Fear has a way to overtake your rational thoughts. It’s that fight or flight mentality. Have you ever been in a situation where your body went into a fight or flight response mode? This response is an automatic physiological response that triggers the nervous system when a stressful situation is present. Your body will either choose to fight or flee. Which one do you lean towards? Or does it depend on the situation?
For me, it depends on the situation. In the past, if I felt personally attacked I would fly on out of any conflict that came up. I would become silent and sometimes ignore stressful situations, but go after my family and I was a totally different person. I will fight for my family and I will fight for them to have the best treatment.
I also believe there is a third option for this stressful response, Freeze. I am a person who has to process my feelings because I don’t always know how to put them into words. Part of the reason is that I have anxiety and that is a way it shows up in my life. The other reason is in the past I only saw the conflict as a negative part of life. When a situation caused me to be in a shocked-like state I couldn’t do anything other than completely freeze. As I have unpacked my anxiety this past year, I have learned that first anxiety is not always negative. Likewise, I’ve been reading more about what a great leader consists of and while reading one book, a whole chapter was on conflict. The title of the chapter was “great leaders create conflict”. I read that and was like “ummm, excuse me I thought great leaders were supposed to resolve conflict.” I learned that the conflict that leaders create is more of a tension, an opportunity to push your team to be the best they can be or think outside of the box. When I look through this lens I can see that not all conflict is negative. Just like my anxiety doesn’t have to be a negative part of my life, as long as I have the tools to manage it. With this new outlook on life, specific situations that would have been stressful or overwhelming to me in the past are so much more manageable today.
I want to leave you with one last thought that I have recently learned myself. Fear is not a personality type or a feeling. That means if you are filled with fear constantly that is not just who you are. It’s not your personality or a never-ending feeling. Hear me, fear is a spirit. God did not create you to live in a spirit of fear. Have you ever thought about how many times the bible states “do not fear” or “fear not”. I looked into it and the phrase like fear not is written 365 times. Do you think it is a coincidence that there are 365 days in a year and fear not is written 365 times? I don’t, that means I have a daily reminder to not live in a spirit of fear! How exciting is that! On the flip side being scared is a feeling. Feeling scared is your body’s way of keeping you safe. I truly believe that this scared feeling can also push you to do more, again it’s not always a negative thing. Jobi Martin, a pastor in Florida, explained it like this. “Scared is a feeling that leads to courage. Fear is a spirit that leads to paralyzation.” Let that sink in. Write down that quote and put it somewhere you see daily to remind yourself of this thought.
I pray that this blog today was an encouragement to you and can help in your daily life. Always know I am available to pray with you or just be someone to talk to when life gets hard. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need prayer!
Talk to you soon!