The more I dig into my own psyche and deepen relationships with the women in my accountability groups, the more apparent it is that fear is at the root of pretty much every debilitating thought. Authors such as Mel Robbins and Brene Brown, PhD have helped me slowly unravel my tangled web of limiting thoughts . I am learning to take every (or most) thought captive.
As a child, I was afraid of the dark and King Kong (among many other things). My imagination was so vivid, I could literally feel the rumble of the giant ape pounding up my driveway. As I got older, I became afraid to walk into a room full of people, to call 411 information (now I’m seriously dating myself), and DEFINITELY would never raise my hand in class. Much of my life, I strived to remain unnoticed, in the background, seen and not heard. I don’t know the circumstances or the exact moment that this anxiety entered the fiber of my being, but it’s been there for as long as I can remember. Fear is my constant companion.
I was so afraid of miscarriage during the pregnancy of my first son. I had miscarried previously, so it wasn’t completely unfounded. The fear of loss largely overshadowed the joy of pregnancy. Some of my fears were realized when I went into preterm labor at 20 weeks with my second son. I spent 10 weeks on bed rest until he was born via emergency c-section at 31 weeks. Praise God for modern medicine and his mercy on us! I love being a mom to my amazing boys, who are now grown adults. Was parenting the experience I imagined? Did my boys grow up to be exactly as I envisioned? No. Did my worry and concern change their life trajectory? Nope. In fact, I probably trained them to be worriers.
Parenting brings with it all sorts of worry and concern. For most, it all boil down to fear of loss. Brene Brown, PhD so beautifully addresses this in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection (highly recommend). Apparently, this is not an uncommon trend in parents: We gaze lovingly upon our peacefully sleeping babe, thanking God for the blessing of that little life. And then suddenly, our thoughts go to imaginary scenarios of tragedy, failure and loss. If we are not careful, it can drive us into a full-blown panic attack. In a split second, we go from bliss to freaking out about our parenting abilities, the choices our children will make years from now, and on and on. Anyone relate?
Made for More
I don’t want to look back on my life in 5 years and think, “I could have been magnificent, but I was afraid.” In five years, I want to tell the story of how fear tried to rob me of my dreams and I didn’t let it. God’s word tell us that He has great plans for us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
When I started on my health and fitness journey just over a year ago, I was afraid of failure and judgement. I was afraid of giving up my cherished sins of gluttony: ice cream, peppermint mochas, and pizza. I was afraid of the pain of awakened muscles and sweat. I was absolutely afraid to put myself out there for anyone else to see. But the Lord promises good plans for me (and you!) and so I pushed through. I put my perfectly imperfect self out there for others to see and hopefully be inspired to push past their own fears. As health and mindset coach, I am passionate about setting people free from the tyranny of fear and limiting beliefs.
Take Captive Every Thought
Fear is a liar, whether one is afraid of the dark, losing a loved one, or making a lifestyle change. The truth is, worry and anxiety do not change a situation or protect us from the reality of life. Fear is not our friend. It keeps us from stepping out in faith and making a change. Fear robs us of joy in any given moment. Yes, it can be EXTREMELY uncomfortable to push past fear. However, on the other side we have the joy of knowing there is so much more in store for us! We can reach for our dreams when we don’t let fear control our thoughts.
The process of taking captive my thoughts and hanging on to Truth has led me to highs and lows I never could have imagined. It’s been quite an adventure! But at least I know that in five years, I will be able to look back and say that I looked fear in the face and did not let it rob me of my dreams. How about you? I would love to walk alongside you in your journey. Contact me for more info.