In the past, I’ve cared a lot about what people thought of me, carrying opinions like a weight on my head and heart. The pressure of wanting to always be perfect led me to tentative attempts in trying to achieve goals. If I didn’t try hard, I wouldn’t fail. And for some reason, the risk averseness became worse with age. With every year came more responsibilities and the risk of pursuing passion and purpose seemed less tangible. Slowly fear had sneaked in leaving me unable to do things I once loved.
Over time, picking up the guitar to sing got me frustrated – in my mind I was just not good enough. Putting pen to paper or sitting in front of a blank Word document on my laptop would feel like a mammoth task. Finding the words to write felt like struggling to grasp sand while it seeped through my fingers. Fear had left me in an uninspired desert yearning for a drop of creativity.
The Oxford dictionary defines fear as:
An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety of someone.
I’d allowed negative thoughts to take over and given them unworthy space in the crevices of my mind. Fear was causing creative paralysis – it’s crazy to me how powerful the mind can be. And that’s the thing, a lot of the time it is just in the mind. Fear is what we have consciously or unconsciously decided to believe. So, I had to transform my mindset and change what I chose to believe.
So, I started to read and listen. The Bible encourages us to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” and to do this it matters what you take in. Reading the bible and motivational books strengthened my faith. Key Bible verses for me were:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7
The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? – Psalm 118:6
Reading Joyce Meyer’s book, “Living Courageously: You Can Face Anything, Just Do It Afraid” helped me understand my emotions. I’ve learnt to let nervousness drive me rather than inhibit me. Reading was a powerful way to change my thought pattern. As a result, my confidence has risen. By letting go of what if’s I began to just do. On the other side of fear, I’ve realised there are countless untapped possibilities, and yes, there’s failure too but failing is part of the process…nothing to be scared of.
C.S Lewis said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” It’s a passage we have to go through to get to success.
Do you have something in mind that you’ve always wanted to do?
By Tosin Hunter