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5 Signs Your Fear is Paralyzing You

a business man that is controlled by his fears


God has called you to do something hard...

  • Start a business

  • Step out by faith into a new community.

  • Quit your job despite the bills coming in.

You all pumped up and excited for the road ahead and then…

Fear strikes you down.

You can hardly move as the cut wrenching pain of “what if” pierces your mind and heart. Twisted and confused, you hang you head in silence, paralyzed from moving forward.

This can happen to any of us. It doesn’t matter if you are a mature leader or a successful entrepreneur, you can be controlled by your fears. But when we allow fear to control our decisions, the ones that we love are affected the most. Not only are we stuck in the mud of our doubts and preconceived notions, but our community, family, and business are hindered from moving forward.

So, how do we know when we are being paralyzed by our fears? What are some good indicators that raise the antenna of an anxious soul? Here are five signs you might be paralyzed by your fears:

You dwell on your problems more than God’s promises.

One of the ways you know that you are paralyzed by your fears is that you meditate on your problems continually. You often fail to see others needs around you because you're so dialed in on the intricacies of your frustration. You live absent from reality as the thought of what might happen consumes and expends all your energy.

I wonder what would happen if we replaced all that negative energy toward our fears with a healthy vibrant passion for the promises of God? What if we woke up each day looking for a new mercy and goodness to follow us? His mercy and goodness leads us to repentance and sacrifice.

II Peter 1:4 reminds us, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Dial into the frequency of his unconditional love for you and his ability to keep all of his promises. If you do that don't be surprised if your fear dissipates.

You have such a high standard that nothing will satisfy you.

Another way to know that you're paralyzed by your fear is that you set so high of a standard that nothing or no one can satisfy you. This is called perfectionism and it is alive and well in our self-help, “self-build your own Kingdom” culture. Anything that is rooted in self is destined for destruction.

We sometimes set so high of a standard that all we have left is a standard.

No action plan to get the job done.

No sacrifice to make it happen.

We just put it off because it is too high to obtain. Procrastination is the ugly brother of perfectionism.

If you want to confidently step into the next season that God has planned for you, you need to throw away your own rulebook and embrace what God expects of you. His Word will guide you into a place of peace and rest that perfectionism is sure to steal from you.

You use more personal pronouns than plural.

Here's an indicator that may go unnoticed at first. Like a fox nestled in the thick underbrush of the forests edge, its camouflaged by a false impression of confidence and progressive behavior. It is the use of personal pronouns that I believe pulls back the covering, shedding light into a prideful heart.

Fear is self-focused, and it often manifests itself through the little use of the words “I,” “me,” and “mine.” These three little gnomes watch the garden of our insecurities and hinder the growth of servitude and compassion. I have learned that many people that consistently talk about themselves are the most insecure people in the room. They think if they said it long enough and loud enough they will finally be convinced themselves, that they are who they say they are. But unfortunately, you are not who you say you are. You are who God knows you to be and that is how you should guide your thinking.

You always seek to control a situation.

One of the biggest indicators that someone is letting fear stop them from obeying God, is that they seek to control every situation. Whether it's from hurt from the past or desire to perform, this unhealthy habit can destroy any community or business.

The reality is that Jesus wants the control of every facet of our lives. He longs to guide us to the truth and lead us into His love, provision and care. He tries to make it easy on us by relinquishing us of the weight and responsibility that crushes our shoulders but sometimes we are too stubborn to roll our burdens over on Him. We think we can handle it or it will work out the best if we take control. But to that I ask…Really?

  • Can we really follow our heart when it is so desperately wicked?

  • Can we really trust in our own understanding when we don’t know where we are going?

  • Can we really take control when nothing belongs to us?

Fear can cause you to control the things that God wishes to claim in your life.

You have been hurt and determine no one will ever hurt you again.

This last one is akin to controlling every situation but it holds a major difference. If you've been hurt in the past by a decision you didn't make or a situation you couldn't control, you know what it's like to build a wall up. It's one of the greatest temptations of our human nature to push back against those who have pushed us and to hurt those that have caused us pain. But where does this unhinged desire come from? You guessed it; fear.

  • Fear says punch him first so they can't punch you.

  • Fear says build a wall so they can't come in again.

  • Fear says don’t give people a second chance, they’ll disappoint you again.

But what does faith say?

  • Faith says turn the other cheek when someone hurts you.

  • Faith says love your enemies.

  • Faith says give people a second chance, and a third, and fourth…and for the rest of your life.

This is the way of Jesus.  His heart does not fear hurt. He loves the hands that plucked his beard. He heals the man that pierces His side. The cursing of a world cannot stop his compassion. Fear didn’t stop Him from enduring the cross and fear won't stop Him from doing His work now.

Those are just five little indicators that you may be controlled by your fears. Each time you give into fear you paralyze yourself from obedience and action.

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).


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