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I read something a few years ago that really resonated with me. It was a quote by actor Will Smith that said, “The best things in life are on the other side of fear.” That really struck me. Because it feels TRUE. The most magnificent moments in my life were experienced after I had to push through something terrifying or intimidating. Think about it….children are one of life’s most amazing gifts. The birth of your child has to be one of the top moments of any parent’s life. Yet the idea of labor and delivery is frightening, to say the least. But if you can just overcome your fear and face one of nature’s most incredible feats, then you get to experience that magical moment of seeing your baby for the first time. Certainly one of life’s BEST moments! So many things I have experienced I could have cheated myself of by giving in to fear. I wonder if you can say the same?

Fear will paralyze you. You’re afraid to try for that new job because --what if you’re rejected. You’re afraid to apply to that graduate program because --what if you don’t get in. You don’t go on that dream trip because you’re afraid the plane may crash. You don’t act at all and miss out on wonderful possibilities. What is fear, exactly? Why is it so powerful? There is a popular pneumonic for F.E.A.R.=False Expectations Appearing Real. In other words, most of our fears are based in the unknown. Those looming “what-ifs.” We imagine these horrible possibilities and become afraid. That’s all it takes for the fear of the unknown to swoop in and steal our futures. And the reality is, when the future becomes the present rarely are those “what ifs” truth. The reality is, if we just hold on, strap on our courage and walk through our fears, the future we walk into is much better than anything we could have imagined.

Instead of allowing yourself to be governed by those false expectations that have yet to happen (the dreaded “what-ifs”), try on another pneumonic for size: F.E.A.R.=Face Everything And Rise. When you face your fears, suddenly they shrink and vanish. When you walk through those fears, you walk into something wonderous. Instead of asking yourself, “What if something bad happens?” try asking yourself, “What if it doesn’t?” Instead of asking “What if I fail?” ask yourself, “What if I SUCCEED??” Don’t ask, “What if I can’t?” Instead, ask yourself, “What if I CAN??” I firmly believe all things are possible. If you never try, then you will never know. What scary thing are you going to do now? Let’s go stomp on all those shadow-monsters on the way to living our dreams! And remember not to be so afraid of dying that you forget to LIVE!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for the Lord your God goes with you wherever you go. He will never leave you or forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

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