Let me ask you one question.
What fear is holding you back?
Fear is a powerful thing. It has the ability to paralyze us, to incapacitate us, to keep us from our dreams and our potential. Fear can cause us to be kept frozen in place, suspended in time. It is in many ways, the biggest threat to us having the life we want.
Let me ask you one more question.
What would you be capable of if you could move past the fear?
Really think about that last question…let your mind go to a place where there are no limits, no limits that you’ve put on yourself and none that others have put on you either. If you could get past whatever fear is holding you back, how would your life potentially be different than it is today?
I’m starting a series on 31 days towards having the life you want. The first person I told about this series idea pointed out that I was certainly no expert in this topic. In many ways, that person is right. I struggle just like anyone else. My life is not the life I pictured for myself, nor is it an easy one, but I don’t think that means that it can’t be a good one.
When this person told me that I should write about something I do know something about like adoption or homeschooling, self-doubt immediately crept in. And then the voices in my head start reminding me of what a failure I am, of other things that I’ve tried to do and failed or of all the times when I’ve started a project and not finished. Those voices tell me that I’m not good enough, that there is someone who is better qualified, not just as a writer or an encourager, but as a mom, a wife, a woman. Before long, I believe those voices.
My fears are just that. That I will step out into a vulnerable place and fail. My fears are that by me taking a risk, I will end up looking stupid. My fears are also that I will succeed. Those fears leave me stuck because I’m scared both to fail and to succeed and the middle of those is never going to let me live the life I want.
When I look back over the things in my life that have brought me the greatest reward, it has always been the things that have come with the biggest risks. Parenthood, adoption, fighting for my marriage, writing a novel, learning something new, helping others. Each of those things required me stepping out of my comfort zone and risk failure or even risk heartbreak. The failure and the heartbreak have come at times too, but they were worth it for the rewards such as love and joy and making an impact.
One example from my life of overcoming fear and stepping out in faith is our road to adoption. I had always dreamed of having a big family. I wanted six kids even though I only come from a family of two. After our first two sons were born, we learned that I may not survive another pregnancy. I had talked even as a young child about fostering and adoption, so the decision to grow our family through adoption was an easy one, but the first step we chose towards that dream was as scary as it gets. We decided to try foster-adoption. We would accept a child into our home as a foster child with a very high likelihood given their circumstances that we would be able to adopt them but with no guarantees. We got our daughter Amera when she was just 3 days old. I was in love in an instant! I didn’t allow the fear of losing her to hold back the love I felt for her. She was my daughter in every way and I was certain that it was just a matter of time before I had the piece of paper to prove it. 20 months later, our world was shattered when we lost our precious Amera. We never got to say good-bye.
This seems like a strange story for me to tell you when trying to convince you to do the thing you are most scared of doing, doesn’t it?! The thing about our story is this: I don’t have one single regret about the risk we took. The opportunity to get to be Amera’s mommy was the single biggest privilege of my life. I wouldn’t change it for a second. We loved her well and gave her the best start possible. We were blessed by every minute we spent with her. I would not be who I am today without having had her. We later went on to adopt three more children through the foster-adoption program (including Amera’s biological brother). I never did get to experience my dream of having six kids because we skipped right over six when we went from five to seven by adopting siblings from Ethiopia a few years after our fostering days were over! Had I allowed fear to hold me back, we would still only have two children and I would have given up the life I had dreamed of since I was a little girl.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
Human beings are creatures of habit. The path of least resistance is for us to keep doing what we’ve always done but “if you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got“.
If you really truly want to change your life today, you need to get past the fear and do something different. We get this one life here on Earth. There are no do-overs, so what’s holding you back from getting past the fear and moving towards the life you’ve always wanted?
Join us this month as I share ways to help you move towards the life you want to live. Join me in the challenge. Ready to jump off the cliff?