As I pulled up in the parking lot, I thought to myself, “What am I doing here?” I contemplated turning around and going back home. The whole reason I was in this situation was I had opened an email from someone I didn’t know. Why I opened that email will remain a mystery to me except I felt compelled to do so.
I checked my reflection in the mirror, grabbed my purse, opened the door and forced my feet to walk in the direction I wanted to go.
Loud music and talking erupted from the room I was entering. My feet felt like bricks as I walked up to the check-in table. The lady found my name, handed me my lanyard, and gave me my manual.
There in front of me was a large room full of round tables. Hundreds of people stood around talking to each other in groups of 2’s and 3’s looking calm and relaxed. I knew no one in the room. Where would I sit? What would I talk about? Maybe I should just keep on walking and exit out the door on the other side of the room!
Why was I so nervous? I was attending a writing conference last fall. The only problem was I was not a writer. I didn’t have a website or a blog. I hadn’t written anything publicly except for a few little paragraphs on Facebook. Now I was rubbing shoulders with authors, thriving bloggers, and highly sought out public speakers. I didn’t belong there. Feelings of intimidation made me feel silly for even thinking I had what it took to write.
However, in my heart, there was a gentle whisper telling me I could do it.
This whisper spoke softly but was powerful enough to shut out all the loud thoughts of doubt. This gentle whisper saw something I didn’t, and it knew the road ahead. All I had to do was decide if I was going to follow where it was leading me and not allow fear to dictate my path.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend that same writing conference again. As I sat there at the same round table in the same big room, I reflected on my journey of the last year. I thought about all the time it took to figure out how to build a website and all the times I had begun to write only to realize I didn’t like the way I had expressed my words on the page. I also thought about the fear that has been a part of the journey.
Perhaps you are like me and feel led in a certain direction, but all you see and hear are the voices of doubt telling you, “You cannot do it,” “You shouldn’t do it,” or “You would be foolish to do that.” I have been there.
I remember the Sunday School class where I sat crying as I asked for prayer while I was pregnant with my third child. My mind filled with fearful thoughts of all that could go wrong. Fear was there when we decided to homeschool our children. It was definitely there while looking at our newborn fighting for his life in the NICU. Fear was there when my husband decided to leave his career, and fear was there when we sold our home and moved into a rental house. I could go on and on about the times fear stood between me and the direction I knew I needed to go.
Perhaps you have felt that same gentle whisper leading you, but fear has made you doubt whether you should follow it.
Perhaps you are wrestling with a decision. Fear may be keeping you from doing the smallest of tasks such as taking a sick friend dinner. It could be preventing you from doing something much bigger such as moving your family to a new country!
As I thought about my own fears over the past weekend, a passion sparked inside of me. I believe this passion has actually been there for several years. However, only now I recognize what it truly is – The desire to help others recognize the hidden fears within themselves. Once those fears are recognized, they can be overcome to achieve your calling!
Over the next few months, I will be exploring the topic of fear and the effects it has on our decision-making process. I will also provide resources to help you overcome the fears that are common to us all!
Please join me on this journey, because I truly believe many people fail to accomplish great things in their life because of one thing – fear.
For now, I will leave you with one question to ponder.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?