Marianne Williamson writes in her book A Return To Love, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Two weeks ago today, I alllmooost hit “cancel” instead of “post” when Fear whispered into my ear that my new website wasn’t worth launching.

Why are you even doing this? came the first subtle assault.

Who are you to share all of this?  No one is going to care about what you have to say, came the second.

You’re going to look like an arrogant self-promoting fool.  Close up shop.  The site’s not perfect anyway, Fear hissed.

I’m so glad I didn’t listen to Fear. 

Not just for me, but for you!

So many of you have contacted me over the past two weeks to let me know that one of my songs or posts encouraged you in a big way.

You guys, Fear is a punk.

Fear will intimate that you’re unworthy of creating anything because that song or book or business venture that you’re dreaming up or tinkering on isn’t perfect.

That’s such a lie!

I want you to consider this amazing truth from one of my favorite verses in Scripture instead:

“For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  (Paul, Ephesians 2:10, New Living Translation)

We may see ourselves as broken, jacked-up, tarnished pieces of junk from time to time – because we’ve believed Fear’s subtle lies for so long – but God sees us as a masterpiece.

He looks at you – and me – and says, I want her.  That priceless work of art hiding in the attic.  She’s the one.  Here’s everything I have.  I’ve got the perfect place for her.  I’ll take him over there, too.

I believe God sees your potential – and mine – and is eagerly waiting to see us discover and realize what He already knows to be true.

If you sense Fear slyly sidling up next to you and hear it telling you that you’re a failure and that whatever you’re wanting to put out into the world isn’t worth sharing, try doing this instead:

  • Remind Fear who’s in charge.  When you’ve created something you believe in but you’re tempted to hit “cancel” instead of “post” or “publish” or “share,” don’t hold out on us.  Fear, I’ve learned, scampers away, whimpering, when I’ve removed its power.  You can do the same.
  • Remind yourself of who God says you are.  When you feel like a failure or a fraud, shine God’s light on those lies.  You’ll be surprised how quickly they shut up.  I like listening to some of the reading plans that the YouVersion Bible app offers when I have some quiet windshield time.  Remember:  you’re His masterpiece, flaws and all.
  • Remind us of the creative passions inside of you.  I, for one, want to see the hidden talent you’ve got within you.  One of my favorite gifts I ever received from a Straight No Chaser fan is a beautiful work of cut glass that looks just like the cover art of one of our albums.  It’s in my office to this day (thanks, Kim!).  Whether you’re an introvert or painful extravert like me (HI THERE!  LET’S BE FRIENDS!), a believer or a skeptic, old or young, show us what you got!

What have you heard Fear whispering in your ear today – and what was your reply?  Drop me a line and let me know.

If something resonated with you today, feel free to share it with a friend who could use some encouragement.

Thanks for reading.

-Ryan

2 thoughts on “Dear Fear, You Can Leave Now.

  1. Ryan

    Hey Ryan.

    Thanks for the reminder of who’s in charge. Fear stops so many people from becoming what they could be if only they would/could push fear aside. The most common fear I see in people (I battle it daily) is the fear of what other people will think. Here’s the truth. People don’t really care about what you do. They are mostly concerned with themselves. Instead of worrying about what others think, go try stuff. Go do things that make you uncomfortable. It’s only when we venture beyond our comfort zone that can we truly learn what we are capable of and start to move towards what and who we are meant to be. Imagine if you’d said no to singing in front of a crowd because you were worried about what your friends would think. Not only would you have denied yourself your potential but you would have denied millions of people the sound of your voice. It takes courage to push past fear but you need to do it because we can’t deny ourselves or others of our gifts.

    1. Ryan Ahlwardt

      “People don’t really care about what you do. They are mostly concerned with themselves. Instead of worrying about what others think, go try stuff. Go do things that make you uncomfortable.”

      What a great word, Ryan! Thanks for being in my corner. Know that I continue to be in yours! I appreciate you stopping by and sharing here.

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