The Voice of Fear on Fearless Friday

I do not think of myself at an insecure person.  So writing these next sentences feels a little like Lance Armstrong must have felt coming clean with Oprah.  Except for the fact that I don’t have millions to lose and I’ve never won a bike race and I’m not a guy. Ok, it’s totally different, but here’s my confession.

I’ve been decidedly daunted this week.  Perfectly paralyzed. Buffeted by the winds of self-doubt and discouragement.

This seemed to come out of nowhere, but when I stopped to pray and reflect I can trace the beginnings to a Tweet.  Yep, it took just 140 insensitive characters to take me down.  “Really?”  you’re saying.  Really?

And then there was a post by someone who made me furious and jealous at the same time.

And a word here or the lack of a word there…

Holy Buckets!  Just days ago I was undaunted…bullet-proof, regardless of any spitballs that might be spat my way!  And now the spiral into the comparison trap that left me in a heap of ” Not good enough.  Not good enough.”

Ever end up there?  Maybe by a different road, but still?

Who or What is it in your life that brings up those feelings of fear or insecurity?

Recently I read this quote by Rick Warren that made me respond “Yes!”:

“Insecurity is an internal alarm that says you’re trusting in something that could be taken from you instead of [trusting in] Christ.”  

So I’ve been stewing and praying (sometimes the two look a lot alike) about how to deal with this.  It’s messy and it’s a process and it’s not easy.  Here are a few of the things I’ve been trying.

1.  Identify the voice. When you feel angry, or fearful, or jealous, or small, do you stop and think “Where is that coming from? Just who or what is really saying that to me?”  Why am I giving it such power in my life?  Why does it bring up this strong emotion in me?  Does it tap into a past wound that I need to address?

2.  Challenge the voice with the truth.  “Bring every thought captive to Christ.”  What would Jesus say in response to this narrative?   If the story in your head says anything other than that you are gifted by God, fearfully and wonderfully made, cherished by Him, created for good works that He has for you, it’s a lie and you need to tell it to shut up. (I know, easier said than done!)

3.  Manage what or who you’re allowing to get in your head.  For me this means ruthlessly putting up some boundaries.  Fasting from some social media, and un-following some people who are wonderful but bring out my worst self.  It may be totally different for you.  It might involve the people you spend time with or the shows you watch or where you go or whatever…

Why is this so important?

Because if we listen to the voice of fear and insecurity when God calls us to go, we’ll stay.

When He calls us to stay the course, we’ll run away.

When He calls us to speak, we’ll remain silent.  And I truly believe that all of our voices are valuable and needed in the kingdom.

Those are a few of my strategies.  What helps you?

P.S.  I wrote this and afterwards I saw this great image posted by John Acuff.  Happy Friday!

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9 Comments

  1. Dale Hanson Bourke

    February 1, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Oh Laura, so sorry for whatever caused this pain. You’re such an amazing woman doing so much to change the world. Thanks for being so vulnerable in this post.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Dale. Hard to risk being honest, but I think so many of us wrestle with this from time to time. I hope it’s encouraging if folks can read this and say “Whew, I’m not the only one!” We’re in this together!

  2. Laura,
    This is so real, so honest. We all struggle with insecurities and sensitivities. You’ve helped me and now I’m going to share your three ideas of how to refocus with my kids. Thank you!
    Faith,hope, and love….Lori

    • So glad it seems helpful! It really is challenging raising kids who have strong identities in Christ when there are so many voices in the world clamoring to drown out His voice.

  3. Laura~ I know exactly how you feel. It takes the wind out of you! I, too, have to push the “untruths” out of my head. I know the negative voices are not coming from God. Great reminder. I love your honesty and transparency.
    -Tonya

    • Thank you Tonya! It feels risky, but I figure most of us struggle with those voices on our bad days, so I hope it’s encouraging to enter into the battle together.

  4. Thanks Laura! For this writing, and all the others you have written. I have to take some time to think about my answers more clearly, but want you to know how much I appreciate your vulnerability and openness. Your the best!
    Janet

  5. Sometimes our jumbled thoughts need to be put down on paper, and you did a great job of that. I am glad you listed some tangible content to help us find our way out of the jumbled mess. God Bless

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