Sep 052014 7 Responses

Fear Leads Me Too Often

I called an editor. It’s been a year. I told him I had a book idea and wanted to know how much it would cost for him to give me some advice. He gave me a price. I balked.

It was expensive. It was fair, but expensive. I’m not sure what I was expecting—probably half. Isn’t that what we always expect. No matter what price someone gives, we also thought it was worth half that price. Unless we own it, of course, then we think it was worth double of what they said.

He gave a price and I balked. I told him I might call him when I was further down the road.

Truth be told, I didn’t balk at the price; I balked at the commitment. To sign a contract, send a manuscript, and write a check would be a real action. Accountability would come. My wife would gladly spend the money, but it would irritate her if I just wasted it. She’s willing to ignore home upgrades if I’m chasing my dreams, but if I don’t have any follow through, skip the editor and let her buy some new furniture.

I wasn’t ready to commit. (See: Clowns in the Closet–an antidote to fear)

People ask all the time if I’m writing a book. I think they are hoping, not so they can read it, but maybe in hopes that if I wrote a book, these articles wouldn’t be slammed into their inboxes or on their social media pages every day. I’ve written five books in the past two years; I’ve just done it 750 words at a time, five days a week.

Starting a website was intimidating enough. It actually happened by accident, but that’s another story for another time. I’ve grown comfortable in putting my ideas and words out on a daily basis. I’ve gotten over my need for perfectionism in order to accomplish production. Every post has mistakes, but people point them out, I correct them and we move on. At least I am writing.

But a book is another concept. It’s a mountain I haven’t learned to hike. I’m trying. Manuscripts are started. Many of these articles are written with the future in mind. Marriage, parenting, and leadership are all topics I would like in book form one day.

It won’t happen if I keep balking. (See: Why Are We Afraid of Change?)

Last year it was the price of editing; this year it’s the busyness of the pastorate. Next year it will be something else.

Too often we are led by fear. We excuse it. We justify it. We never admit it is fear, but fear is the real reason.

What if I fail?

What if people don’t like it?

What if people don’t like me?

The excuses are endless. And they are universal. (See: You Always Have an Excuse)

At what are you balking?

What are the excuses preventing you from doing what needs to be done?

  • Calling the marriage counselor
  • Mending the broken relationship with your sibling
  • Trying out for the part
  • Asking the girl out
  • Going back to school
  • Writing the screenplay
  • Starting the business

Every time you approach the start of the next level of commitment, what is holding you back?

I’m balking. So are you.

What if we stopped balking and took the chance?

7 Responses to Fear Leads Me Too Often
  1. Theodore A. Peck Reply

    I am more and more convinced that a fear of failure is biggest barrier to success. Failure isn’t the alternative to success, it is a prerequisite to success.

  2. Cork Hutson Reply

    Hi Kevin. I enjoy your posts. They encourage and challenge me in my daily walk. This one is especially true. Fear has kept so many of us from serving God with the talents and abilities He has given us. F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real! Most of it is in our minds. My personal favorite Bible Verse now is 2Timothy 1:7 The spirit (mental disposition) of Fear is replaced by the mental disposition of Power (confident ability, authority, strength), Love (unconditional), and a Sound Mind (discernment, ability to reason and persuade). I just did a similar post called “Peter R Us” on http://thetalkingpen.com. Thanks again for staying with the writing.

  3. Susan DeWoody Reply

    So, I stopped balking on something a year ago this month and finally started my doctorate. My fear says I don’t have time and that we probably don’t have the money. There’s some level of truth to that, but I needed to step out on faith. It’s tough at times, but hopefully well worth it in 2016 when I cross the terminal education finish line. Besides, I wasn’t going to let Dale be the only doctor in our fam, even if we are the kind that doesn’t make any money. Haha!

  4. […] Even I have confessed, “fear leads me too often.” […]... kevinathompson.com/be-afraid
  5. […] The greatest threat to the modern family is fear. (See: Fear Leads Me Too Often) […]... kevinathompson.com/greatest-problem-modern-family

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