For a minute, hit the pause button on the post-Christmas crazy. Are you paused? Now deeply ponder this question: “What would your life look like right now if fear had not driven any of your decisions?” I’m talking to YOU! If fear never swayed your judgment, how different would your life be at this moment?
If we were brave enough to write our answers, I’m convinced that the list would absolutely take our breath. Far too many of our decisions dribble with the fear that we are not enough for the challenge, that we don’t have what it takes. The risk of failure bleeds brazenly into our choices.
Consider this. Culture grinds two messages into our psyche all day, every day:
“You are not happy.”
“You are not enough.”
Don’t believe me?
Advertising oozes with implied promises that fulfillment is impossible without “this one” essential item. You can never be enough until you partake of “this” life-altering experience.
As if we are not already nagged by feelings of inadequacy, social media heaps inferiority onto us with every post. My family falls short. My job and finances feel less-than. The only thing overflowing with abundance seems to be the numbers on the scale every time I get brave (or crazy!) enough to look.
So, what trips the trigger? What causes these feelings of inadequacy to finally engulf us?
Did you know that our brilliantly intricate brains catalogue everything we have ever spoken or done, everything seen, heard, or experienced? When we encounter a situation, our minds, in a millisecond, access every experience that “feels” similar. Feelings from yesteryear arrive on our doorstep at lightspeed and begin dictating how we will handle this present predicament.
Thus, we respond negatively toward folks when we don’t even understand why, or feel intense insecurity without explanation. Our minds just gathered a myriad of similar situations and defaulted us to our previous negative responses.
We all recall seasons when something or someone made us feel that we were not smart enough or pretty enough. Each of us knows what it’s like to feel that we can’t measure up. But if we are not careful, our unresolved past becomes a wrecking ball, ramming right through our present, into our future.
This is it, friend. Our lives are not the sum of the wrongs done to us or said to us. Our lives are the product of our decisions. Every time we act out of fear and insecurity, we allow our past to set our agenda. When this fear drives our decisions, it derails our destiny.
Hasn’t the past called the shots long enough? Haven’t fears of inadequacy derailed too many dreams already?
Here we stand at the edge of 2017, ready to step into a brand new year of opportunity. To make the leap, we can’t take everything with us. The weight will surely cause us to lose our footing.
Why don’t you consider leaving the wounds from yesterday in yesterday? You have carried them too long. They have written your story too many times. Certainly, those familiar fears will land on your doorstep again, with force; but you don’t have to invite the intruder in for coffee. You don’t have to let fear consume the conversation.
I’m not asking you to erase the negative files from your database. I am asking you to step into this New Year more loyal to your future than to your past.
If this is just another article, then carry on. But if you intend to do something about the fear that dictates your days, then imagine with me: “What will your life look like ten years from now if fear no longer has the power to drive your decisions?” I promise you, it will look radically different than it does right now. It’s time. Let’s do this thing!