Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pursuit of Purpose Workshop : Session 2

This is me. Looks fun right? I look happy? Yep. I was happy. And freaking terrified.
Right after this picture was taken, the people in the backgound started shaking the bridge.
 I ran (I mean RAN) off that bridge. Want to know why?

(I had hoped to get this post up yesterday, except I fell asleep writing it. Oops. Better done than perfect, right??)

So ... How was the last 48 hours, thinking about your big events?

If you're like me ... Those events often cross my mind, but often in subtle ways that I'm not 100% aware of. How was it to think of how you've changed as a result of your experiences?

Before I delve deeper into the significance we attach to the events in our lives, I want to address one small (MAJOR) thing.

And that is fear.

The moment we set out to accomplish anything outside our comfort zone, fear sets in.

Maybe you've already felt it starting this workshop. I know I have. It sounded like a great idea in my brain. Until I wrote out the first post.

And then doubt crept it ....

What if no one reads it? What if I'm the only person who does the activities? What if there are no comments, and every one can see that I'm just a fake when it comes to leadership and mentoring? 

Worse, what if I turn people away from my blog? What if they need someone to grieve with them -- and not someone to cheerlead? What if I don't have the right words to make an impact?

It all sounds kinda irrational right now. But the fear was real. Paralyzing even. It made me not want to hit publish. And then when I DID hit publish, I regretted it and wanted to take it back to draft.

But I didn't. Sometimes, all you need is 20 seconds of bravery.

20 seconds could change everything . . .

Fear has a purpose... To keep us safe, healthy, and otherwise free of unnecessary risks.

But a major problem with fear is that it is not the best judge of our actions or choices.

You see, it's meant to keep us stuck inside our comfort zone, where we feel happy and healthy. So we fear things like jumping into an ocean full of sharks ... Or walking alone down a dark alleyway in the city ... Or climbing to the top of a cliff without any safety ropes. Those are all legitimate fears.

But fear has a bad habit of turning everything into something we should be afraid of ... Something that will be risky or will cost us. 

Fear tells us that speaking in front of an audience is as risky as swimming with sharks. Fear tells us that putting our ego out on the line is just as risky as climbing a cliff. Fear tells us that rejection is life or death.

And the problem with this is that:

#1 There is no reward where there is no risk. Fear minimizes risk, therefore minimizes reward.

#2 You cannot grow unless you are stretched. You cannot stretch unless you are out of your comfort zone. And you cannot get outside of your comfort zone if you base your decisions on fear. Because fear is designed to KEEP YOU COMFORTABLE.

#3 Fear keeps you average. Which is fine if you want an average life. But if you want more? Then you have to learn to control your fear, instead of letting fear control you.

Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.

It will make our palms sweat, our hearts race, our adrenaline flow. It has the power to paralyze. Fear doesn't take reality into consideration. It's based almost entirely on emotion. We fear sharks (well, maybe just I do) while watching Shark Week -- even though we are comfortably seated in our living room, just about as far away from a tropical beach as one could get.

Sometimes fear makes sense. And sometimes it doesn't. Like the fear of success? Why is it we fear EXACTLY what we are working toward? And then the opposite, the fear of failure.

But here's where we need an injection of truth.

Fear has killed more dreams than failure could ever touch.

What dreams has fear killed for you?

So let's journal or blog . . .

What has living by fear cost you? What has your living by fear cost others around you? What fears do you have that make sense? And which ones are False Evidence Appearing Real?

Here's that bridge again. Guess what's beneath it?

This 9-foot-long hammerhead shark. And his friend. Just to make things extra terrifying.
Can you guess that sharks just might be one of my biggest fears??

By the way, I'd just like to add that I actually did this water slide.
The one that slowly meanders through a shark tank. I also did the one that does a death drop
through a shark tank. That one was TERRIFYING. But I'm still proud I did it. And believe it or not -- I lived!

Click here for Pursuit of Purpose Session 1


  1. Here are some of my answers:

    Living in fear has cost me my voice. I don't speak up when I should. I try to placate others around me, and make peace and not upset people. Even about silly things like which restaurant we should go to. Being afraid of upsetting others has made it so that I don't offer people my business opportunity to people who would be amazing at it. Me living in fear has literally cost our family thousands over the years --- all because I was so afraid of hearing the word "no."

    Fear has cost me peace of mind. Contentment. A confidence in myself and in my purpose. Fear becomes an idol that hinders my relationship with God. Fear prevents me from reaching out to others, costing me precious relationships that would have been amazing.

    For so long, I thought I just was afraid of failure. For someone who equates self esteem with productivity, failure has not been an option. But the flip side of that is that success has ALSO not been an option. Because you need to fail your way to success. I feared making it to the level I desired, and then finding out that I was not enough somehow. That once I achieved what I set out to do -- I'd be found lacking.

    Fear has kept me from writing a book. Who knows who needs to read about my experiences, and yet hasn't found my blog? Who knows what God has in store? And yet the longer I hold on to fear, the less I am able to be used by God.

    The fears that I have that make sense is the fear of jumping into a saltwater pool of sharks. That to me is pretty logical. But that fear becomes illogical when I don't want to go on a tropical vacation for the very slight chance that a shark will try to eat me alive. And having nightmares and full on panic about the idea of such a vacation for months. (True story.)

    I also fear pregnancy, and losing more babies. Again, I think that's a logical fear based on my history.

    Some of my fears that are false evidence is the fear of success. The fear that I have to be perfect in order to make a difference. That I am not enough (Scripture clearly states that if God can use the rocks to give Him glory, then He could use us, no matter how broken we are.) The fear that I have/will let down God. The fear that no matter how I plan my day, it will never be right. The fear that if others are successful, I would not be.

  2. I love how candid you always are about your thoughts and most personal moments. It makes it easy to open up to you, and others. To know you have courage, it permeates onto all of us. I always gain so much insight into my own thoughts and into my life when reading your entries. I hope that your fears lessen with time or better yet - that you don't need to fear the things you truly fear <3


    Here's my post! :)

  4. I am just catching up on some blog reading after being on vacation, and I have to say, I love this idea. Fear has kept me stuck for soooooo long, I barely know where to begin. I gave up opportunities to study abroad (two decades ago!) because I was too afraid to venture out there on my own. I didn't travel enough when I was younger for the same reason. And most importantly, I have stayed stuck in a job that makes me miserable for 17 years because I am so afraid of leaving the security. What if I'm not good at anything else? What if I hate a new job even more? What if I bankrupt my family chasing a dream? Ugh. I so wish I could find the courage to make some changes.

    I look forward to reading more!!! :)