As young women, we face many fears. Two that I am often bothered with are fear of failing and fear of not being good enough, whether in the eyes of myself, others, or Heavenly Father.
Are we allowing fears to cause us to change our behavior, shrink from challenges, or hold back? I have definitely felt these effects of fear before. Here is the secret that we must remember, though: fear is not from God, it is from Satan. And who is he to get in our heads and make us feel like we can never measure up?
Elder Uchtdorf said “it is true that fear can have a powerful influence over our actions and behavior. But that influence tends to be temporary and shallow. Fear rarely has the power to change our hearts, and it will never transform us into people who love to do what’s right and want to obey Heavenly Father.”
If this is true, and it is, why do we let fears get to us? Fear is a tool Satan uses to try to hold us back from reaching our full potential. He knows how much power we have to change the world for good, so he tries to distract us with fears to keep us at bay.
My mission preparation teacher told our class that he knew a sister missionary who had a note on her mirror that said something to this affect: “live so that when you wake up in the morning, Satan says ‘oh no, she’s up.’” How cool is that? Living with your mind focused on being like Christ as opposed to fears makes you a powerful tool in God’s hands and it SCARES SATAN! Take that adversary!
One day as I pulled out of the school parking lot, I noticed a boy from my seminary class beginning his walk home. A prompting came to me: “give him a ride home.” Fear and Satan told me to brush it off and my thoughts wandered. “He didn’t ask for a ride, he probably doesn’t even know my name, and I need to get home to get things done.” As I continued to drive in the opposite direction, the prompting came again: “give him a ride home.” I pushed down my fears and took a deep breath. I turned the car around, pulled up by him, and bravely offered him a ride. He willingly agreed and guided me to his house as we talked about the club meeting he just came from and his day at school. I dropped him off at his house, and he thanked me and walked in. Either he never thought of the experience again or the ride made his day, I will never know. One thing I do know is that I triumphed over fear. Obeying the prompting and acting as Christ would bent Satan’s plans in half. With the help of the Holy Ghost, I conquered my fears and temptations. God was so proud of me as I drove home beaming.
2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
The antidote for fear is the pure love of Christ and having faith in Him. If we can rely more heavily on Him, He can lift us above our fears and help us recognize our POTENTIAL. That is what Heavenly Father is focused on, He cares about who we will become, not about whether we stumble a few times along the journey. So you fail? What’s the big deal? Heavenly Father is over everything and He is guiding your days and your opportunities.
It is funny to think about, but sometimes failing is what we need to become the person God needs us to be. Failing allows for growth, and so it is really nothing to be afraid of. We can’t let opportunities pass us by due to our fears. Heavenly Father has planted these opportunities in our path so that we can reach our potential.
Let’s use the antidote. When we exercise the pure love of Christ by serving others and focusing on them, we show Christ that we trust Him and have faith in Him. Thinking about others will distract us from our own insecurities and will bless the lives of others. By pushing through fears, we show God that we have faith that He will “prepare a way” for us to accomplish the things He asks of us (1 Nephi 3:7).
If we follow promptings and act as Christ would, who cares if we fail or what people think about us. God will be proud of us, and what else matters?