You may recall a time at some point in your life when you were anxious, intimidated or perhaps afraid of a situation or circumstance that you were approaching, and you did not know exactly how to handle it or even what the outcome would be.
Maybe it was your first presentation, or perhaps you wanted to ask someone out on a date, or maybe you just decided to go back to school, but you weren’t sure which degree program or even which college to select. And just like the Cowardly Lion who was one of Dorothy’s side kicks in The Wizard of Oz, you may have found yourself in moments of uncertainty or even a little shaken when trying to muster up the courage needed to take the initiative and defeat your wicked witch of fear.
If any of the above sounds familiar then perhaps the following advice may be useful the next time the wicked witch of fear pokes her broomstick at you. There are a few ways that fear can be tackled. Noted below are some helpful step-by-step tips to get you started, and well on your way to get fear out of your life for good.
Steps to Overcoming Your Fear
1) Acknowledge the Fear – At times we may not want to fully come to terms with the fact that we are uncomfortable about a certain situation. It’s important for us to realize that no one is perfect; none of us is fully equipped to handle every situation in a pristine manner. Once we are willing to acknowledge that we are capable of experiencing fear, and then we can face our challenges head on.
2) Visualize the End Result – Keeping the end result in mind helps you to maintain a positive outlook. Consider a speech or a presentation. The only aspect that you need to remember is that you know more about your presentation than the people you are presenting to. I never imagined that I would be a college professor because I used to be so shy. However, I used this philosophy about knowing more than the people who I was presenting to during the first years of my professorship, and now I’ve been teaching and presenting for almost two decades.
As you visualize your nerve-racking scenario over and over again in your mind, you will gradually become less fearful about whatever the situation may be. But your work is not done. You now must put your plan into motion.
3) Take Charge of the Situation – Let fear know who is the boss. The Wizard of Oz had it easy; he was simply giving out orders. But it was up to Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion and the rest of the crew to tackle the Wicked Witch. So who or what is your wicked witch of fear? You need to acknowledge whatever your fear is and go toe-to-toe with it. Throw water on it. Slowly watch it melt and fade away. Just know that fear can be crippling, it can be disheartening. It can slow you down and interrupt your life and your livelihood. But it can be stopped.
Spiritual Lesson: Joshua Takes over for Moses
When Joshua had the huge task of taking over for Moses to finish escorting the Israelites into the Promised Land, do you think that he was not fearful? God provided Joshua with these words of encouragement to help him in completing his mission: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead the people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give. Be strong and very courageous” (Joshua 1:17).
All of you can conquer your fears and enter into the Promised Land that God has in store for you. Just like Joshua and the Cowardly Lion stepping out on faith and facing your fears is the first step.
If you enjoyed this lesson on fear, you can look forward to much more spiritual tips on life and career by author Dr. Crystal Green in her book titled Entering the Promised Land: A spiritual career and lifestyle guide to escape the glass box available free at Ask Doctor Cris.