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I still hear her. My mom’s exasperation amplified in her words, “What are you afraid of?”
I’ve never been a daring person, never been brave, never the one to close my eyes and jump. I’m not the girl on the roller coaster. I’m more of a merry-go-round type of gal. I think I was born with the words, “But what if…” tattooed on my brain. It took nearly a lifetime to realize that life is all about ‘what if’. The only guarantee we have is this moment; the rest is all unknown.

I’ve heard the unsubstantiated claim that ‘fear not’ appears 365 times in the Bible, one for every day. I guess you could say that’s as estimate, but I’ve also heard that if you read the same words in the Bible more than once – it means you better pay attention. Things like: don’t worry, don’t fear, have joy, trust
This life is a recipe for fear. The ingredients are illness, accident, broken relationships, unknowns, danger. Any of these factors, mixed with emotion creates fear. What are you afraid of?

There are a few things I have learned about being afraid:

Fear is real. I don’t mean that what you fear is going to happen. I mean the fear itself is real. I might be petrified at the thought of talking to people I don’t know. You might be excited and energized at the opportunity to meet new people. Petrified and excited are two opposite ends of the spectrum. Naturally, you are going to think it’s nonsense for me to be afraid when faced with ‘working the crowd’. My fears are different from your fears. What are you afraid of?

Fear holds you hostage. If you let them, your thoughts will be on continuous replay, like a needle stuck in a groove, playing over and over and over, stuck, unable to move forward. Stop thinking. Change your thoughts. I know. It sounds easy, but is in fact, quite difficult. But you can change your thoughts that breed worry.

Fear can be overcome. It takes work, a lot of inner work, to resolve fear, but you can rise above it. Our minds are like soil and worry is fertilizer for fear. Worry unleashed is like germinating seeds of fear that grow. What are you afraid of?

Fear can be present without possessing you. When fear threatens to hold you hostage, take a moment.
What I’ve found in my life is that I can fall into a destructive cycle where my thoughts honor fear, fear honors worry, which precipitates more fear and more worry. This can happen to you too. But you can change the trajectory of your thoughts and stop them before they possess you.

• Identify the source
• Analyze the thoughts
• Decide to channel your thoughts through positive filters
• Keep pushing out worry and pulling in positive thoughts
• Fill your mind with so many positive thoughts, there is no room for worry

Change your thoughts, change your perspective. Practice, practice, practice. Your life will change.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. — Put these into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:8-9

I’m participating in 31 days of 5 minute free writes for the month of October. You can learn more about this at Five Minute Friday.