Are Your Fears Holding You Hostage?

We all have fears. I have mine. I certainly do. I have a fear of fast-moving cars. I do not like to sit in cars that are too fast. I do not like to drive fast. I have a fear of driving on huge highways, and I happen to live in a city that has many of those. Atlanta houses highways with up to eight lanes! Lucky me! (with a tone of sarcasm).

I also have a fear of heights—I really do. You’ll find me sitting on a plane, but you will not see me jump off a plane anytime soon. Actually, I'm not a "never person," but I think I can confidently say you will never see me jumping from any height from a plane—or from a cliff into water. I won’t even hike up mountains. It's not my thing. I do not like heights, period. Nor do I like caves or depths—I will not be deep-sea diving anytime soon! Count me out of those.

I derive my pleasure and adrenaline rush from other sources. A one-hour workout class will give me the same effects. I'll take that instead.


In summer 2015, I planned an exciting trip with my daughters and my daughters' friend and her mom. A four-country European tour. We spent a few days in Athens, Greece, then took a big ferry from there to Santorini. Fun all the way, until the announcement was made that we were approaching the dock in Santorini. I looked out the window from the ferry, and I immediately panicked. What on earth am I looking at? Is there an alternative way to get out of here? In the very near distance, I saw high hills with what seemed like hairline roads winding around them, sometimes at sharp angles, and the cars and trucks driving on them seemed like toy vehicles. The roads were on cliffs that had no barriers from the edge. The vehicles could tip over the cliffs at any time!

What did Iyabo get herself into? I failed to fully research the terrain of this area before booking the trip. I was too mesmerized by the beauty of Santorini as depicted in online images.

My daughters, their friend, and friend’s mom laughed at me and tried to calm my fears at the same time.

I was excited to be here, but my heart was beating really fast…but there was no turning back. We were here. I had to face my fears!

I closed my eyes during most of the drive from the ferry dock to our hotel. That 40 minutes or so seemed like 40 hours. I heard the rest of my party commenting on how beautiful everything looked, but I could only peek for split seconds here and there.

When we arrived at our hotel, I was in awe. Santorini is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The ocean view, the white buildings stacked on cliffs everywhere. Beautiful flowers and sparse greenery was interspersed between all this beauty.

Our hotel also sat on a cliff, but I had to muster up courage and face my fear. I had no choice.

I did enjoy the trip overall, but even with the exquisite beauty, I don't think I'll return there in a hurry.

My fear of heights still exists. It’s not leaving anytime soon.

Those are my fears.

However, they are not life-limiting fears. Even if they try to be, I will not allow them to be.


Other than those two I have explained to you, I have no other fears (OK, OK, there is another little one—crowded elevators).

But aside from those two and a half fears, I stare any other fears that try to limit my life straight in the face. I will not allow any fears to hinder me from my life purpose.

I rarely drive myself now. I Uber most places. I only drive in my immediate neighborhood. I stared that fear straight in the face and found a good alternative. I do certainly need to get around to fulfill my life purposes, so I quickly found a way out.

I do not have to return to Santorini or any similar terrains where cars drive on hairpin roads on cliffs. There are so many other destinations to visit and savor. I will choose those other places for now.

I can patiently wait for the next elevator and avoid the crowded ones.

I will not allow my fears to define me, hold me hostage, keep me in bondage, and annul my destiny.

I have too much to do on this earth. I have to bring my God-given gifts into existence and fulfill my life purpose.

No fear will hold me back.

What are your fears?
 
How many do you have? One enormous one? Three small ones?

Have you allowed them to build a fortress around you? To keep you in constant "stuck" mode?

Is your life purpose on hold because of these fears?

Are you biting your fingernails, experiencing palpitations or jittery legs because of your fears?

Do you have nightmares because of your fears? Wake up soaked in sweat because your daytime fears reflect in your subconscious asleep state?

That fear of starting the business you've always dreamed of?
 
The fear of going back to school to finish your education?

Of leaving the emotionally or physically abusive marriage you've endured for way too long?

The fear of asking your boss for a reduced schedule so you can make time to birth your new creative project?
 
Or of not keeping up with the Joneses anymore, not having the lavish lifestyle anymore, if you change your life in any way and decide to start afresh. Restart from scratch?

 

Or just that simple fear many of us carry around—the fear of judgement from other people? That simple fear is extremely weighty on us. Why do we care so much about what others think of us?


These types of fears, if you allow them to build a fortress around you, will cripple you for the rest of your life. You will stay stuck and wake up one day in your 70s, 80s, and 90s and have regrets, as you realize life just left you behind...as you realize you had your gifts squeezed tightly in your hands because you were too fearful to open up and use them to fulfill your life-given purposes.

Too many of us allow these types of fears to define us. For way too long.

My fears have solutions, but I had to search those out. They are not life defining, at least not for me—because I won’t allow it. I am quite sure they cripple some people though.

But they don’t have to. There are solutions for every fear.

One way to propel yourself to stare fears in the face, and find solutions to combat them, is to constantly remember you have unique God given-gifts that you must utilize to make your dreams come true.

To live out your life purpose in full magnificence.
To influence others to the fullest.

To make the world a better place than when you entered it.

Fear is the opposite of faith. Drop fear. Pick up faith. Live life to the fullest.

The solution for fear is faith.

We must change our mindsets. We must replace our fears with faith. Then we must step out and do the works necessary to fulfill our calling.

May we all become permanently happy…minus our fears!