by Coach Meghan
This season our company has been focusing on living a life of no regrets. I’ve learned from my mistakes of holding back and not diving in with full surrender and passion. I remember far too well having my scuba diving gear on and my feet dangling off a boat almost touching the Pacific Ocean. The friendly Australian guide kept encouraging me to jump right in the vast ocean and explore the Great Barrier Reef with him. Even his charming accent couldn’t woo me in that water. I had crazy fears that a shark would attack me, or that I would be swallowed by the sea never to be seen again. I made the choice to stay on the boat instead of exploring the deep unchartered waters where a whole new world was awaiting discovery. We have a tendency as C.S. Lewis once said to keep on “making mud pies in a slum because [we] cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” As we boldly step into the New Year, we want to stop making mud pies and start experiencing the real adventures of life.
Being imprisoned by our own fears is debilitating. Do you fear criticism, failure, rejection, or death? These fears can be imbedded so deep that they’re hard to even know that they exist inside of us. We don’t need to let our fears control and sabotage us. If we want to truly live a life of no regrets, we have to overcome our fears and live in freedom.
The first way to overcome our fears is to have faith. Dr. E. Stanley Jones said, “I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath—these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely—these are my native air.” We must go back to our design and embrace faith, not fear. Breathe in faith and breathe out fear.
Another way to overcome our fears is to stop focusing on our circumstances and have a heart of gratitude. Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts, emphasizes the word eucharisteo, which means thanksgiving. It comes from the root charis, meaning grace, and the Greek chara, meaning joy. We can conquer fear when we look beyond our circumstances and focus on grace, thanksgiving, and joy. Gratitude journals help diminish fears giving fresh perspectives on how to live abundantly through the struggles of the day.
An important way to shatter fear is to reflect back on our lives and see the good. This becomes a refining moment, because we remember how far we’ve come. Flee from the “if onlys,” and “what ifs” and learn to trust in the today.
Sometimes the way to overcoming our fears is to fail at what is paralyzing us. Failure does not have to be final. When we just go for it, and we fail, we are refined, strengthened, and motivated to reach new heights. When we fail at what we once feared, we are one step closer to success.
Instead of residing on the seashore making mud pies, have the courage to jump into the unchartered waters. Go live in the deep. That’s where true life is found.