, it is not a secure feeling.
But once the job was finished, the reward was amazing. The check was great, but the satisfaction of pushing myself through my initial fears were incredible.
Now that I conquered City Hall, what can’t I clean? Why would I be scared of cleaning a building when every building is made and designed so their windows can be cleaned?
Now I can say I cleaned a mid-rise building.
And it made me realized I needed a water-fed pole to clean those buildings… Boom lifts aren’t my thing… 😉
Remember when I was scared of how I was going to lose my team the game? Well, I did lose us a shot at the state tournament by missing a wide open layup in districts with under 30 seconds left. I was a junior. But this made me as hungry as ever.
We had one last chance to win state, and I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to do enough to win.
So I attacked that fear and took a drastic step to ensure I was going to win state..
My alarm clock going of at 4:15 am 4 times a week wasn’t too bad of a trade-off to have an opportunity to win state. I wasn’t going to miss another layup like that again.
The next year, my senior year, with my friends who never left me when I was bullied as a freshman, we were celebrating going 26-0 and winning the state championship in Wachs Arena. The seniors finished our season the way we dreamed of.