Have you ever felt paralyzed with fear?

My son taught me the secret to overcoming fear.
My 6-year-old joined swim team this summer. The sport wasn’t his decision, but being a good swimmer is non-negotiable in our family. Like reading, eating vegetables, and learning how to pray.

As the mother, I need to know that my children are strong enough to negotiate the ocean waves. Or if our car plummeted into the bay.

At the swim meet parents and coaches shouted to cheer the swimmers. The pool deck was packed like a Saturday morning market, no place to breathe.

My son Jayce was determined to win the race. As a baby, he learned how to float. He was confident in the water. He should do well.

As the announcer shouted, “On your mark.” The 6-year-old boys perched their bodies on the edge of the pool. The horn blasted, and all the swimmers dove in.  But the sound of the Announcer and the horn  unnerved him. After he dove into the water, he faltered. Retreating, he climbed out of the pool in tears.

He wanted to finish the race, but fear stood in his way.
All week, he prepared again. I was impressed by his resolve: doing twelve 20 yd. laps in our community pool. He dreamt of winning the race. This time would be different.

But the next swim meet, he waited for his heat with the other 6-year-olds. It was coming up. His coach leaned over to talk to him. From afar, I watched Jayce wipe the tears from his eyes. I quietly worked to assist him with energy work.

But fear loomed bigger than him.  He stopped. He refused to swim in his heat.

My heart sunk with a mother’s concern. Sure, it was only a swim meet. But this experience of shrinking from fear could set a deep pattern for him. I knew only too well that pattern in my own life and in my family. It took me years to learn the secret to overcoming fear. I wanted for life to be easier for him. I hoped he could choose other lessons.

How often do you stop short of your fears?
The fears seem so real for us. We believe them and their power. We believe our own stories. It’s easy to look at a child and know that there is nothing to be afraid of diving into the water. To coach him to tune out the horn blast and the cheering crowds. But your fears are not so different. Only you can give your fears that power.

The first step to overcoming fear is to recognize your resistance as fear. Do you look at technology and freeze up? Are there so many tasks on your list today that you freeze up in overwhelm? Do you make a commitment to yourself, but fall short of your decision? Afraid to take a leap?

When we name our fear as fear, it loses its power. What fear is stopping you from getting what you want? My specialty is removing money blocks, but fear is often at the root.
Stay tuned for the second part of The Secret to Overcoming Fear in the next post. I share how Jayce navigated his fear and how you can too.

Share your thoughts below about fear and stopping short. Let’s continue the conversation.