Why and How You Should Interrogate Your Fears
I am incredibly passionate about encouraging people who feel afraid, to rise above it, to run past it, to pursue the things they know they want and need to do. Why? Because fear is often a wall blocking us from investing in the things that matter most.
Considering my built and list of involvements and achievements, most people ignore me when I even suggest that I may be too shy or too scared to do some thing. If only they knew. For everything I do, there are so many more things I do not do. Sadly, all owing to fear. Let me just give one example.
Why They Chose Messi Over Me
I could have been in the Champions League. It’s just that, I was too much of a coward to join the football team during high school.
There were twoproblems. My growth spurt got lost overseas somewhere and only decided to meet me in Jamaica when I was about ready to graduate high school. The real issue though, is that I have always had an imagination as vivid as an IMAX movie (with SOUNDTRACK!!) and I was certain, certain, absolutely certain that if I played, I would break my legs. The scenes replayed in my mind regularly. He ran out, got the ball, but blind to the sliding tackle from behind – klapow! Leg-less. The idea only intensified when a simple tackle left one of my classmates without a working ankle during a normal P.E. period. Not I boss.
I did start to play after a while. Who could resist? What is amazing is, I have played for at least three serious teams and I have never broken my legs. I did however, break my nose. Randomly, in an intense training session, with little light assistance from the long faded sun, I made a quick turn at the ball. So too did the guy on the next team. At virtually full speed we slammed head first (that is, my head and his gigantic forehead) into each other.
Guess what? I never broke my leg. All the slide tackles, all the bad plays, all the games for competition and for fun have passed and I have never broken them. What’s more, the fact that I didn’t collapse, didn’t scream or cry, but actually lived with the drooping, obviously broken nose for 3 weeks before visiting a doctor tells me: many times, the anticipation of pain is much worse than the reality. Even more! Nothing in football scares me anymore. (A bit late in the day, but still a welcomed peace).
No More IMAX Blockbusters
The whole experience taught me something that I try to remember in my daily life, now, whenever my crazy IMAX imagination tries to release other disturbing films (about how some new experience will “break my legs”). I recognize now, that I need to interrogate my fears.(How? Ask them penetrating questions!)
- How many people break their legs in football? (Lots actually, everyday too.)
- How significant are the chances that you will break your leg in football? (Just as high as the other guys who will break theirs today.)
Ok, so fears may have a good basis for existence. Here though is the crucial questions for me:
- Have you ever known anybody who broke their legs? (Just two guys in 25 years! That is hardly a risk)
- Is avoiding the risk of breaking your legs, better than giving up something you love, that enriches your life? Absolutely not.
- Does anybody, at the end of their life reminisce on how well they protected their legs? Absolutely not.
I am still afraid! I have a million hang-ups, I cannot write about. I just try really hard to ignore the little (I wish) voices in my head, trust in the strength that Christ provides, and live. You should too.
How do you handle your fears? Do you run and hide? Do you face them? How?