Does FEAR Got You Doing Silly Stuff?
Fear is subtle. It often goes undetected. Operating behind the scenes – the power of fear is substantial! Its sabotaging effects are undermining you personally and professionally.
Being afraid is something most don’t want to admit, and yet fear does not discriminate.
It Just happens!
Have you ever watched a family that’s walking together? They all walk in a similar manner with the same gait. It’s not something they are trying to do – it just happens!
I’m known for walking with a “stomp.” I prefer to think of it as walking with intention. My heels hit the ground purposefully just like my father’s heels. My sweet granddaughter walks the same way. Not because she’s trying to copy Grammy, but because it’s just her natural way of walking. Genes are powerful!
We all have a way of walking that mimics those we are related to. I dare you to start paying attention!
In the same way, we all wrestle with fear whether we care to admit it or not. Oh, it plays out in different ways depending on your Fear Monster, and it never does you any favors. You may think the manifestations are just the way you are or you may blame others or your circumstances but that doesn’t change that fear is alive and well. And it has a way of getting you to do all sorts of silly stuff!
You might be surprised at the many, many behaviors that are fueled by fear. Here are some of the most common manifestations:
All sorts of things fit into this category including…
- Taking on too much
- Being a workaholic
- Neglecting self- care
- Being out of balance
- Excessive busyness – no margin
- Being a control freak
- Trying to prove yourself
- Seeking significance
- Never being satisfied
- Not taking time to reflect and connect to yourself
- People pleasing
- Attempting to outshine others
- Being manipulative
If your Fear Monster is “I don’t matter” or “I am not enough” there’s a good chance you’ve engaged in more than a few of the behaviors on the list!
- Numbing behaviors – alcohol, over-eating, excessive exercising, daydreaming, perpetual cleaning, over-spending, sleeping too much, gambling, excessive screen time, etc.
- Excessive busyness
- Being indecisive
- Making excuses
- Being in denial
- Reacting to criticism
- Always wanting to be right
- Neglecting yourself and/or engaging in poor habits
- Giving up too easily
- Shutting down
- Being irresponsible
- Intentionally not getting enough sleep
If your Fear Monster is “I am incompetent” or “I am a loser” or “I am fake,” these behaviors just might be familiar to you!
Doing life from a negative place works against you even if you are unaware of its effects. However, you might be surprised to know that negativity often plays out in behaviors like…
- Being apathetic
- Feeling sorry for yourself
- Negative self-talk
- Being a perfectionist
- Misinterpreting what others say or do
- Minimizing successes
- Taking things personally
- Being a drama junkie
- Name calling
- Lying and/or pretending
- Putting others down
Beware if your Fear Monster is “I am a loser” or “I am stupid” or “I am rejected.” These are behaviors that you may be prone to.
You are valuable! When you operate in ways that downplay your value, potential, and power, it’s a tip off that fear is at work. It causes you to…
- Sacrifice yourself for others
- Engage in negative self-talk
- Be apathetic
- Lack direction
- Neglect yourself
- Feel helpless
- Not use your voice
- Be a victim
- Resent others
- Make compromises
- Say “yes” when you should say “no”
- Be anxious
- Lack follow through
- Make excuses
- Be inauthentic
- Minimize your strengths, gifts, and talents
- Be indecisive
- Regularly joking at your own expense
- Hating yourself
Recognize any of the above behaviors? Then your Fear Monster might be “I am not enough” or I am invisible” or “I am a loser”.
5. Physical Manifestations
Did you know that fear often plays out in our bodies? There are actual physical manifestations of fear. Even if you’ve fooled yourself, your body knows. It shows up as…
- Headaches or migraines
- High blood pressure
- Heartburn and/or indigestion
- Adrenal problems
- Respiratory problems
- Thyroid issues
This is not a comprehensive list – there are a host of ways that fear translates into physical issues. It erodes your immune system making you more susceptible to colds, the flu, and more. I know I’ve experienced many of these physical issues above and you probably have too!
Dealing with fear is actually preventative medicine! No matter what your Fear Monster is, fear has a way of taking a toll on your health.
How is it Showing Up?
The first step towards living in a more fearlessly is to admit that it is at work. Until you connect the dots between your behaviors, physical manifestations, and your Fear Monster they will continue to dictate your life and not in the best way. That’s why it’s essential to identify your Fear Monster and be able to identify when it’s at work. Here are some of the most common:
The temptation is trying to matter more, perpetually proving yourself, doing funky things to be seen, etc. Responding that way will never shrink your Fear Monster. Instead, you must lean into who God created you to be. Focusing on that results in fear to fading.
Overcoming fear takes practice. It’s not a once and done event. You must become a pro at recognizing when it is in control and the silly stuff you do as a result.
The more you intentionally focus on your identity in Christ and who He created you to be the less power fear has in your life.
Fear – everyone battles it. Why not battle it more successfully?
My Fear Monster has stirred up trouble in my relationships, in my work, and in my health. It’s caused me to do behave in some funky ways.
Fear Monsters are relentless, so there are times it still attempts to mess with me, but I’m getting quicker to see when it’s up to no good and now I have the tools to face him head on!
Everyone has a Fear Monster. Don’t let your Fear Monster keep you from living out of your full potential or being all that God’s created you to be. It’s worth the effort to conquer your Fear Monster!
Models learn how to alter their “family” way of walking in order to strut the runway. In the same way, you can learn to harness your Fear Monster and operate in a fearless way!
What silly stuff do you do when your Fear Monster is in charge?