When I first decided to become an author and professional writer nearly three decades ago, my esteemed writing mentor told me one savvy piece of advice that saw me through many rejection letters and what seemed to be several closed doors before the ones I needed were finally opened. “Fear the fear and do it anyway,” he exhorted passionately.
And I did. I felt a lot of fear, trepidation, and anxiety. But I worked through those feelings and took the required steps in order to move towards my very concrete, measurable, and timely goals. Much to my utter amazement, each of my goals came to fruition exactly, to the week, of my self-imposed written deadlines.
I had made personal goals to get published in a certain magazine that I had always loved while growing up, and one that my family always had an ongoing subscription to, sitting on the coffee table. That goal had a deadline of several months. I had another written goal to write a travel column of some kind within six months. I also had a written, one year goal, to get my first book published. Each of those goals, were daunting, scary, and the unknown was a bit paralyzing at times, but I did, indeed, accomplish each of them within days of their (my) respective deadlines.
As a small child I had a few fears just like most any kid. I feared the Bermuda Triangle (I had watched part of a scary movie when I was supposed to be in bed). I was afraid of my marionette. And I was afraid of my Jack in the Box that popped out of his metal box very loudly. As we grow our fears often change.
I fear different things now than I did as a child but fortunately I’ve learned how, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to defeat fear and not let it paralyze me. I won’t say I’ve mastered it perfectly in all situations but fear generally doesn’t cripple me and I have become much better over the years, at giving fear far less power in my life. Fear is powerful. It’s not an easy task. But at the heart of conquering our fears is to render it powerless with faith, truth, surrender, and trust in God. 1 Peter 5:7
Since fear is the opposite of faith, we must surrender and step away from pride. When we surrender the outcome to God, the outcome is limited to His unlimited resources and ability. Psalm 55:22 And simply put, the more we immerse ourselves in truth, trust, and faith, the less room we give to fear. Isaiah 41:10
Don’t confuse wisdom and caution with fear. It’s wise and prudent to gather information, research, and pray for guidance. We must do our part. It took hundreds of hours to write my books, research editors, learn to write effective query letters, learn how to pitch stories, master how to analyze the slant of a publication, learn the correct protocol for follow up, etc. etc. etc. But once I knew it was what I was called to do, I didn’t let all the unknowns bog me down. I stepped out in faith, did my part, and let God do the rest. He did through me, a willing vessel, more than I could have ever done on my own, as I went on to eventually write seven different magazine columns, publish five books, publish over 3000 articles, host three radio shows, and teach others how to do the same in seminars and workshops across the nation. The greatest accomplishment perhaps, was mentoring thousands of writers how to reach their goals, and to even run into some of them years later on press trips in other countries. It all came full circle from what my mentor had taught me.
God has great plans for you. That’s not my opinion; that’s His promise. Jeremiah 29:11
If God can take the fear out of eternity won’t you trust Him with your goals, dreams, and ambitions now?