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Sharpening Iron to Live Second

Fear is one Mean Son of a …

fearisonemean, fear is one meanMany people talk about fighting their fears, yet they invite it into their lives like they are best friends.

Personally, I have talked a good game when it comes to fear. I mean come on… when I fell and hurt myself mountain climbing, I went right back and climbed a bigger mountain the next year. When I was learning to ride a bike, I never gave up nor would I use training wheels. Bruised and broken fear would not get the best of me.

As a kid I used to stand up to any challenge (not the brightest move at times). Whether it meant jumping off rooftops, surfing on top of cars, whatever the challenge I was game. I used to play with vermin that would make many people squirm. A game of chicken, or rugby I was I was first in line. Even though often the last to be picked.

You see when we are younger, sure fear exists. We just don’t give it space in our minds. Fear is one mean son-uv-a … as when we get older. We grow up and those stories that your mom used to tell you to keep you from doing something. Well, they start to come true and have real meaning. Now roller coasters that used to be a blast are terrifying. You really do pack a extra clean pair of underwear just in case.

While the fear of the spanking and ‘the wait until your dad gets home’ was usually ten times worse than the actual spanking. The moments leading up to the leather swiping your bare buttocks were just as frightening.

When you get older you find yourself needing a night light again. Not so much for the boogieman under the bed, but the fear of tripping and breaking a leg.

Lately fear has royally kicked my tail. Better than any whooping that I got as a kid. I have allowed the words of my past interfere with my future. When you grow up hearing how much of a disappointment you are, you start to believe it. There are words that innocent as they may sound should never be said to a child.

Words like:

  • You will never amount to anything.
  • You are a disappointment
  • Why can’t you be more like ——– he is doing so well.
  • I’m ashamed of you
  • Wait until your father gets home
  • Don’t cry, I will give you something to cry about
  • I am not your friend
  • Because I said so
  • Sit here until you eat everything on your plate
  • You will never amount to much

Although these words sound simple enough, they can be demoralizing. When you are constantly compared to the success of others. Or better yet your own shortcomings are highlighted. The expectation of playing second fiddle has been set. It may be years but that fear that was drilled into you as a child will show up again.

It can manifest in many different ways. Some people turn to narcissistic behavior to over compensate. They go from one relationship or job to another, never willing to commit or settle down. The fear of amounting to nothing becomes a target they are sure to hit. Rather that setting and achieving their goals they always will fall short.

Have you ever known someone that had everything going for them, then all of sudden they quit? Sabotaging themselves right before they finish a goal. They likely lost another battle with their own fears. When you live a life with low expectations, success is not something you expect to obtain. Fear will make you get in your way every time. If for nothing else but just to prove once again that you can’t win.

Recently, I have had a twelve round bout with my own fears. I allowed the demon spirit of fear envelope my life. Instead of breezing through my last semester in school, I have stumbled. Overwhelmed with stress, anxiety and thoughts of quitting. Fear paralyzed me into submission.  It has forced me to face decades of struggles that I pretended were not there.

You see I am one of those people that always quit before the end. I rarely finish what I start. I have allowed the fear I had as my childhood be my best friend. It still remains in my life many years later.

Through prayer and many restless nights I believe fear has begun to pack their bags. It has no place in my life and I once again am facing my fears, this time not in the shape of a mountain but a mirror.

Now its your turn: Have you battled fear in your life that was developed as a child? I would love to hear your story. Share below and together we can show fear the door.



About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

6 Replies

  1. Fear of never having done things keeps me from doing them.

    1. The fear on inaction definitely is a struggle of mine as well David, thanks for sharing.

  2. I’ve heard all of these words before. Sad to say I’ve said some of them. I no longer say them because I know the damage that they do.

    I still am fearful of many things.

    Thank you for posting this! This message must be spread.

    1. It amazed me when I really looked back the damage that was done intentional or not. You are stepping through your fears everyday brother just keep at it.

  3. Miranda

    Charles, I have a fear of disappointing people by being who I really am. When I would give my opinion or behave in a way that was less than perfect, I would hear, “You’re acting just like _____.” I never could see what was so bad about that person, but apparently I wasn’t supposed to be like them. So through the years, I’ve tried to make sure my imperfections and my nonconformism stays quietly undercover. I’m making progress and a conscious effort to be myself, but it sure is hard to go against the ruts in life.

    1. It is hard sometimes to be yourself as others tend to judge us. I have learned that if I live for the purpose that I was made rather than trying to please mankind my life gets a lot easier. We were all made to be individual miracles not cookie-cutter fakers. I will pray that you find the comfort in your own skin, imperfections are what make each of us special.