2018 Recap: Fear Can Be Deceptive

By Kim Anthony

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My goal for 2018 was to live my life Fearless and Full of Faith.

This year, I took more risks by stepping out of my comfort zone and saying yes to things that were new and in some ways a little crazy…everything from moving into new spaces as an emcee and host to starting a single moms outreach and jumping 30 feet from a cliff into water.

I took on both mental and physical challenges that really stretched my faith and allowed me to see that I can actually do a lot more than I thought.

I started the year celebrating my 50th birthday and instead of moping my way there, my former gymnastics coach and my current coach for life, Valorie Kondos-Field challenged me to kick the doors of 50 wide open with a 50-day fitness challenge to count down the days. It was intimidating and I wasn’t sure if I could make it, but I got so much support from my family and friends that it became a daily celebration of fearlessness!

This was a great way to start, but it would be a lie if I told you that I was Fearless and Full of Faith in every situation I encountered this year.

Nope. I wasn’t.

As I’ve made my way through these 365 days, there were several times, when I allowed my fear to rule my decisions. The thing is, in those moments, I didn’t even realize I was following fear. If I did, I would have immediately shifted my thoughts so I could accomplish the goal (at least that’s what I hope I would). But unfortunately, I didn’t know fear was in charge until it was too late.

I’m thankful that paying careful attention to my fears this year helped me to see that I still have some growing to do. I guess it’s possible for us to operate in fear for so long that we don’t even know it’s happening. Fear can be deceptive. Here’s how that deception showed up for me:

The first way was in the fear of saying, “No.” If I said no, would people think I was mean or snobby, when I’m really a pretty nice person? Would they reject me and no longer want to be associated with me? Or would they pretend to be ok with my “no” but then express their disapproval passive aggressively and try to shame me in front of others? 

It’s sad to say, but none of these scenarios are products of my imagination. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced them all.

Some of you can’t relate to this fear. You may find it easy to say “no” without giving it a second thought. This is good, yet, I ask you to consider those who’ve lived in a particular culture, like I did for so long.  In order to have the natural desire to belong and receive approval satisfied, they/we learned that saying yes to things, that may even be harmful, is the only way to have those needs met.

A second way fear showed itself was in the fear of saying, “Yes.” There were certain things that I was asked to do that I didn’t want to say “yes” to because I was afraid of failing. And in my mind, the greater the number of people who could witness that failure, the greater the fear became. So if you think about it, this type of fear, if I let it win, could prevent me from doing what I was designed to do and minimize the number of people I could encourage.

And get this! There were even times when I didn’t want to say “yes” because I was afraid that I may succeed. If I succeeded, what would that do to the peace and privacy I so enjoy as an introvert? How many more things would I be asked to do? Or, what if people say, “Who does she think she is?” These are the voices from my past that I still hear today.

Although, 2018 wasn’t perfect, I’m happy with my efforts to live life Fearless and Full of Faith. By the grace of God, I have grown to the point that I’ve chosen to no longer allow fear to cause me to hide my light. From here on out, I’m choosing to let it shine! Care to join me?

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. “ - Matthew 5:14-16

In 2019, I look forward to sharing with you, some of those things to which I boldly said, “Yes!”