(Photo by Zelda Dominguez)
Don’t Let Fear Get In The Way
By Zelda Dominguez
When we are younger we often hear the question, What do you want to be when you grow up? I used to think of being grown up in terms of a profession. I wanted to be a teacher. When I got older and was asked that question, the answer involved what I wanted to complete, or possess. I wanted to have my degree or marriage by a certain age. But I never thought of the kind of person I wanted to be as an adult. To be independent, responsible, organized, tidy, or on time? I can’t say I thought about that. I can say this, I was controlled by fear. Whether it meant decisions, thoughts, or new experiences, my first reaction was fear.
The fairly new term adulting, to me, is a no brainer. It’s the act of being a mature adult, or a grown up. But not all grown-ups behave like an adult. The definition of adulting is the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.
I would like to add, adulting doesn’t mean until you reach 21 either. Maybe you are a young adult? Or in high school already adulting, being honest, completing your responsibilities, working, managing your time, preparing for college, or budgeting your finances? You don’t have to wait till you are older to start practicing good adulting skills.
I know many young adults, and I still see some that aren’t adulting. Many don’t know how to cook or grocery shop/meal plan. Some have never gone on a job interview, have established credit, or know how to do chores.Why?
For me, fear crept in my life early as a child, due to circumstance beyond my control. By the time I was in high school I was fully acquainted with it. I learned to avoid things and get out of them. I missed out on opportunities and experiences because of it. I would miss many job opportunities because I feared the interview and failure. When it came time to go away to college, I feared leaving home, so I went locally. As an adult it just carried over, enabling me to do things I should have.
Here are a few points to help not hinder you to be the person God wants you to be and do the things He’s called you to do. And just even the regular adult everyday tasks.
Stop making excuses: There is a reason God says, Fear not/Do not be afraid in the Bible 365 times! One for every day! Communicate your feelings and be honest with yourself, a trusted person, and God. Don’t let it stop you from opportunity and moving forward. When I was afraid of tackling a new situation or task, I’d procrastinate. I hated conflict.
Get alone with God: What does this have to do with being an adult? Everything! But David strengthened himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6). He can handle all our questions. Pour out your heart to him. As well as faithfully read his Word.
Don’t quit or be lazy: It seems so much easier to not do the things you fear. You feel like staying in bed or home and not dealing with it. I’ve missed school and work in the past, and that’s not adulting. Be responsible and don’t let your feelings lead you. Walk by faith and not by sight (or feelings). Also don’t get in the habit of asking, or allowing someone else to do it for you. You will only hinder yourself.
Declare what you know, not what you feel: Don’t get caught by your emotions. We need to put our hope in the Lord. Don’t nurse and rehearse it over in your head. Instead hold onto God’s Word. Repeat, or memorize his promises. Who are you going to listen to?
Invite God into the equation: Our resources are limited. How big is your fear in comparison to God? Invite him to walk this with you. Don’t believe the lie. Do the next right thing. We get paralyzed on what is too scary and can’t do. Break the feeling of being stuck and learn to rely on the Lord.
Take courage: Refuse to give into hopelessness and say you have no control. Say, “As I face my fear in the strength of the Lord, fear will not control me, and as I focus on His perfect love and truth, I will feel His perfect peace in the midst of every fearful situation.” Trust God. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).