stage 04

Realise that feelings are not facts

One of the issues that we face when dealing with limitations is recognising the difference between feelings and facts.

a. What do we mean by fear?

There is an acronym that some people use to explain fear.

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

Often we think that we have worries or doubt but that this is not really fear. One of the things about the English language is that it has words that reflect different aspects or levels of the same emotion. Fear is a strong word. Other words listed under fear in a thesaurus included terror, dread, horror, fright, panic, alarm, trepidation, apprehension, worry, concern, anxiety, terror, nightmare and phobia. Following these words up in the thesaurus led to the following list dismay, revulsion, disgust, foreboding, scare, being flustered, lose nerve, unease, distress, agitation, consternation, misgivings, having the creeps, nervous, being troubled, being concerned, being bothered, have a thing about and disquiet. As if that is not a long enough list there are a number of additional words that are listed under doubt i.e. uncertainty, reservation, qualm, suspicion and scepticism. Follow these up and we find some of the consequences of doubt including indecision, vagueness, ambiguity, insecurity, reluctance, cynicism and wariness.

What a range of ways of expressing negativity. All of these words have survived in the English language because they are used in different ways and in different contexts. It shows just how much influence fear can have on us almost without us realising it.

b. Dealing with fear

Sometimes we need to make up our mind to do something even if we are afraid. This means that when faced with something that they do not want to do they simply decided to do it anyway. This probably meant not running away from the fear but making themselves do whatever it is despite being afraid. They have decided that they no long want to be victim of that fear but rather to have victory over it.

For a person of faith this means using the advantages that their faith gives them to enable them to conquer that fear. Fear is about running away from something rather than confronting it. Fear is something that produces feelings and even changes in our bodies. It changes the way we think the way our heart beats makes us shake and sweat and is generally something that we do not want to experience. God asks people not to respond to fear but He does not say that it is wrong to be afraid. Courage has been described as the resistance or mastery of fear rather than the absence of fear.

Running away from fear is an attempt to avoid pain and discomfort. We can have a problem with something that cannot be repeated but because we are frightened of it and cannot work our way through it keeps on gnawing at us and we suffer the fear for a long time. We cannot escape the situation until we work our way through it. While we are in that state of avoidance, the problem itself can get worse. That is why there it is often a good idea to work our way through the fear. Going through the fear in those circumstances will bring an end to the circumstances that brought on the fear. Going through fear can be part of going through a trial or test.

Fear is something that everyone faces. However, some people have a fear of fear. They are so afraid of being frightened that this stops them in their tracks. If we confront fear and use it to our advantage then we can achieve our goals. We can confront the fear of not knowing enough by learning. We can confront the fear of not having money to pay the bills by doing things that will help us earn money. If we do not confront fear then that fear will shape our life because of the barriers and boundaries that it creates.

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