Friday, January 15, 2010

Fear: The Biggest Loser of All

Ok, I'm going to admit something. I LOVE to watch the Biggest Loser. I love watching people changing their lives. It's not the physical side that surprises me as much as how they change mentally. While they accomplish great physical feats, they come to know their own potential. I strongly believe that when our bodies and our spirits work together to unlock our potenial, it is indeed limitless.

While watching this weeks episode, (only the second of the season) they had a challenge where they had to walk a balance beam over the pool. One woman was deathly afraid of water. It took her a long time to finally get up the nerve to put her foot on the beam, then she put both feet on the beam, then she looked down. Fear caused her to jump off the balance beam and onto the pavement in such a way that she fell face first onto the concrete. Her nose was bleeding, she had a black eye and she broke one of her fingers. She was so afraid of getting hurt, that she made it happen.

Why do we allow fear to do this to us? Just by acknowledging a fear, we give it power. Alot of times we bring the fear into reality. For example, when I was writing obsessively, I was so afraid of getting writer's block. So what happened? I got writer's block! I did it to myself, then of course, I felt validated in my fear. "See, I knew this would happen." I thought to myself. Well of course it did, I MADE it happen.

So how do we get over our fears of writing, of rejection, of success, of failure? I think a big part of it is making the fear happen then getting through it as quickly as possible. The biggest challenge in our heads are always the ones we haven't faced yet. So face it, write, get rejected, succeed at something, fail at many things. Once we do, we realize it wasn't as bad as we thought it was. The fear becomes smaller in our heads.

Remember fear is brought about by uncertainty. We don't know how we will face certain things so we create a fear so we never will face them, which is exactly what we must do. Face a fear before you allow it to get too big in your mind. Remember what Kasie said, it's ok to fail, but fear is just another form of quitting.


  1. I'm not sure how to face fear other than to just face it, get it over with quickly. Usually, I find that once I'm on the other side, it wasn't as bad as I thought.

  2. I get pep talks from my awesome writing friends when I'm afraid of something like submitting or writing a query. I remind myself of all the times I've done hard things in the past. And I pray a lot!

  3. I can understand how fear can keep us away from harm or pain or even protect us. But if we always bow to it as it comes our way, we will never succeed. Such as submitting a query letter, submitting our MS to our critique group, submitting a story to an agent...(among other things that have nothing to do with writing!)

    I overcome my fears through prayer--I can never do it alone. I ask the Lord for strength and courage and help to accomplish the things He needs for me to do.

  4. I think The Biggest Loser is the best show on television. I love watching them overcome themselves. It is so motivational.
    I agree with the others. You have to pray to overcome those fears. Then get on your feet and go to work.
    Great post!

  5. I love the biggest loser, it's very motivating. It's hard to overcome your fears, but sometimes you have to face them head on and then you realize it wasn't as bad as you thought.

  6. A couple of months ago, I was visiting a LUW chapter meeting. The topic for the night was free-style poetry. I wasn't all that excited about it. I've not been a big poetry person. After some instruction, we were given a few minutes to compose our own free-style poem. We were then supposed to read it out loud, to the group. I was terrified.

    At first, I refused to write anything. I told myself I didn't know anything about poetry, and couldn't do it. Then I finally conviced myself that I had just been told the rules (there are non in free-style). So I went ahead, and composed my poem.

    When it came time to read them, I froze. I couldn't do it. I excused myself, saying that since I was only a visitor, I didn't want to. They tried to convince me to change my mind, but I wouldn't budge. I cry when I get overwhelmed or uncomfortable, and barely kept my emotions in check.

    On the drive home, I began to regret my decision. If I want to be a writer, I need to put myself out there, and I chose not too. All the way home the regret deepened, and it still hasn't gone away.

    A few days later, my husband stumbled across my poem. He asked if I wrote it, and said he thought it was really good.

    I learned one something about myself that night. Next time, I know I will share my writing. Not because I think it's great, but because it's the first step, in overcoming the fear.

    Thanks for the post.

  7. Wow! Nikki! Thank you for this post. I found my biggest stumbling block was my patience... since becoming a writer, I've learned to be so much more patient than I ever was before--in a way, it was my fear. I was afraid that if I didn't quickly finish a project right then, seeing it to the end, then I'd never finish it. I've learned that you CAN'T finish a book immediately. It takes many many days of rewrites--and stepping back and giving it a rest, before you go back and see it from another POV...

    And Kim! Thank you for sharing your comment. What an amazing experience for you. I'm so glad your hubby found the poem and said it was good too. (and for the record, I'm so not a poetry girl either--)


  8. Thanks for your comments everyone. I definately think there is a reason fear is mentioned so often in the scriptures. It is Satan's tool. And just like any of his tools, prayer is our best defense. Also I think our bumbling way of making our fears come to life is part of God's way of showing us that they're not as bad as Satan would have us believe. The worst fear is the one in our heads that grows until our imagination has worked to paralyze us.
    Kim-Thanks for sharing that difficult experience with us. I know that I definately related to it and I think many of us have experiences like yours. But you made me realize that sometimes our lack of action does wake us up. It does help us to do better next time.



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