“Faith is the one power against which fear cannot stand. Day by day, as you fill your mind with faith, there will ultimately be no room left for fear. This is the one great fact that no one should forget. Master faith and you will automatically master fear.”
-NORMAN VINCENT PEALE
When fear creeps in, action cripples it. Life cannot be lived to the fullest when fear is prevalent. Fear is common to all; fear is at the root of all negative emotions. Fear imprisons potentials; fear immobilizes actions; fear has a tormenting influence on the mind and body and could lead to early death. Fear is a feeling of dread, terror, weakness that renders one ineffective to face life.
According to Don Colbert, M.D, “fear has been associated with a wide variety of diseases such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers, headaches, and skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema and stress acne. Fear can cause a decreased immune response, which may lead to frequent infections or the development of deadly disease”.
Fear could be popularly defined as F-false, E-evidence, A-appearing, and R-real. How true! Most of our fears are mere shadows rather than reality. However, if we constantly hold onto the fear long enough then it will limit us and manifest as a reality in our lives. Job reveals, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me”.
DEALING WITH FEAR:
- Identify the fear that holds you back from living your dreams and move towards it; do the things you fear or dread and fear will lose its power over you. When the feeling of fear rushes in, rush out and live your dreams and you won’t have time to live your fears.
- To master your fears you must master your internal dialogue. When the feeling of fear sets in you must speak out faith-filled, bold, courageous and positive-filled words. And your words charged with faith will discharge the feelings and thoughts of fear as you move into a space of action.
- Fear exists in our minds and can only be conquered in our minds. And if it is not conquered in the mind, it will create the condition of our lives. Employ the use of your imagination. Mentally picture or visualize the successful outcome of the event that triggered the fear of failure. Visualize yourself experiencing a winning outcome and you will materialize it.
- Past experiences erect fear and erase success by how far we can go in life. Rather than hold onto fears founded on past experiences, we need to learn from it and let go of it so that we can grow through it and go into the future and meet it with adventure and re-invent our lives. When you cash into faith, fear crashes. Fear is a product of distorted imagination that has been allowed to run wild.
Fear focuses attention on what you dread to happen. Faith focuses attention on what you desire to happen. Therefore, get caught up in your desire for what you want to experience and you won’t be cut off from living your dreams through fear. When you stand up to your fears, they will bow down to you. When you stare at your fears in the face they will stay clear of you. When you look at your fears straight in the eye you stab them out of your life.
- Cast off the emotions of fear from its onset; never accept it mentally lest you become cut off by its onslaught. Perfect love cast out all fear and faith is the antidote for fear. Therefore, be mentally grounded in love and faith, and fear will have no root in your mind.
We were born with only two kinds of fears: the fear of falling and the fear of noise. All other fears have been learned. Therefore, you can unlearn them and relearn how to live confidently by faith.
- Rationalize your fears before you emotionalize your fears; scrutinize the fear in the light of reason; if it is out of reason-get rid of them. If it is within reason; confront it with faith-move courageously into a space of action. Many of the fears that trap us down are irrational fears-drop them.
Joseph Murphy counsels, “If you are afraid of failure, give attention to success. If you are afraid of sickness, dwell on your perfect health. If you are afraid of an accident, dwell on the guidance and protection of God. If you are afraid of death, dwell on Eternal life. God is life, and that is your life now.”
Guilt is a feeling of regret over what you did or what you failed to do. Guilt is a foreclosure in our personalities and keeps us in exile strangers to peace and joy. Guilt produces the heavy burden of condemnation that impedes progress in life.
Guilt is not altogether negative. When guilt leads us to conviction we rise above the wrong action and becomes better. However, when guilt produces condemnation we sink in the wrong action and we become miserable and bitter. The feeling of guilt is a constant reminder of our indebtedness to a real or fancied wrong.
To get rid of the guilt feeling there is a need to identify the cause of the guilt. There are some guilt feelings that are not meant to be. There are false guilt and real guilt.
False guilt is taking responsibility for someone else’s wrong choices and actions or events outside our control and feeling condemned by it. Take, for instance, one may feel guilty of the abuse suffered in childhood-that is a fancied wrong and should be dropped off; you were not in the wrong-you were only vulnerable.
Perhaps a tragedy happened to someone close to you and you feel guilty that you could have done something to stop the tragedy from occurring-that guilt feeling should also be dropped off; some circumstances are beyond your control. However, if you actually did something wrong then there is real guilt.
Shame is the embarrassing feeling of the exposure of weakness or inadequacy which tends to lower self-worth. Shame is a feeling of losing one’s sense of dignity in the estimation of others due to labels, unacceptable behavior, wrongdoing, incompetence, and rejection.
It is a state of humiliation or disgrace. Shame is the low or negative estimate of others projected into our minds. Guilt is the negative or corruptible evaluation of ourselves or behavior trapped within us. Shame and guilt produce anger, worry, fear, low self-worth, and depression.
Guilt and shame affect your physiology as people inflicted with them usually cower and tend to hide from glaring eyes. Their walk and bearing lack confidence; guilt and shame breed self-consciousness.
Shame often is rooted in childhood experiences and reinforced in adulthood; ridicule, humiliation, rejection, sexual and physical abuse, labels are a lead way to shame. Shame feels unlovable and unworthy which engages in self-sabotaging behavior that usually cripples relationships.
DEALING WITH GUILT AND SHAME:
- To effectively rid the root of guilt and shame, begin by thanking God for all His blessings and goodness in your life. Appreciate God for His unconditional love toward you.
- Sincerely repent of your wrongdoing and receive God’s forgiveness. Remember, Jesus paid the price for your sins and gave you His righteousness; He took your shame and has crowned you with His glory. Ask Jesus to purge your heart from all guilt and shame. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and reign over your life as your Lord and savior. Forgive yourself. You are now a new Creature; the past is gone forever and from henceforth you live and walk in newness of life.
- Begin to right your wrongs-make amends as much as you can.
- Live according to the Golden Rule by always placing yourself in the other person’s position when confronted with a choice.
- Furthermore, study the Bible and let its principles guide you toward impeccable conduct as you will become aware of what is right and wrong or what is good and evil. By studying the Bible you discover God’s everlasting love for you, that is not dependent on your works but on His saving Grace and as you renew your mind daily your life will be transformed to live confidently, boldly and courageously to fulfill your unique purpose on earth.
- Pay attention to your inner and outer conversation. Sweep out destructive self-criticism. Whatever you do not want to become a reality in your life delete it from your thoughts and words.
- Permit no one to speak to you in a negative way. Negative suggestions if not negated or challenged are recorded in the subconscious mind and with time play out as reality in your life. From henceforth, accept complete responsibility for your life; refuse to blame anyone for anything.
- Refuse to allow people to manipulate you through the use of guilt and do not manipulate people through the use of guilt.
- When you throw “dirt” at others, your hands will be dirty. Therefore, get out of the “dirt” throwing business and live life with clean hands; guilt free. Talk about others as if they were present-be respectful, courteous, and loyal.
- Be God-loves me minded and be righteousness-conscious and you will experience freedom from guilt and shame.
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU
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About the Author
Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog: successrecipeblog.com, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.
She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.
At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars