Reclaiming a Life from Fear

I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet.

Nadia Comaneci

You might think: Who in the world is Nadia Comaneci, and why is she headlining your blog? Glad you asked! Nadia is a former gymnast who competed in the Olympic games in 1976 and 1980. This girl from small-town Romania was the very first Olympian to ever earn a “Perfect Ten” on a gymnastics routine (uneven bars, Montreal, 1976). As if that wasn’t enough of an achievement, she went on to earn SIX MORE perfect scores in 1976, two more in 1980, and a total of nine Olympic medals.

Source: By Unknown (Comitetul Olimpic si Sportiv Roman) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cool beans! But so what? you ask. What does this gymnast from the 1970s who lived at the other side of the globe have to do with us here and now? A lot, really. I stumbled across her story several months ago when doing a work project, and that quote of hers has been stuck in my brain ever since.

Here’s the thing: over the past few years of my life, I have experienced a lot of really good stuff, and a lot of really tough stuff. Through all of that, I’ve become convinced that I have been living a life that is largely controlled by fear. What’s more, I’ve learned that what Nadia said is very true: the best (and often only) way to defeat fear is to face it head-on. It is a journey I am just beginning, and as I start down this new road, I realize just how much other people also live their lives in fear. My goal with this new blog is to chronicle my journey of self-development and growth, and in doing so, help others grow along the way.

Before we get too far, let me introduce myself. My name is Michael, and I live in small-town Kansas. I graduated from college several years ago, and immediately after graduation accepted a job on the college staff. The opportunity to work at the college while also finishing a second degree there was too tempting, so I decided to turn one of my minors into another major. This was an awesome arrangement and worked out well, but after several years of this I realized my goals were no longer compatible with where I was.

When I started looking for work outside the college, I realized just how comfortable I had gotten in my little bubble. I didn’t really want to leave the tight-knit community, but staying didn’t fit my long-term goals, so it was inevitable. With some help from several mentors and Providence, I found a new job that has been a big blessing, but the transition was not an easy one. This is when I started learning just how much fear was guiding me. It took a combination of a physical health crisis, financial hardship, relationship difficulties, and the challenge of starting a new job in a new place to really get me to pay attention to my life, and the subconscious beliefs and attitudes that were dictating my actions and thoughts.

I hadn’t been satisfied with what I was doing and where I was going, but a “perfect storm” of events came together and really got me to wake up and pay attention to my life trajectory, rather than just reacting to life as it happened to me. I’m a firm believer that God can use even the greatest of tragedies to create something new and good, and I believe that all these circumstances coincided at this time in my life for a specific reason. I don’t think I can honestly say right now that I am thankful for all of them, but I believe in the future that may change. All too often we don’t think much about the important things in life until we are forced to.

I’ll share more about my story and the journey I’ve been on in future posts, but for now, I hope you’ll take a moment to reflect a bit. Maybe you are in a similar situation. Maybe you feel like you don’t know what you want out of life. Maybe you’re going through the motions, or doing what you’re “expected” to do, but don’t feel like you are really “living.” Do you have hopes and dreams that you have abandoned? Do you feel stuck in a rut?

There are any number of things that could cause you to be unsatisfied with where your life is at or where it’s going, and I don’t mean to be simplistic. Each of us is different and lives in different circumstances, but might I challenge you to really think about WHY you are where you are? Is it possible that you’ve allowed fear to quietly take over parts of your life? Fear may not always be the root cause of these issues, but I believe it is a big culprit. It’s easy to fool ourselves. We don’t like to acknowledge our fears, so we bury them beneath excuses: “I’m not talented enough,” or “I’ve got too much baggage,” or “It’s not practical,” or any number of things.

Don’t get me wrong: fear is necessary and very helpful in some instances; in fact, it’s vital for survival. So often, however, it becomes a hidden monster that dictates our actions. That’s part of what makes us human. It’s no coincidence that “Fear not” or “Do not fear” appears so many times in the Bible. Being human makes us prone to fear, and fear often gets in the way.

With that in mind, I want to share with you my goal for this blog. I’ve never written a blog before, so it’s a new experience for me, but I don’t want to simply share about my own life: I want to help inspire others. For now, I want to begin to share my journey and hope it inspires you to start your own personal journey. I won’t pretend to have all of the answers, but I will share what I am doing and learning.

I want to hear from you, too! If you have thoughts you want to share, suggestions of what to explore, etc., please share them with me! This is very much as learn-as-we-go type of thing.

My primary focus is to zero in on personal development, and my first focus is on facing fears. That will be my theme for the first several weeks, and then I plan to branch out to other personal development ideas, such as life skills. No doubt my subjects and thoughts will change and evolve as I get more comfortable with blogging, and as life happens.

With that in mind, I’ll leave you with a challenge: start thinking about your life, and how much you allow yourself to be dictated by fear. Fear of what other people think of you, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of change, fear of loss, fear of uncertainty, fear of pain, maybe even a fear of success! I challenge you to do the tough mental work of thinking through why you do what you do, and why you are where you are. It’s not easy, and you may not like what you find. It will take time, but you have to have the courage to be honest with yourself if you want to start making a lasting change. It’s not an easy journey to begin, but it is so worth it. You have little to lose, and much to gain.

Until next time!


Please post any thoughts or comments below. Special thanks to my brother, Nathan, for proofreading and offering suggestions.

11 thoughts on “Reclaiming a Life from Fear

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    1. This is great and is also a roadblock in my life. Thank you for sharing.. I will definitely be thinking about how I ended up where I’m at today.


  1. No longer slave to fear
    And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    Something I’ve been acutely taught though the years. We do not save ourselves from sin. Neither do we perfect ourselves. We surrender to Jesus love that he showed to us. And we become more like sons to the father.

    Blessings on your heart, soul and mind on this life long journey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and for sharing. It’s very true; we can get in trouble when we try to do things in our own strength. Only reason I have learned what I have so far is by giving it up to God, and that usually happens when I’m at the end of my rope!


  2. Congrats on the launch, Michael! Really enjoyed this. Difficulties can certainly bring an introspection that wouldn’t otherwise occur, but not everyone is willing to see the changes that need to be made. Nor are all willing to change once they do realize it! Thanks for sharing your insight!


  3. Thank you for sharing! Have you heard of the Enneagram? It is a personality typing that is based on people’s deepest fears and deepest desires. While I am not an Enneagram evangelist (mainly because I can’t figure out what type I am!), it might be something you find interesting as you explore this idea of fear.


    1. I have heard of it, and you’re not the first person to suggest it either. Up to now I have resisted it because when I got involved in learning Myers-Briggs it sort of turned into a rabbit hole…. but I may have to check that out! Have you done MB?


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