Avoiding Fear, Missing Success

Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory.

Henri Nouwen

It could be because we care most about these things. This is why it’s so easy to avoid the tasks, relationships and opportunities most important to us.

On Tuesday evening, my writing group had a great discussion about what it takes to make time for writing and face the intimidation of the empty page.

Begin. It sounds simple. The longer we delay in taking the next step of action, the harder it becomes.

Are you waiting to begin an important task?

I admire my sister in law, Anna. She came to our Sunday afternoon writing group with a question, I’m not sure what the next step is for my blog. 

We brainstormed and discussed the need for social media and email fundraising advice and help for missionaries. Anna and Justin are working towards being missionaries and Anna’s masters thesis was on how missionaries are currently using social media to raise support.

Anna left our group with ideas and next step suggestions. She could have waited and avoided this new opportunity. Instead, she courageously jumped in. Within days she announced her decision to the world. You can see her new facebook group, Paper Dove Ministries, here.

Do you have dreams that it’s time to pursue?

It’s tempting to wait until we know how everything will work together. I tend to pause before projects, trying to figure out all the details. It’s good to plan, but it’s easy to get stuck there.  Sometimes we need to leap in and start moving. The pieces will fall into place.

At work I run up against this all the time. It’s fast paced. Things change every moment. People call in sick. Problems arise. Sometimes I forget that this is part of the job. I begin to feel angry and entitled. Why can’t everything naturally fall into place? When these feelings arise, I am the one who loses. Circumstances remain the same, but instead of accepting the way things are, I am like Jonah, sitting on a hill overlooking the city of Ninevah. Instead of celebrating (the people returned to a relationship with God) and supporting the people in their new faith, Jonah pouts because things have not gone his way.

Moving forward requires creativity. We cannot control the details. When we’re moving forward, there will be bumps in the road: problems, challenges and frustrations. I need to remember that this is part of the journey. I want to embrace the process. These challenges and frustrations are scraping up against my soul and, if I allow them to, they can build and equip me for the future.

For me, today, this means giving a copy of my e book to an Editor friend who kindly offered to review it for me. It means beginning to dream of my next project and starting to move forward with it. It means continuing to teach my writing class. I can tell I am on the right track because I am afraid and because I am happier doing these things than I have been not doing them. My dreams are becoming a reality.

Moving forward does not guarantee success, but if we do not move forward, we gain nothing.

I would love to hear from you.

What does moving forward look like for you today?

6 Comments. Leave new

Dave Arnold
27 June 2013 4:23 pm

Great post, Deanne. Really enjoyed your writing style & thoughts. For me, moving forward means writing out a few goals and then putting them into action steps. For example, I try to do one main goal each week for my personal growth and for my professional (writing/speaking/ministry). Again, very good post.

Reply

Thank you Dave! I checked your blog out and love that you have a heart for the displaced. My husband learned Arabic in Iraq & has a heart for the many refugees who are now in the US. I like your idea of focusing on two main goals a week – sometimes I have so many goals it’s hard to know what to focus on.

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Nick Lazaris
27 June 2013 6:25 pm

Deanne, great post! Just today a client told me of the steps she took this week towards her goals and how afraid she became afterwards. I told her, just as you have shared, that her fear was a wonderful sign of her growth.

Reply

Thanks Nick! I love how you put that, fear being a sign of growth. It helps knowing that as we try new ventures.

Reply

Great minds think alike….read my last blog post—Through the Process….it is all about what we learn through what we are doing right now and how God is working!!!! Love how our writing often coincides :)

Reply

That’s awesome! Can’t wait to read it :0)

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