Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fear of Failing Publicly

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Have you ever fallen with no one around to watch? How did you respond?  I've fallen several times when no one's watching and I respond the same way every time. I laugh hysterically at how stupid I look for falling in such a compromising position. But then I get up and keep it moving; no bruise to the ego, just a bruise on the bum.

Here's another question for you: have you ever fallen in public, for all to see? What was your reaction to that public display? I once experienced a horrifying fall after a class in college. I started sliding from the top of the stairs and I did not stop until I reached the bottom of the stairs. Let's just say it was no laughing matter. It was probably one of the most embarrassing public moments of my life.

It is estimated that 74% of the population fears failure; that is most of society. I believe our problem is not fear of failure but fear of failing publicly. We have no problems failing in private; we can even laugh at ourselves when we fail privately but failing in front of others to see is another story.

Those of us more susceptible to this fear are the ones who suffered some kind of shameful experience as a child, those of us unsure of our abilities and lacking in confidence.

Of course I suffered from all of the above and society preyed on my internal weaknesses. I allowed the voice of society to dictate every move I made. I would usually find myself inactive, in fetal position and scared to death of failing publicly.

If you're currently suffering from the fear of failing publicly, I am so sorry.  I understand. You have dreams, visions, passions and God given abilities you'd like to utilize in this world and this fear has inhibited any forward movement in your life.

If You are ready to move Beyond this fear: There's help:

1) Praise-praise God that He has created you for a purpose that you must accomplish; you have a purpose!
2) Purpose-Find out what your purpose is. What were you created to do? What issue needs your voice, your unique experiences and talents?
3) It’s not that serious-stop taking yourself so seriously! Laugh at yourself from time to time! Give yourself permission to be an imperfect human being.  God was trying to say the same thing to Joshua “don’t be afraid, I will be with you”.
4) Practice Failing-I know it sounds counterintuitive but try something new that you know you can't do so you can message your stamina for failing. Failing gives you an opportunity at mastery.  Many will confess that they've learned the most when they've failed.  Get used to failing it’s a part of life!
5) Turn them Off-Turn off the voices that you fear; after all 74% of us are in the same boat. When you hear voices saying you can't and you're afraid, remind yourself they're afraid too! Picture an audience of One, God.  He’s perfect in every way and does demand perfection, just faithfulness. 
6) Take a Step-everyday take one small step towards what God has called you to do! Sometimes you might have to take a step in the midst of your fears.  If you are waiting for fear to fully dissipate before taking an attempt at your goals, think again.  Get up! Take a step!  Each bold step will lead to another and another.  You can do it!
7) Pray-You need to pray in order to win over your fears.  This will be the hardest of your life.  Everything inside of you will want to quit and you need help of the supernatural power of Jesus Christ to fight for your future and your very life.

Father, we lift this 74% to you, we are scared and unable to accomplish anything in this life because of our fears.  In your words it said: “For God did not give us a spirit of fear and timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7 Help us to hold on to your spirit of power, love and self-discipline to accomplish many things for you.  In Jesus Name we pray!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Incapable of True Love?

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Last night there was a woman in our group lamenting on how poorly her mom loved her. In fact she said growing up she saw no signs of her mom's love for her.

She cried and cried as she waited for some kind of hope from the group and someone to break her emotional rant by hopefully saying something like: "don't you think such a thing, your mom loves you" but that never came.  She was reaching for that false hope we all give each other in the “real” world rather than “Truth”.  However this isn't the “real” world. This is the super-real world, where sugar coated truth will only serve as a crutch rather than help.  This is where real women have reached rock bottom and they are hurting and in desperate need of “Truth”.  And in that circle last night, we all knew the truth.

At first I didn't know what to say because I wanted to give her positive words of encouragement like so many people do “don't worry your mom loves you and cherishes you” but she and everyone in that group would’ve known that that was a lie because they were all wearing scars from their parents’ neglect and disregard.   

So I begrudgingly told her the “Truth”: our parents are incapable of loving us the way we need to be loved.

She blinked a couple of times but you can tell those words instantly gave her freedom and she wanted to hear more.

I went on to say: Our parents are imperfect and broken beings just like us and unless they went through some kind of healing, the only love they know to give is imperfect and broken love filled with baggage.  I am a strong believer that you cannot give something you do not possess.

I continued to say: The Good News is: though these imperfect human beings are incapable of loving us as we need to be loved; God, Perfect in every way and abundant in love is able to love us in that sweet and intimate way we most need.  He knows the depth of our need for love and He’s able to meet us there and love us in that specific way and fulfill that need. 

This is great news for those of us who did not grow up with the ideal.  The ideal mom that tucked us in bed at night with a gentle kiss.  The ideal parent that kissed our scrapes and bruises.  The ideal mom who was around, showed up and fought for us. 

This is Great News!  We now don’t have to wait around hoping that love comes, IT’S HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!  All we have to do is accept it, embrace it and give it to others!

God, on this day help us to experience your Love for us in that specific way, filling that hole no one else can and help us as we accept and experience it, to pass it on to others.  In Jesus Name.  Amen!!