Have you ever experienced a burning desire to do what you love; to step out on faith and do something extraordinary with your life?
Do you have a life purpose or calling that is so immense and impactful it’s intimidating?
All of us have natural abilities and talents that could be a blessing to the lives of others. The works in which we would partake for the sheer joy of doing them, without the promise of monetary gain or other accolades. We think to ourselves “if only I had the opportunity to do what I really loved-one day.” Then that “one day” arrives and we are unable to move in our purpose. We are paralyzed by that pesky emotion called fear.
The fear of being noticed
The fear of being scrutinized
The fear of not meeting, or surpassing, the standard
I know this emotion all too well. We are besties. Even when it came to this moment, writing my very first blog post, I was frozen in place by fear.
Keep reading, there is a silver lining in this story.
I have always had some level of understanding of what type of gifts I possess. One of these gifts is writing. It has been the easiest way for me to communicate and connect with people, so it’s natural that my life’s purpose would involve using this skill at some capacity. Throughout my education, I depended on my writing ability to save me from my reluctance to speak in class and earn treasured participation points. In college, like many students, I would write 20 page papers a couple of days before they were due and somehow manage to get great grades (procrastination tends to be my thing). I was always eager to take creative writing or poetry classes and excelled. Based on these experiences, I had all the confirmation I needed to assure myself this was one of the things I could do well. My affinity seemed to match my ability. The idea of writing for more than an audience of 1 (me, myself, and I) or a class instructor seemed appealing. However, the idea of bringing that dream to fruition did, and at times still does, make me wince in fear of potential inadequacy.
Maybe you can relate? What is this creeping feeling of not being enough in our present state? This feeling of “not being good enough” is an obstacle that prevents many of us from taking a chance on ourselves. Now fear itself can stem from many things, some of which I will surely cover in future posts. However, at this moment we will discuss fear stemming from the perception that we do not measure up to some arbitrary standard. Even with external validation from recognition or success, we still count the ways in which we are not good enough to step into our true calling. Mainstream psychology might call this Imposter Syndrome-the inability to internalize accomplishments that result from using our natural gifts and talents accompanied by the fear of being exposed as a “fraud” or scrutinized.
Based on my ongoing relationship with this feeling, I would call it a deterrent or distraction from God’s will. God’s will for us involves using our gifts. His wills for us to seize opportunities to love others as ourselves by using our gifts as acts of service. I am learning to keep this in mind when fear arises. I am reminded that it is not about the ego or pride that feeds our fears. It is not necessarily about us or our emotions that sometimes impede our ability to live purposefully. However, it is about our total submission to God and our ability to let him use us as vessels, even when we ourselves falsely believe that we are inadequate. For He has given us all we need. It may be true that there is always room for growth and that will naturally occur with time, but at this present moment we are enough…rephrase, we are more than enough. Because of God’s goodness, I have more than enough skill to be a great writer. You have more than enough talent to be a chef, teacher, doctor, preacher, or whatever it is your heart desires.
While preparing this blog post, I came across a verse in the Bible that really hit home. Joshua 1:9 reads:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
So as we can see, God has already told us that we should not feel dread or be broken by fear. We should be strengthened by His presence and courageous when fulfilling His will. Whatever it is that is pulling at your heart or God has called you to do, step out on faith. Be reassured that you are enough and you are never alone.
How has the fear of inadequacy operated in your life? What measures are you taking to overcome this fear in order to accomplish your dreams? I’d love to hear your thoughts!