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Want to grow and be successful? You’ll have to be a warrior and be fearless, right? Not even close. In Episode 56 of Faithful on the Clock, you’ll learn why the fearless mindset can be harmful to your development and relationship with God, and how to think instead.
[01:27] - All emotions, including fear, are normal. Fear does not have to be “eradicated” because it is in fact a natural protective mechanism God gave us.
[02:11] - Too much fear is stressful, so even though fear is normal, we need to cope with it properly. To that end, God has given us a spirit or core of power, not fear. This doesn’t mean we never feel fear, just that it won’t break us. Jesus likely felt fear in the garden before the crucifixion, so He does understand the feeling.
[04:05] - Jesus might have felt fear in the garden, but He trusted God to do the right thing. We need to offer the same trust. We can use Philippians 4:6-7 as a reminder.
[05:27] - Jesus also trusted God to replace His fear with peace. God wants to do that for you, just as a parent comforts a frightened toddler. You don’t conquer fear. You give fear to God so He can conquer it instead, because He’s more equipped to handle it.
[07:05] - Fearlessness doesn’t come from you, but rather from your relationship with God. When fear strikes, tell yourself you can be fearless thanks to God.
The fearless mindset is the idea that you have to conquer or push aside your anxieties to win out. It’s usually portrayed with positive intentions behind it.
All emotions, including fear, are normal and serve a purpose. In that sense, the goal isn’t to eradicate fear, but rather to recognize it as a God-given alert system that we might be facing risk or danger.
Fear can have negative consequences if we don’t handle it properly.
Scripture reminds us that we are not made with a spirit of fear. But that doesn’t mean that we, in humanness won’t ever feel it. It just means it’s not meant to be the core of our being or driver in our lives.
Jesus’ prayer in Gesthemene shows that Jesus can understand fear. But it also shows that He was willing to hand control over to God and trusted Him to exchange the fear for peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 instructs us not to be anxious and to go to God. The bottom line through that verse is that we don’t conquer fear. God does. We’re supposed to hand it to Him so He can handle and carry it for us. We’re not supposed to try to power through on our own.
The ability to be fearless comes not from inside of us, but from our relationship with God.
Connect to the accurate “why” behind your ability to be fearless by saying “I can be fearless thanks to the God Who walks alongside me.”
What’s coming up next:
What do you need in a great pitch? Whether you’re looking for funds or want in on that next big project, Episode 57 of the Faithful on the Clock podcast will show you how to present yourself.
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Welcome to Faithful on the Clock, everybody! You’re listening to the show that gets your work and faith aligned, and for the next 10 minutes or so, I’m your host, Wanda Thibodeaux. Today’s episode is going to challenge one of the most popular mindsets in business, the fearless mindset. I’ll explain why the idea of fearlessness actually can hold you back in business or other areas of your life, so let’s hit it.
All right! So, the fearless mindset is this concept I hear all the time in business circles that you have to just be a warrior and face everything that scares you, you know, that you’ve gotta overcome or conquer all of your anxieties. And people will tack this idea on to positive risk-taking. So for example, maybe you’ve got an investment opportunity, and you’re a little apprehensive you’re gonna lose your money, but you go ahead and you invest anyway. Or maybe you’ve never worked in a certain industry before, so you’re nervous, but you go out and jump into it and just tell yourself it’ll be good for your career. And so it’s usually meant in a good way. Like, the people who say, “Be fearless,” I understand they’re just trying to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and to grow a little bit. And again, this is a really popular idea. I know one professional, he’s kind of centered his whole game and brand around it.
But here’s the problem with the fearless mindset. My opinion is that every emotion, including fear, is a very normal part of life. It’s just there as a signal to you that says, “Hey, wait a minute. This might be unsafe. Have you really thought about what’s gonna go down here?” So fear, it’s just a protective mechanism. That’s all it is. And it’s 100 percent a regular part of the human experience, OK? Anybody who tells you they have no fear at all is lying. And in that context, in the context that fear does serve this positive purpose for you, I don’t really like the way we always treat it as this horrible thing that has to be eradicated.
That said, too much fear is stressful if you don’t handle it the right way. It can mess with you in all kinds of ways, whether that’s, you know, stomachaches, just freezing in your spot, keeping you awake at night…so even though God designed you to have this little alarm bell warning system inside of you that you might be facing some kind of risk or danger, fear also isn’t something you want to hang onto or let control your life. And so I first want to point you to 1 Timothy 1:7, which says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” And the way I interpret this is, it’s not that we’re never gonna feel fear. But our spirit, our core way of being, that center part of us that’s most connected to and reflective of God, that’s filled with strength. So when things get rough, we can have courage. We’re not gonna break and the fear isn’t going to rule or control us, because that center is so solid. And I know this might be a little confusing for some of you out there. You might say, “But Jesus has no idea of what fear is.” Or you might think God is too powerful to understand it. But we see in Matthew 26:39, when Jesus is about to be crucified and He’s in the garden of Gesthemane praying, He says, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” And you know, He says, basically, not my will, Father, but yours. But I really think that even though Jesus knew what was coming, He had that moment where He felt the fear of death, and I think God allowed that so that we really could say that Jesus has suffered and been tempted with everything anybody else suffers.
Now, if you want to extend this a bit, again, what did Jesus say? He said, “Not as I will, but as You will.” So in that moment of fear, He handed complete control over to God. He trusted God to do the right thing. And in the same way, when we get scared, we need to trust that God’s gonna make the right call for us, too. But there was something else going on in that garden, too, that I’ll show you. So now I want to take you to Isaiah 41:10, which says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” And there are similar verses like Joshua 1:9 and Deuteronomy 31:6. But all of those verses give reassurance that, you know, even when you’re on your own face in your own garden praying, God’s not gonna leave you. But this is the big verse I want you to memorize, OK? It’s Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
See, it wasn’t just that Jesus trusted God to do the right thing. I think it was also that Jesus trusted that, if He went to God, God was going to take the fear He had and replace it with peace. He knew God could do that. I mean, think about a little 1- or 2-year-old kid. If they came to you and were just terrified, what would you do? You’d comfort them, right? You’d let them know you were right there. And that’s exactly what God wants to do with you. He wants to take all the fear you’ve got and calm you down. But I think what happens is, we get fed this message that there is no way to deal with fear except to face it all by our own strength. If we stick with the toddler analogy, we’re basically telling ourselves, “Well, tough luck, there is no parent or comforter, so I gotta just be brave and dig my heels in or I’m a nobody and I’m never gonna have any success.” And I want you to see that you never were really meant to do that, OK? You were never really meant to be dealing with fear without God. And I think the fearless mindset we have in business today, that's exactly what it promotes. So I just want you to understand that you don’t conquer fear. You give fear to God so that He can conquer it. Do you see the difference? Because remember, just like a parent compared to the toddler, He’s got so much strength, so much knowledge, so much everything that we don’t, and so He is infinitely more equipped to carry it.
So what it boils down to is, you can be, quote-unquote, fearless, but it doesn’t come from you. It comes from your relationship with God. It comes from, you know, like Proverbs 3:5-6 say, leaning not on your own understanding and submitting to Him in everything. And my challenge for you in this is that, when you need to get fear out of the way, instead of, you know, making a list of your accomplishments or coming up with all sorts of rationalizations about why the fear doesn’t make sense–because remember, a lot of the time, fear, it’s not logical at all, anyway–just stop. Just stop and tell yourself, “I can be fearless thanks to the God Who walks alongside me.” It’s that little “thanks to” part that really helps you connect to the accurate why behind it all so you can be courageous without losing the humility you should have.
So let’s just take a moment, and I just want to offer a quick prayer to wrap things up before I send you on your way.
Lord, part of what makes You so amazing is that you understand us so completely, including all the things we feel, including fear and anxiety and all the stress that comes along with that. And God, I thank you that, because you understand how hurtful fear can be to us, how devastating it can be, that you always are beside us and willing to exchange that fear for peace. I ask that you help us set our egos aside so we remember we don’t have to carry this burden, and I thank you for your Son, Jesus, who died to make sure we’d always have Your help. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
We’ve finished another episode, listeners. Thanks for sticking with me. You’ll definitely want to be ready for the next show, because we’re talking about the essential things you need when you are pitching. That could be to win a project or funding or reaching out to someone for mentoring, there are a lot of scenarios, but I’ll lay out exactly how to make a case for yourself or your business. To make sure you don’t miss that, subscribe to the show at faithfulontheclock.captivate.fm or wherever you get your podcasts. I’ll see you in two weeks, everybody. Be blessed!
Faithful on the Clock is a podcast dedicated to ensuring your faith and work align. You won’t find mantras or hacks here--just scripture-based insights to help you grow yourself, your company, and your relationship with God. If you want out of the worldly hamster wheel and want to work with purpose, then this is the show for you. Hosted by freelance business writer Wanda Thibodeaux.
Wanda Marie Thibodeaux is a freelance writer based in Eagan, MN. Since 2006, she has worked with a full range of clients to create website landing pages, product descriptions, articles, professional letters, and other content. She also served as a daily columnist at Inc.com for three years, where she specialized in content on business leadership, psychology, neuroscience, and behavior.
Currently, Thibodeaux accepts clients through her website, Takingdictation.com. She is especially interested in motivational psychology, self-development, and mental health.