Adventurous? Who Me?

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No one who knows me would call me adventurous.  I have usually lived my life pretty safe.   I am not one who likes to try new things such as kayaking, zip-lining or even driving down a road I am not familiar with.  I think a part of me has always been that way, but in recent years, my living “close to the vest” as the old saying goes, is more prevalent.  I am not sure when I started to feel less in the mood to take a risk.  Don’t get me wrong, I have taken risks in my life and things have often gone well. But there are certain times I am extremely hesitant.  My recent struggles with anxiety have exacerbated this.

Where am I now?

I am at a point in my life now where I don’t want to live fearful anymore. I want to be more spontaneous and adventurous, fearless. I owe it to my husband, my family and most of all to myself. Looking back at my life I can see areas where I was willing to take a risk and areas where I definitely was not. It helps me at this stage to realize I have taken risks before and I can do it again. Even take new risks!

One example of a risk I took was agreeing to move out of state, away from family and begin a new life together with my husband.  I had barely traveled out of state let alone LIVED in another state.  At that time in my life, I was willing to do so.  We had a young child back then and our work options were limited. We needed a change. So we made the move. We did have one family member who lived in our new area. That did help put me at ease some.  As it turned out, this was the best move we could have made. We have been in Virginia for over 20 years now and definitely call it home.

Being somewhat shy and lacking self-confidence I often felt unsure of the choices I made.  I was nervous to step out of my comfort zone, but I now realize it was those very uncomfortable things that helped me grow professionally as well as personally. The growth allowed me to have enough confidence and faith to start my own very small business as well as a blog several years ago.

While I did have emotional setbacks, I feel that am on the other side of that now. I can see how God can use our struggles and our pain to first, strengthen our relationship with Him and second, to allow us to have greater compassion for others and use our experiences to help them carry on.

Moving Forward

I know I have missed out on things in my life because of my lack of “risk” taking and I don’t want to live that way anymore. Part of the reason for this blog in the first place is to help me and hopefully help you to live life to the fullest. To live fearlessly. I don’t mean live stupidly. But to be able to live a life that is unafraid. A big inspiration for this new perspective is the song, Fearless by Jasmine Murray.

I say that I trust that God has got my back, but am I living that out? I hope so. Maybe one day people will say that I am adventurous. Fearless, even.

 

What Does It Mean to Live Fearlessly?

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What is Living Fearlessly?

I started this blog to help encourage not only you, but me, to Live Fearlessly.  But what does that really mean?  I think it can mean different things to different people. For me living fearlessly doesn’t mean living unafraid, but going for it in spite of any fear.  We can try to will ourselves all we want to not have fear, but sometimes it is there nonetheless.

For me, I have been dealing with anxiety that caused me to hold back in my life. To limit my options.  To let fear rule the day. To not live life to the fullest and I don’t want to be like that anymore. I want to live my life in freedom.

Some of us live with fear of failure and that causes us to not go for it. For others it may be fear of rejection or worrying about what others may think of us.  Just think for a minute of all the things you would have done, places you would have gone, if you hadn’t let fear or anxiety take over.

 

How Can We Breakthrough?

So what can we do to breakthrough and move beyond our fear?

  • Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Limit contact with those who tend to tear you down.
  • Say positive things to yourself each day.
  • Give to others. By doing this, it builds up not just them, but you as well. (Read Doing Good for Others Provides Benefit for Us)
  • Make a list of Goals. Include the things you have wanted to do, but have previously let fear hold you back from them. Have Daily, Weekly, Monthly goals. Write them down or put them on your phone. Set alarms to remind you of them.
  • Listen to music that moves or inspires you.
  • Talk with God. Pray, read His word if that is something you believe in.

Having a plan can help you get on track to live the life you have always wanted. Full of freedom and fear-free!  We can do this!

 

Doing What’s Right. Having Conviction. That is Living Fearlessly.

 

I think that most of us have a sense of right and wrong and sometimes we struggle with doing what is right when things get tough for us. Maybe you’ve told a lie to hide something you did to cover up a mistake. Maybe you threw someone under the bus to cover your own butt. Maybe you didn’t speak up when someone was being hurt, harassed or talked about in a negative way.  None of us are perfect and I am sure if I asked, all of us would say we have done one of these at least once in our lives.

But have you ever noticed people who, despite the trials or pressure they are under they don’t cave in? They stand up for the truth, for what is right.  I tend to gravitate towards those people. I don’t think they are that way to be prideful and suggest they are better than anyone else, but that they simply have a code of conduct that they live by and have strong beliefs in what they feel is right and stick by that no matter what.

While I may not agree with someones particular belief about a subject, I can appreciate that person’s convictions on that topic and their absolute resolve in what they believe in and the fact that they will not compromise. Do you know anyone like that? Do you know anyone who, despite even being ridiculed or cast aside, stands firm in their convictions?  Someone who believes and says what he/she says not to win favor, but to be honorable?

Keep in mind, I am not particularly talking about religion, though it could be, but I am simply referring to anything. Any topic at all.  Even politics or social justices which are hot button issues today. I find that I have great respect for such a person.  It takes a great deal of courage to go against the grain and hold fast to things you believe in, even if it isn’t popular. To be able to withstand the judgement of others for the cause.  I also hold in high esteem those individuals who perhaps miss the mark. They make a mistake, or realize the error of their previous actions or statements and are willing to admit them and take ownership of them. I respect that as well.

I think our human nature tends for us to be self-preservationists. We will often do what ever it takes to save face and not seem like we were in the wrong.  But a truly courageous person, can admit his or her failings and try to do better moving forward.  That is the person I strive to be. I am surely not there yet.

I just watched a documentary on HBO about Senator John McCain.  Entitled, John McCain, For Whom The Bell Tolls.  Besides hearing about Senator McCain’s life and the history of his politics and military service, what I find most remarkable and respectable about this man are his strong convictions and fortitude.  His ability to do what is right, even if it isn’t popular. To stand up to people and for people, even his political opponents, when something untrue is being spoken about them. The ability to admit his failings and apologize for mistakes.  I find that moral character to be so attractive in a person. The strength of doing what is right no matter the cost. I think most people can agree that even if you disagree politically with Senator McCain, one can respect his character and courage.

I encourage you to look within yourself and really think about what you believe in. What are some of the beliefs you hold to be true? Would you be the person to stand up for others? Would you be able to admit your failings? These things take courage. Can you do what is right? Be strong in your convictions and be courageous?  I hope that we can all take inventory and try to be persons of strong conviction and character.

 

 

 

 

More Than A Conqueror

More Than a Conqueror

Yes, you are more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37.

God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Claim these truths for yourself. Anytime you feel weak, defeated or fearful, quote these verses and claim these biblical truths for yourself. If you know Jesus as Savior and Lord of your life, you have a right to these promises.

Who Are You?

At various times in our life we all have moments or segments of time where we feel we are going through the fire. I urge you to lean on His word and remember who you are and whose you are. You are a child of God.

When you feel afraid remember His words. Your identy lies in Him, not in yourself or your circumstances. I challenge you to search through the scriptures to find out what God says about you. How he sees you.

He created you and knows everything about you yet still loves you and calls you more than a conqueror. Isn’t it time you get to know Him?

How Setbacks Can Be a Set-up for Success

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Encountering a Setback

Have you ever made a decision to do something positive for yourself or others? Making changes in your life and living fearlessly? You go along feeling good about what you are accomplishing then, BAM. You get blindsided with something that takes your breath away. It could be a bad medical diagnosis, a job loss, relationship issues, financial struggles. Whatever it is, it was something you didn’t expect or didn’t plan on.  The motivation you once had has either slowed or stopped completely.

Sometimes in life we experience setbacks. Take one step forward, then three steps back. It can seem as though getting ahead is impossible. I encourage you to stay the course. Eventually your forward steps will be greater than you backward steps. The times when you are tempted to quit, tempted to just forget about what you were trying to do, don’t. You can put your plan on hold for a minute or two if that is necessary, but don’t quit.

Refocus

Take this time to re-evaluate and refocus your dream, your  goal, your motion.  Think about what was working before the setback. Identify those things. Then identify the things that weren’t working. Actions you took or words you spoke. Gain a new perspective.

 Move Forward

Begin again.  Take one step at a time and use what you have learned during the time of struggle to motivate you to move full steam ahead. View the setback as a set-up for success. Often times our greatest lessons come from failure, mistakes or any kind of setback. Keep pushing past the fear.