Thursday, November 25, 2010

Facing The Fear Monster- 21 Steps To Fighting And Overcoming Fear

I have a terrible fear of spiders. There. I admitted it. I am absolutely terrified of the evil things. When I come across one I will go out of my way to ensure that it dies a sudden and tragic death. I will stop at nothing- I will move furniture around to provide the best killing position if need be and I will use a variety of household implements which I deem necessary depending upon what the situation calls for. I will use anything ranging from the faithful smack of a shoe, a feather duster (if the spider is small and I'm feeling merciful), shampoo bottles, talcum powder to even a vacuum cleaner (I like to be creative). I've even chopped off a spiders legs in the process of drowning it to death in the bathtub. What can I say, I get an adrenaline rush from torturing a spider. I find great delight in knowing that I just defeated something which makes me feel so afraid. And yes, I am a woman who will use half a can of mortein spray, even if it means that I suffer too by nearly chocking to death from insect spray inhalation. I'm the woman who walks into a spider web and turns ninja, frantically checking my body for spiders. I get paranoid to the point that I feel my skin crawl when the spider I've been keeping my eyes on goes missing. I feel sick to the stomach when I see one. I have nightmares about them and I can't get to sleep if I know there's a spider on the loose creeping around in my bedroom. And you betcha, I check under my covers every night for any surprises that may be lurking before getting into bed. I don't care if the spiders not hurting anyone, I want it dead. I've lived with this fear since I was a little girl and still to this day I run to my father and ask him to kill the spider for me because I am just too scared! Call me a sook and think that I should grow up and just get over it but this fear is real to me and sometimes I need a little extra help in dealing with it. And just as this fear is real to me, you have fears too. Ones that I would probably think are silly.

During this last week my father has been away so I've had to fight the spiders on my own. Within three days I've had five spiders appear from nowhere in my bathroom. I kill one and more just keep appearing. I suppose it's true that if you kill one their spider buddies seek revenge. It's like they know I'm afraid! By the time I encountered the fifth one, my fear had settled as I was less startled (was kinda expecting another one to pop out and say hello) and I whipped out my can of kick ass (mortein) and went to war. Aside from my fear of spiders I also suffer from social anxiety disorder. No, it's not quite having a fear of people but rather a fear of certain things happening in social situations, but that is a story for another time. For the past few weeks I've been feeling so overcome and defeated by this anxiety disorder and as a result I've been feeling as though it's just not going to get better but after I killed my fifth spider (on my own!!), in that moment of glorious triumph God stopped me and spoke to me letting me know that I just have to trust Him and be patient. Just as I defeated a spider without fear and said right this is my bathroom you need to go, it took five attempts to get me to that point. Therefore, I will defeat anxiety with little steps, I just have to persist. And just as I run to dad- "Dad, there's a spider in my room!" "So kill it." "It's really big." I can run to my heavenly father- "Dad, there's a stronghold in my life" "So kill it with my word" (the bible). "But it's really big." "Don't fear for I am with you".

 
Let's face it, there is plenty to be afraid of in life. Whatever it be be it fear of failure, fear of disappointing others, fear of not fitting in (this is a huge one for me, believe it or not) or fear of the future/unknown; how you face your fears can lead you to either conquering your fears or having your fears conquering you. I'm a strong believer that the devil uses our fear to defeat us. He doesn't want us to walk in victory, but God wants us to conquer our fears. He calls us to be victorious. So much so, that He equips us with His word (the bible) so that we may be more than conquerors, more than overcomers in Him. I want that for my life! I don't want to live in fear. So what steps can we take to enable ourselves to be conquerors? These following steps are what God spoke to me after I killed that spider.....


1. Acknowledgement
This is the first step to conquering any fear. Once you acknowledge your fears and refuse to live in denial you can start to create change. You are unlikely to see a positive change if you don't acknowledge it.

2. Take action

"Thinking won't cure fear, action will"- W. Clement Stone

"Fear is conquered by action. When we challenge our fears, we defeat them. When we grapple with our difficulties, they lose their hold upon us. When we dare to face things which scare us, we open the door to freedom."- Author unknown

Stop wasting energy thinking about your fear and pour that energy into taking action! Have a plan. Write out some steps that will be beneficial in helping you to overcome and be prepared to follow them through to the end. The following can be examples of taking action.

3. Focus on the future


"Concentrate on where you want to go, not on what you fear."- Anthony Robbins


Picture your life without that fear. How grand would it be! If that's not enough to motivate you to conquer it, I don't know what is!


4. Give it to God

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you- Psalm 55:22


Commit your fear into His hands and trust that He will help guide you through it. Cast all of your cares and anxieties upon the Lord and know that He supports you. He will never allow you to be overcome


5. Ask God for strength
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. - Isaiah 41:10


I will not fear for my God is with me. He strengthens me and in Him my victory is made certain.

 6. Give God the glory


When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. - Psalm 56:3-4


Celebrate the small victories, thank God for all that He has done and is going to do in your life.


7. Seek God


Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well...do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. - Mathew 6:33-34


The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy. - Psalm 147:11


 8. Seek advice

When dealing with fear and anxiety you may need a little extra help. Talk to someone who you trust, a friend or counsellor. Do whatever it is that will help you the greatest. Everyone is different. That said, use wisdom in who you decide to disclose your fear to. My best friend in primary school also had a fear of spiders and in knowing this, boys being boys, scared her with a fake spider. And because of her sheer terror and panic she threw up and as a result, was humiliated in front of the whole school. Be careful who knows. Just saying.


9. Apply God's word


Pull out your kick ass can of mortein (the bible) and go to war! Find your favourite scriptures, write them out and stick them on your mirror, in your diary and in your car. Speak your victory into being.


10. Be prepared

Put on God's armor so that you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks so that you may hold your ground. So stand ready, with the truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate and as your shoes, the readiness to proclaim the gospel of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the evil one. And accept salvation as a helmet and the word of God as the sword which the spirit gives you. - Ephesians 6:13-17


Read your bible, pray, put on your armor and go to battle. CLAIM YOUR POWER!! You can do it!






11. Get enough sleep


An obvious one? I think so. Ever notice that things seems ten time worse when you are tired? If you are dealing with fear it can appear bigger and much worse than it really is...so get enough sleep and don't deal with fear when you are tired, trust me on this I've learnt the hard way and it ain't pretty!

12. De-stress


Fear and anxiety are also intensified when you are stressed so go for a run or walk, do some gentle stretches, read a book, cook up a storm- just do whatever makes you happy and stress less!

13. Avoid getting worked up

Getting all worked up and upset over fear and anxiety doesn't help the situation and it definitely will not make things any better. If anything it will make matters worse. The best thing we can do is ask God for strength and trust Him


14. Refuse to walk in darkness


Living in fear is such a dark place. It's blinding. After walking in the dark in your house to turn on a light it makes quite a difference, right? You can see so much better. Refuse to be blinded by darkness and whip out that good old can of kick ass mortein (God's word) and shine some light in the darkness.

15. Be on you guard

Often when I think that I've dealt with something, from out of nowhere it rears its ugly head again. Just like those spiders that kept appearing in my bathroom! I feel icky to think that a spider has been roaming around without me knowing about it and it's the same thing with the devil, he is very sneaky. He is always looking for ways to use our fears to defeat us. Stop putting on the armor of God and all of a sudden from out of nowhere comes these flying arrows to try and pull you down. And just like I question a spiders appearance, I say to the devil- How did you get in here? This is my life and you have no right to be here, you need to go, NOW! *Pulls out can of mortein* (the bible)


 16. Avoid avoidance


Avoid avoiding your fear. When I was in primary school, we had these spitfire caterpillar things that invaded the tree and footpath which were directly outside the toilet block. We were always told by the teachers to stay well away from them (which was really impossible because they were all over the footpath) because if we came into contact with them we could risk going blind. Now I don't know how true this was but I greatly feared them. So much so that I avoided going to the toilet all day. Yeah, I wet my pants a couple of times *hangs head in shame*. Believe me, avoidance isn't the way to go. Face fear and avoid it ruining your life.

17. Cast out doubt


Avoid negative thoughts and doubting that you can fight fear and anxiety. Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can't, give yourself reasons why you can. You are more than capable


18. Don't focus on the 'what if's'


This is easier said than done and it's one of the hallmarks of fear and anxiety. When it comes to killing spiders often I've just got my Father to smack em dead because I doubt my killing ability. I tend to focus on the 'what if's'... what if I miss and then loose track of the spider? Avoid 'what if's' they rob you of your confidence and only torment you.


19. Know that you are loved


There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out all fear. - 1 John 4:18


I will allow no fear or anxiety to rule my life because I am loved and there is no fear in love. I know that God is on my side in every situation


20. Refuse to be the victim


If I know that there is a spider somewhere in my bedroom, bathroom or toilet, I will do anything to avoid a confrontation with the spider and therefore I feel like a victim in my own home. Don't let fear over take your life. Know that God is in control and that He'll make everything turn out OK in the end. Knowing this truth can help you conquer your fears before they conquer you.

21. Claim your victory

I am more than a conqueror and I have been called to be VICTORIOUS- victory is mine and I don't just walk in victory, I RUN!!! Now that's what I'm talkin' bout!

(c) Emily Ruth 2010


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3 comments:

Fighter said...

What a great article!

Fighter said...

I just found your blog, hope you get a chance to check mine out.

Emily Ruth said...

Thankyou very much! Welcome :) it's so great to hear from a new reader! Thanks for checking out my blog. I'll be sure to check out yours too, thanks!

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