Our tools and tips come directly from our podcast episodes. To fully understand the context of our tools & tips, please listen to each podcast episode (68. A New You: E30 – Grace Over Fear, 69. A New You: E31 – God Over Fear, 70. A New You: E32 – Tackling Fear & Disappointments (Tools & Tips)). You may consider listening to the episode (67. A New You: E29 - Faith Over Fear) which introduces this podcast segment. Lastly, we recommend picking one or two items to start focusing on. Jot down how you want to put these things into practice as well as your progression in them. When you are proactive in taking small steps, before you know it, you would have walked a mile, or two, or three.
1. Fears are hidden, but also become idols as we are so consumed by what we fear that we alter our lives. We stop living the life that God wants for our lives. Therefore, tip number one identify areas of your life where you alter your course due to fears. Jot down the outcome. Take special notice to if what you feared occurred. Also, jot down what you gave up due to that fear. For instance, I am and I am maturing in age. For a long period, I dealt with the fear of being alone. I became consumed by the idea of not being alone. The outcome of this fear is that I maintained unhealthy relationships. One bad relationship after another. I concluded well at least I have someone and it is better than being alone. Due to this understanding, I no longer lived my happy life. I was caught up in a mess. However, when I finally said no more, I will take a stand for me then out with the bad then came the new. It did take a moment for the new to enter my life. But during that waiting period, I did not die because I was alone. I sure did not. How do we know this? Because I am talking to you.
2. God chips away our fears to expose them so that we place our trust and surrender in Him. Jot down a list of your current fears and then jot down what does trusting in God look like instead of the fear? For example, I had a fear that I was going to lose my job. Due to that fear, I began to save more money and picked up more tasks in the office to prove myself as a valuable employee. During that season, I transitioned from fearful about my job by accepting that God will provide for my financial needs as well as provide new employment if necessary. Therefore, to trust Him, I had to channel my thoughts. I recited a scripture each time I thought I was going to lose my job. I also kept a list to remind me how God provided for my needs even if it meant someone bringing me lunch that day.
3. Patty discussed how she had to not allow herself mentality to think the What if’s about anything rather big or small. This tip is so true and necessary. Being consumed by what if’s elevates your emotions to panic instead of trusting in God.
4. Find a safe community to share your experiences with to help push you through your emotions and fears. This safe community should not make you more fearful but guide you back to putting your trust in God.
5. Sometimes, the safe community does not have the tools to guide you through your emotions and fears. This is okay as not everyone is equipped for the task. However, if the community is not supporting you as you hoped, then go find a counselor. In your relationship with the counselor, the objective is to get to the root of your fears to stop faulty patterns of thinking. In Episode 4 of this series, I asked a social worker how do we find the right counselors. Feel free to go back and take a listen.
6. Think of others in a healthy way instead of fears. Perhaps, calling a friend in need or volunteer.
7. Establish a prayer routine. For Patty, she changed how she prayed to allow for a deeper intimacy with God. Also, when she did not have the energy to pray. She allowed God to work with her desire to pray. She stated, want to want it and God will work with it.
8. Allow God to extend grace to you during difficult moments. This is so hard to do sometimes because we easily beat ourselves up. I should not be thinking this way, I should not be feeling this way, oh that was stupid for me to do this. The list goes on. But we have to trust that no matter what God will give us the grace at the moment to get us through it.
9. God molds us during hardships. Jot down a previous difficult situation. Then identify what you learned and how you grew from the situation. For Patty, she developed deeper faith, compassion, and forgiveness.
10. Even though God molds us during hardships, He does not tempt us. Temptation corresponds to our evil desires. James 1:13