What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting, to be out in the world, to be free.
My heart should be wildly rejoicing…
Oh, what's the matter with me?
(The Sound of Music - 1965)
We all have moments where a fear of the unknown seeps in and corrupts our thoughts and belief in ourselves, reducing the faith in our own capabilities. Sometimes the scariest thing in life is taking that small step into something new.
The worry comes from not knowing the process, the hardships which may come, and ultimately the outcome after taking the first step. New challenges, experiences, moments and circumstances can be a terrifying venture.
A friend asked me once “How are you so confident all the time?” I honestly didn’t know how to answer, because although I may look like a confident person, my heart still trembles with fear occasionally.
When I started my first teaching placement last year, I was so incredibly nervous. An entire placement dedicated to learning, observing and teaching teenagers, while gaining experience in the career I had chosen for myself.
Despite it being my dream career, I was still nervous to turn up on the first day of placement. I had no idea what to expect, what would happen, who I would meet, or what challenges I would face. I even began second guessing myself and my own skills and capabilities.
Coping with fear
Overtime, I have learnt to conceal my nervousness and worry. You would never be able to tell I was nervous, but there have been plenty of moments in my life where I could have easily broken down and been paralysed with fear. Instead, I pushed through and conquered my fear.
Besides prayer and talking to God, one of my coping mechanisms for calming myself down is music. I cannot play a musical instrument to save my life, but my heart leaps when I hear a good song.
On my way to my placement, I decided to force confidence upon myself and what better way to do this then by playing the song ‘I have confidence’from The Sound of Music.
There I was in the car belting out the lyrics:
So, let them bring on all their problems
I'll do better than my best
I have confidence
They'll put me to the test
But I'll make them see
I have confidence in me
The power of words
Yes, I may have looked ridiculous to everyone driving past me that morning, and yes, I may have had a sore throat for the rest of the day because I sang too loudly, but the most important thing for me was, I changed my mindset.
If we can speak life into others, we can most certainly speak life into ourselves.
Proverbs chapter 18 verse 4,“A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
I decided I was not going to be fearful of the day/experience ahead, but I was going to be brave and confident and remind myself of what I was capable of. I spoke good, wholesome, Godly things over myself, and I walked into school like a champion, despite my undetermined day ahead.
Steps to overcoming fear
The first step to overcoming fear is turning up. The worst thing you can do when you are scared is to back away and ignore it.
One of my favourite women from the Bible, Esther, conquered fear which could have easily paralysed her. Faced with a dangerous circumstance, she had to choose between relenting to fear or arming herself with God’s strength and pushing past that fear to save her people.
Even though some situations may be unbearable to think about, or the fear of making a mistake paralyses you – take a deep breath and remember who walks with you daily.
Joshua chapter one verse nine, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
The second step to overcoming fear is speaking out positive words over yourself and changing your environment/mindset.
Have you ever noticed when you are in a scary situation, the more you dwell on it, the worse it gets?
I went through a haunted horror maze once with some friends and it could have easily terrified me out of my skin, but instead I laughed it off, reminded myself nothing can touch me because I have the Holy Spirit within me and these ‘scary people’ are just actors.
Sitting down for an exam could very well terrify me, but in that moment I can choose whether to be overcome by fear or overcome my fear.
Matthew chapter six verse 33-34 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
We already know God protects us and is always with us – Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 8, “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
We know with God we can conquer anything – Philippians chapter four verses six and seven,“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
There is a reason why the Bible talks so heavily about fear, because God wants to equip us with ways of overcoming fear, altering our mindset and conquering the diminishing thoughts we tackle daily.
2 Timothy chapter one verse seven, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
So, when I get asked how I am such a confident person, it is not actually myself who makes me confident, it is my God that makes me confident, because He wants me to be fearless, not fearful.
Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 7, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She has recently graduated from her Bachelor of Arts degree and has completed an Honours in Screen & Media Studies. She is now going on to do a Master of Teaching (Secondary), focusing in the teaching areas of English and Film studies. She is passionate and driven to inspire and encourage others to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html