7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Facing Fear

I’ve watched fear keep many people from achieving all God would have them achieve. I’ve watched fear keep a guy from pursuing the girl of his dreams. I’ve watched fear drive people to the safe side, rather than to assume the risk required to pursue their dreams.

Fear is the enemy of progress. Fear is the antagonist of pursuit. Fear is the foe of fulfillment in life.

What can we do about fear? How can we overcome the dreaded fear?

I don’t know that we can completely…or that we even want to completely…but I think we need to learn to manage the fear in our life. Hopefully this post can help.

Next time you are faced with a seemingly uncontrollable fear…

Ask yourself these 7 questions:

Is it a God-given or a man-made fear? – Fear is an emotion and God can use fear to keep you from harm. Is what you would be doing against God’s will for you or others? If it’s wrong to do, no wonder you are afraid. God may be trying to protect you. If you are continually making bad decisions in your life, you’ll likely live in fear. You may not even be able to understand the emotion, but in my experience, it’s one way God draws His children to Himself. Failure to walk by faith, which is a sin by the way, can also bring upon the emotion of fear. If you’re fear is from God…obey God! That’s your answer every time.

Is it a rational or an irrational fear? – Consider whether you are basing your fears on fact or fiction. Are you making up the scenario of what could go wrong or is the fear based on real information you have? Be honest with yourself here. If you’ve been making up the excuses, dismiss them and proceed.

Is it probable or improbable? – The truth is that most of what we fear never comes true. Our mind is capable of all kinds of worst-case scenarios that keep us from moving forward. We shouldn’t allow fear in things that will probably never even happen stop the progress God may want to bring in our life. The fact is you may fail, but remember, failure is a part of building life experience. Unless you know you’re going to fail (which is highly unlikely) I suggest you move forward.

Can anything be done to diminish the risk? – We should attempt to diminish fear through planning and preparation as much as possible. There is nothing wrong and everything right about being prepared. I’m not motivated by fear, but I have an alarm system at my house. (And a shotgun! 🙂 ) If your fear is based on a lack of preparation, get busy developing the systems and strategies to help you succeed.

Is what I’m fearing necessary or unnecessary? – Is this something you must address? If it’s a conflict you’ve been avoiding, for example, the fear will only get stronger the longer you wait. The earlier you face the fear the more likely you’ll get positive results. Sooner or later, the fear must be faced. What better time than now?

Is the fear personal or impersonal? – Are you afraid of your abilities or the reaction of others? Do you wonder if you have what it takes? It’s only natural that a challenge would create an amount of fear…even a captivation with fear. Every act of courage means you ignore an aspect of fear. Don’t let your insecurities keep you from achieving your dreams.

Are you satisfied with the status quo? – I know it’s a hard question, but if fear is keeping you from moving forward, and you’ve answered the other questions, this may be the one. You need to strongly consider the repercussions of giving into your fear. It may mean you stand still. It may mean you go backwards. It may mean you never realize the dreams you have for your life or the calling God has placed upon you. Are you willing to live with that?

Share your story. Have you allowed fear to keep you from realizing all God has for you? What would you add to my list? 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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13 thoughts on “7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Facing Fear

  1. Your post reminded me of 2 Corinthians 12:9. "But He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I have always taken this verse to mean that in any effort, when my skills are insufficient, God bridges the gap. When I am weak with fear, God's power is perfect. When everything I do and everything I have is not "nearly enough", God's grace is "more than enough". In other words, "God and I, we got this".

  2. The problem with the entire list is that, too often, we cannot answer the questions in a realistic fashion, or we would not answer those questions the same as another.

    For example, "is it God-given or man-made" is a trap for some people, who immediately pull out the verse that says that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Never mind that "a spirit of fear" and a built-in defense reaction we call fear may be two different things. They might also quote the verse saying "perfect love casts out fear." Therefore, there can be no God-given fear in their eyes. The problem comes when they feel fear.

    Rational vs. irrational fear is also in the eyes of the beholder, though you do well with your definition. With most men, though, fear kills rationality, as our brains are wired to shut down the logical side when the emotional side fires up. As far as "making things up," that gets into being prepared, at least to some.

    Some of our responses to these and other points can be tainted by our own backgrounds. If your father, for example, did something repeatedly to you that you couldn't stand, you might be afraid of falling into that same trap … more afraid than the average person, perhaps more afraid than you should be. If one family member misplacing items was a big deal to your mother, as another example, you might have an ingrained fear of misplacing stuff.

    Then there's the purely medical conditions of panic disorder and various anxiety disorders, where the body reacts with a "fight or flight" reaction without any obvious trigger. One friend of mine found out that his body would react with anxiety, but it wouldn't shut down that reaction. He'd become anxious over being anxious, because it would be completely out of his control. He was diagnosed properly, and now has only minor problems — probably what most would consider "normal."
    Twitter: joe_sewell