Fear vs. Trust: The Faceoff
Of the known or unknown. Of consequences. Of the uncertain future. Fear is scary and ugly.
Some would say that the opposite of fear is “bravery” or simply a “lack of fear.” I think the opposite of fear is trust. Fear paralyzes; trust allows us to move forward confidently. Fear fuels stubbornness and pride; trust keeps us open and humble.
Trust stems from faith and is the foundation for a confidence that we will be safe, taken care of, and that the future holds good things in store. Not a blind, arrogant confidence that denies all responsibility; but a confidence that knows we are giving it our all, and the rest we will give to God.
I saw this image posted on Facebook recently:
I had to just shake my head. I can’t think of one example in my life or those around me where fear was a positive influence or spurred our best work. Fear might drive people, but certainly not in a positive or productive way.
Action driven by fear may have helpful short-term results, but it is not sustainable over the long run. Take weight loss. Your motivation to lose weight is mainly the fact that your 20-year reunion is approaching, and you’re afraid of what old classmates will think. Yep – guarantee those pounds will only stay gone until the day after the dinner and drinks are put away. Unless your motivation shifts partway through your journey – to something more positive, say, increased energy and ditching the medications – it won’t be sustainable. It’s not just weight loss and physical goals; fear as a motivator doesn’t work in any area of life.
Trust and confidence. Those are motivators which can sustain us to fight the good fight. Not just for a year or ten, but for a lifetime. They reap wonderful rewards, which only encourages us to continue making strides towards greater blessings. Good begets good. Fear only begets more fear. And who wants more fear in their life?
Do you feel paralyzed in a certain area of your life? If so, ask yourself what it is you’re scared of and why. Then ask again. And one more time. Drill down into that fear, get to the heart of it. Then challenge yourself by asking, “What the worst that can happen?” Chances are good that your “worst” isn’t even a dot on the remote reality map.
Personally, I can think of few things scarier than a missed opportunity due to fear of the unknown.
True, the present situation might not be great, but at least we know what we’re in for – or so the fear tells us. Taking that leap of faith – TRUSTING – that might be unknown, but it beats being stuck in fear and regret any day.
When I am laughing with my daughter on the floor as she pretends I’m her baby, watching the joy unfold on my middle son’s face as I “fly” him on my feet, or feeling the comfort of my oldest son’s arms around me at bedtime, sometimes my mind will think, “I should take a picture of this.”
I was recently involved in two separate conversations regarding the cost of living, specifically around raising children.
The general consensus was that “it’s so expensive to live nowadays” and “raising kids costs a lot of money” and “we’re waiting until we can afford kids before we have any.”