Can fear really take your life?

By Steve Wickham

Fear has a way of paralyzing us. We give it a foothold and next thing we’re full of anxiety; immediately captive. Suddenly we’re fighting for life. It can bring a raft of psychosomatic symptoms and signs. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way. Resilience is the key to responding actively to fear.

When life throws a curve-ball our way we have two choices in response:

1) get fearful and give up in despair, or

2) harness the fear, work with it, and emerge from the difficulty stronger.

Those who take the easier, softer option end up losing all their joy and live in fear until the present difficulty is somehow negotiated — and it’s often negotiated in a way that creates more problems. However, those who take the latter option requiring courage and resilience do the following three (3) things consistently:

1. They seek to take control of the situation and themselves. They don’t allow the problem (or the fear) to take control. They so “no” to the paralyzing effects of the fear and do positive, proactive things to deal with the situation at hand. They don’t shy away from the truth; they harness it.

2. They have an abiding sense, and commitment to, virtuous durable values. They remain ‘on-course.’ They’re not easily swayed off their guiding values and principles because they’re founded and grounded in them. They see their core values as worth fighting for. Principles such as integrity, courage and endurance are personified.

3. They find meaning in their suffering. They therefore they don’t resent the challenges, pain, insults, and suffering when they come. They’re somewhat prepared for them. They’re not surprised that they come. As a result they recover from their upsets very quickly, which is the very embodiment of resilience.

God’s most frequent command in the Bible is, “Do not be afraid,” or words to that effect. No less than 366 times are we told to have faith in the worst of our trials.

Resilience is a quality or a bunch of things. People demonstrate resilience and you can see it, but it’s harder to teach it specifically. Resilience does however require a deep and grounded faith that feels things are okay underneath, always. Therefore the person with resilience never really panics though they might get a little scared. They never utterly lose control or perspective.

At the end of the day know that whatever is pressing in on you, if you keep faith and endure through the storm that is before you i.e. live resiliently, you will live to say of the present and future struggles, “It was worth the ride.” You may indeed learn many things about yourself through the process.

By Steve Wickham