Is anyone even reading this? That’s what I wonder as I’m typing. What’s the point in doing a blog? There are a bazillion out there. I don’t exactly have a million friends who are waiting each day with bated breath to hear something witty or, perhaps, profound from me. I’m pretty sure I don’t even have 100. So then, why bother?
Um…I don’t know. There’s my witty and profound answer.
Could it be I am measuring my success by the number of people who click ‘Like’ on Facebook or that actually come to my website? Possibly. Maybe, more accurately, I’m contending my failure by those numbers. After all, isn’t the internet pretty much a popularity contest? If I compare myself to Bloggers who have millions of followers, I’m already defeated. If I compare myself to friends who blog who have hundreds of more followers than I do, again, I’m already defeated.
And there it is. Did you see it? Could you hear it?
That little four-letter word can stop me in my tracks. It’s the fear of failure. It doesn’t stop there. There is the fear of criticism. The fear of looking foolish. That little word has serious power. It creeps into many different areas of my life. Fear that I’ll fail my children somehow. Fear that I’ll be a lousy homeschool Mom. I could go on. What about you? I know we all have our own insecurities, both big and small. I’m certain the foundation of those insecurities is fear.
I joke with my husband-of-few-words. It used to be that his standard advice when something was bothering me was, “Just don’t think about it.” Genius. If only I had thought of that! Seriously? If only it were that easy. But it’s not. Fear can be crippling. When I think about some things I haven’t done because I let fear overpower me, it makes me sad. How many times do we miss out on opportunities because we’re afraid of the outcome? Or the effort? Or the criticism? Or the yanking out of our comfort zone?
The Bible says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness but of power, love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) There are days when I find myself taking deep breaths and reminding myself of that truth. When it comes to the big things or even the small things that truth still applies. If I believe that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) then I ought to believe I was intended to do great things. What if one of those great things was suffocated by fear? That’s a disappointing thought. It’s easy to follow through on something we know will be considered, by the world, a success. It’s harder to take those leaps of faith when we don’t know the outcome. Is one of my great things a blog? Probably not! (Ha!) However, if I choose to do it with the intention to glorify Him and not worry about the number of ‘Likes’ then fear should have no place. It should have no place for you either.
So with that thought, I’m going to take a deep breath and hit the “publish” button. It may or may not still be with a twinge of uncertainty. (Just keeping it real, people.) While I’m doing that, feel free to take your own deep breath and do the thing that fear has held you back from doing. If you’d like you can share with me what it was. I’d love to cheer you on!