Tag: Overcoming Fear


Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“I was afraid, and…hid your talent.”   

Mt 25:25 NKJV

The master of an estate gave each of his servants a sum of money to invest for him. One man got five talents, the second two talents, and the third man one talent. The servants with two and five talents turned a respectable profit, while the man with one talent told his master, “I was afraid, and…hid your talent in the ground.”

What’s the lesson here? Simply this: Fear makes you unproductive!

A seasoned pastor writes: “Fear will stop you from singing in the choir…witnessing…giving cheerfully…and walking in love with your spouse…The underlying issue is fear that God won’t do what He says. But as believers we should be so full of the Word that fear can’t get a foothold…Jesus said, ‘Take no thought for your life’ (Mt 6:25). Paraphrased: Why would you even think fearful thoughts when I’ve told you I’ll never leave you…I’ll protect you…and give you everything you need to do the job? Bottom line: God is with you even when you can’t feel or see Him, and when others imply He’s abandoned you.”

Fear disguises itself behind many different faces. We want to do things our way, or we say we’re not interested, or it’s not the right time. What we’re coming up against isn’t a closed door—it’s repressed fear. If you’re wondering why you’re not progressing in certain areas, see if hidden fear is holding you back. And if it is, ask God to help you release your fears and start trusting what He says.

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-2-2

Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 1)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Whom shall I fear?”      

Ps 27:1 NAS

Life’s filled with fear-inducing situations: fear of sickness, unemployment, rejection, other people’s opinions. Left unchecked, fear will steal your inner peace.

But as Chuck Swindoll reminds us: “David met fear head-on at his front door with two questions. ‘Whom shall I dread? Whom shall I fear?’ And he slammed the door in fear’s face by declaring, ‘My heart will not fear…I shall be confident’ (v. 3). Then he walked back into his house, reminding himself how to counteract fear’s attacks:

Prayer: ‘I have asked from the Lord’ (v. 4).

Vision: ‘I behold the beauty of the Lord’ (v. 4).

God’s Word: ‘I meditate in His temple’ (v. 4).

God’s protection: ‘In the day of trouble He will conceal me’ (v. 5).

Worship: ‘I will sing’ (v. 6).

Rest: ‘Wait for the Lord’ (vv. 13-14).

Determination: ‘Let your heart take courage’ (v. 14).

Courage isn’t limited to the battlefield…Its real tests are broader… deeper…quieter…like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking…enduring pain when the room is empty…standing alone when you’re misunderstood…It can be as simple as saying ‘No,’ as uneventful as facing a mountain of laundry, as unheralded as the inner struggle between right and wrong. God’s medal-of-honor-winners are made in secret… where most courageous acts occur…away from public acclaim.”

When fear nips at your heels, God says, “Be strong and courageous!” (Jos 1:9 NAS). Dick Mills writes: “Every commandment…comes with the assurance that we can perform it. God doesn’t issue orders we’re not capable of fulfilling…It’s incongruous to say, ‘I’ve lots of courage but no strength,’ or, ‘I’m a powerhouse of energy but I’m afraid.’ Courage and strength were given to you by God. Courage motivates our will, and strength accompanies our effort.”

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-1-2

Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Matthew got up and followed him.”

Mt 9:9 NIV

Collecting taxes for the Romans was a lucrative job. But for a Jew like Matthew it meant betraying your own people. As a result he was despised and excluded from religious worship. But that didn’t stop Jesus from calling him to be a disciple. And when He did, Matthew didn’t hesitate; he “got up and followed him.” Sheila Schuller Coleman points out: “Where everyone else saw a pariah, Jesus saw a promise…where everyone else saw a traitor, Jesus saw a loyal follower. Where everyone saw a loser, Jesus saw a champion of the faith…It matters not who we are…our education…our pedigree…our connections…or our history…Jesus has a plan…and He needs every one of us to fulfill our God-given, divine purpose.” It’s natural to be apprehensive when you’re facing change and uncertainty, but God says, “Take courage!…Don’t be afraid” (Mt 14:27 NIV). One Bible teacher writes: “God knows it involves a challenging stretch…He knows our abilities and resources aren’t what strengthen us for the journey (See Php 4:13). When we fear we can’t do the things God calls us to do…that He won’t protect and provide…we embrace the lie that our circumstances are bigger than God, and our faith gets placed on the altar of our own perceptions. If you’re like me you often fear what’s behind the curtain of God’s call, and—frustratingly—He won’t let me peek…He keeps the curtain of our future drawn so we’ll learn to live by faith and not by sight, so we’ll become certain of what we hope for, and become sure of God even when we can’t see how He’s working in our current circumstances.”

Source:  https://www.jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-2

Feeling trapped? 7 Possible Ways to Cope

A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents. 

So, I improvised and took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under scenic highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

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Feeling Trappedpicture1

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers with an unlimited amount of distance available, I felt a bit trapped.

Unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore, so all I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated. 

7 Possible Ways to Cope

I’ve thought about that day a lot since returning from my trip, feeling like there is some kind of lesson in it (and there probably is because there have been so many from my various paddling excursions). But what? As soon as I started writing this story, several possibilities came to mind:

  1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient.
  2. Make the best of your current situation.
  3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place/situation. Things will soon change for the better.
  4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable.
  5. Pay attention to the warning flags.
  6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity.

Can You Relate?

I’m still not sure which of the above lessons I was supposed to learn that day. But the experience of feeling blocked in or trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career, whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I was not working in my purpose.

Can you relate?

In two instances, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit, and spent my time wisely planning my course of action for when the appropriate time arrived. In one instance, I stopped focusing on the warning flags and took a leap of faith.

I know which approach has worked best for me, but in general I can’t say for sure that either of those approaches is better than the other. And I can’t say that there’s one approach that fits everyone experiencing the same frustrations because everyone’s journey is different. What I can do is coach my clients on the approach that works best for them, their personal situation, and their unique goals and strengths. Which lesson from the list above speaks most to your current situation?

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What Transparency Looks Like

For you who are familiar with Creative Mornings, this month’s theme is “Transparency.” The word “transparency” brings to my mind synonyms like “clarity,” “vulnerability,” and “authenticity.” These words have really been on my radar the pasts few weeks.

Transparency = Vulnerability + Authenticity

 

transparency

Last week, I was giving my presentation entitled AWEthentic Branding to a group of artists at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. The group included artists of varying mediums, from graffiti artists to jewelry makers to singer-songwriters, and everything in between. I was discussing the importance of understanding and embracing your uniqueness as an artist so you can become comfortable articulating it to your own unique market.

At the end of the session, one of the youngest participants spoke up and shared how much the principles she had just learned gave her some relief from all the fear she’s been experiencing. She began crying as she talked about what it does to her self-esteem when she starts to compare herself to her competition and how she now sees she doesn’t have to compare herself when she can pinpoint what makes her unique. She then began apologizing for crying and said she was embarrassed for doing so.

I stopped her and said, “It’s this kind of transparency and vulnerability that helps everyone else here know they are not alone in those same feelings.” By being transparent, she gave others a sense of relief. By being the one brave enough to express what no one else had the courage to share, she set an example. Her example illustrates it’s not only okay to be transparent, but that type of authenticity also impacts others in ways none of us could imagine. I could immediately sense the impact on the rest of the group when she shared this. It would have been such a shame (and a less meaningful program) if she had never spoken up.

Transparency = Clarity + Clearness

 

transparency

Recently, I had my 90-day follow up session with a favorite client of mine. One of the many reasons why she is a favorite client is because she is so creative in using metaphors and analogies to make ordinary concepts come to life.

When I asked her what our previous coaching sessions have done for her, she said, “Going through our coaching sessions is like taking my car through the car wash. The car wash gets all the dirt off the car and windshield, making it so much clearer to see. I’m the one who still has to drive the car, but at least now I can see where I’m going and feel refreshed. I have so much more clarity about my career path and my path in life.”

It’s this kind of clear perspective and clarity that comes from the process of being honest and transparent with yourself. Sometimes though, it’s not always apparent to everyone how to do that. The coaching and advising methods I provide my clients shows them how, leading them to an understanding of their own uniqueness and how to be transparent about their uniqueness.

Learn What Makes You Unique

 

You too can learn this in my next AWEthentic Branding program that will be hosted Oct. 12th by the Virtual Collective’s “You Gotta Eat” speaker series. It is a lunch+learn format, and lunch is included in the registration fee. Click here for more details. I look forward to seeing you there!

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What words come to your mind when you think of the word “transparency”? (Share in the comment box below.)

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