Fear. It can be paralyzing. In fact, it has stopped many of us from ever even attempting to do something. Yet, if that is how we’re living life – are we really even living at all? That revelation is why we need to be choosing faith over fear.
Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote a book called Fear – Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm. The premise of this book is to take yourself down to the ash so that you can live fully. The goal is not to eradicate fear but to intentionally feel it. Feel the most intense fear, feel the fear of losing your children or your life or your loved ones. Feel all the fear that you’ve been burying, and take it all the way down to the ground. Then actually your life becomes so much richer. The truth is you always die feeling like you wish you would’ve done something differently, you will have some level of disappointment. You will have some level of regret. Yet, imagine the regret we will have if we’ve never done anything due to fear.
Choosing Faith Over Fear
We need to be intentional about choosing faith over fear. We paralyze and stagnate our lives when we let fear run our lives. The truth is we won’t get anywhere if we don’t do things due to the fear that something bad might happen.
Life is made up of calculated risks. We take them on daily without even realizing it. Our brains are calculating what they need to do, what factors are involved when we want to cross a street, go down a set of stairs, or even take a shower. Life is full of dangers that we don’t even realize. Yet the things we build up in our heads as being the scariest and most fearsome are often those which will benefit us the most.
It’s A Head Game
As most things in our lives are, overcoming fear is a head game. I feared stopping drinking because I thought I needed it to live. I’d created all of these perceived benefits from it and the risk of losing those benefits when I stopped drinking kept me stuck in a place I wasn’t happy with. I no longer wanted to drink but I was so damn scared to stop.
Fear was ruling my head and taking over my life.
Fear and Anxiety
Fear often breeds anxiety. We create scenarios in our minds that although they have never come to fruition create angst in us. In my case that meant turning to alcohol to now soothe the anxiety that fear had created. It was a cruel cycle as I would contemplate stopping drinking, fear would rush in and on its heels would come anxiety. How could I rip off the duct tape that alcohol had become? I was so scared I would fall apart without it.
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Faith Wins Over Fear
Choosing faith over fear is also a head game. Faith doesn’t mean going blindly. In my case, when it came to drinking it meant reading all the research I could find about alcohol and how it affects us. It meant first disproving all the things I thought alcohol did for me with science and then came choosing faith by believing that I could take the risk of living by life alcohol free. Once I knew alcohol wasn’t my duct tape, I just had to have faith that I was capable of living life without it.
Choosing faith over fear isn’t just a thing when it comes to stopping drinking. It is a skill you will utilize long after alcohol is no longer an influencing factor in your life. Fears about COVID have paralyzed so many of us. Once again, science, research, and education can empower you to make the choices that best fit your life and your comfort level. From there you must have faith in what you’ve learned to allow you to take the next step.
I’d love to hear how you’re choosing faith over fear in your life! Let me know in the comments!