Learning to live without fear

31 Jan

Since I went to Zumba class last Thursday I’ve been thinking a lot about fear. Weird connection? Maybe, but hear me out…

A few months ago I started reading the book ‘The Me I Want to Be’ by John Ortberg with my mentor Diane. We talked about what and who we fear. I began to realise that I actually care a lot about what people think of me. I’d replay conversations in my head and beat myself up that I should have said something differently, and that I must have looked really stupid for saying it in the first place. I worried about how I appeared to other people.

We prayed and God prompted me to start reading about the subject. I learned two important things:

1. Fear of God is important.
The bible talks a lot about fearing the Lord (1 Sam 12:24, Psalm 25: 14 for a start). Sometimes in church it’s easy to get carried away with the soft, gentle loving side of God, and forget that he is the all-powerful maker of the universe who abhors sin. It’s even more wonderful then, that he still loves us enough to send Jesus so we can have a personal relationship with him BUT that doesn’t mean that we can stop taking his guidance for our life seriously. Following God wholeheartedly should be my first priority. I will worship him because he loves me even though I don’t deserve it one bit.

2. Fear of man is not important.
Proverbs 29:25 says that fear of man will be a snare to us. How often is that true? How often do we spend precious time and energy worrying about the future or what people think of us? How often do I not press the ‘publish’ button on my blog because I don’t know how people will react or because I worry I will get no comments.
There are dozens of promises in the bible concerning fear and how God will protect those who love him. I began to realise that if I am living in a way that glorifies God then does it really matter what people think of me?

SO… back to Zumba.

It wasn’t until after I got back from my class and started having conversations with friends about it that I realised I was actually pretty chuffed with myself for going. It was the two things that nearly every person talked about that jogged my mind a) that I was brave for going by myself and b) what did you have to wear?

A few months ago I would have fretted about looking right, or being embarrassed about doing the wrong moves but after these conversations I realised I hadn’t really thought about it that much. I didn’t really want to go on my own, but I still really wanted to do Zumba…so I went!
And a room filled with 50 women…I didn’t even care how I looked and whether I have my arms up in the wrong places.

That’s gotta be an improvement on a few months ago, right!?

Quick Questions:
1. Do you worry about what people think of you?
2. How do you deal with fear?

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12 Responses to “Learning to live without fear”

  1. Chloe January 31, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Yes, I worry about what other people think of me. That’s why I don’t comment too much/at all on cool people’s blogs. I think I’m not as cool as them and maybe they will laugh at me…
    How do I deal with fear? Crying? I dunno… I try to convince myself I can do whatever I want/have to do… And it doesn’t matter if I make mistakes. I’m human.

    • Chloe January 31, 2011 at 8:29 am #

      By “cool” people, I mean really successful bloggers… such as Marriage Confessions. With lots of followers and commenters.
      haha 🙂

      • Rachel January 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

        Hahahaha…thanks. It’s good to know that I’m not cool!

      • Maureen January 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

        yeah, thanks a lot! 🙂

      • Amanda January 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

        I used to feel the same way about commenting on peoples’ blogs. Now, you can see I’ll even comment to someone I don’t even know! It takes courage, but eventually, with ‘testing out the waters’ I find the people appreciate comments, even from little ol’ me! 🙂

      • Rachel January 31, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

        Yayy! I love comments Amanda!

  2. Maureen January 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    I am definitely afraid of what people think of me, to the point where it’s kind of bad and affecting my life. I know it’s stupid, but I can’t help it. It’s been a lifelong struggle.

  3. yantyantethera January 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    I worry what people think all the time but mostly I worry what I think. There is the person I want to be and then there is the person that I actually am. Sometimes I think I need to be more accepting of who am I. I need to stop beating myself up and accept myself for who I am. Easier said than done though!

    I deal with fear by facing it head on. Usually this is because I have no choice. If I have the choice I can end up hiding away until it is all over.

    Don’t you think it’s sad that people said they thought you were brave. It should just be normal. People are so afraid to do anything on their own. And then when people do things on their own people are shocked as if they did something crazy. Anyway, I think it’s great that you felt comfortable enough to go and do something without the need for back-up. (I hope this last paragraph came across in the way I intended)

    • Rachel January 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      Yep it is sad, but I think it’s more sad that people actually sometimes have a reason to be nervous. I have come across so many people recently that seem to get a kick out of being nasty. It seems to make them feel better about themselves to put other people down, and a work out class is probably one of those places.
      Maybe I’m being paranoid – but yes, I agree, we need to get over our fear of each other!

  4. Thomas Ashmead January 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    1. Everyone does to some extent. I have come to accept that I probably come across as slightly crazy to begin with.
    2. I usually phone my twin brother and then he’ll tell me to man up. That usually does the trick.

    I’m liking the Quick Questions.

    • Rachel February 1, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      That’s because I stole the idea from you!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Hearing from God about anxiety « Dreaming of the Country - March 12, 2011

    […] may remember that I wrote a post about fear back in January. Although it’s something that I’m dealing with I feel like anxiety might be a […]

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