School’s been out for almost a month now and the time seems to be going by so quickly. It won’t be long and we’ll be back at school and learning lots of new things!
Even though school is only about 10 months of the year, learning takes place all year long, doesn’t it?
In addition to any content, skills, and how-to’s, one thing we are always learning about is ourselves.
Whether we’re in K-12, college/grad school, or the “school of life,” understanding who we are and why we do what we do is a life-long pursuit.
I’m a firm believer in being a student of yourself! It’s good to check in with ourselves from time to time to see how we are doing; a little self-examination goes a long way.
Here's a little checklist I like to use myself and with those I coach to examine how certain areas of life look as it relates to fear, one of our core emotions. Understanding how fear gets in our way can also be the way to overcome it and experience all of what God has for us. He has prepared good works for us to do and we need not let fear get in the way of that!
Take a few minutes and answer the following using the 1-5 scale below. If you score 1-3 on any of these, take some time to examine when and why you do that.
Be honest; there's no right or wrong. It's just good to take an inventory of where you are and make a plan to move your score to 3-5.
1 - (Always) 2 - (Often) 3 - (Sometimes) 4 - (Seldom) 5 - (Never)
Fear of Failure
___ 1. Because of fear, I often avoid participating in certain activities.
___ 2. When I sense that I might experience failure in some important area, I become nervous andanxious.
___ 3. I worry.
___ 4. I have unexplained anxiety.
___ 5. I am a perfectionist, trying to avoid failure by not doing things I won't do perfectly.
___ 6. I am compelled to justify my mistakes.
___ 7. There are certain areas in which I feel I must succeed.
___ 8. I become depressed when I fail.
___ 9. I become angry with people who interfere with my attempts to succeed and, as a result, make me appear incompetent.
___ 10. I am self-critical.
Fear of Rejection
___ 1. I avoid certain people.
___ 2. When I sense that someone might reject me, I become nervous and anxious.
___ 3. I am uncomfortable around those who are different from me.
___ 4. It bothers me when someone is unfriendly to me.
___ 5. I am basically shy and unsocial.
___ 6. I am critical of others.
___ 7. I find myself trying to impress others.
___ 8. I become depressed when someone criticizes me.
___ 9. I try to determine what people think of me.
___ 10. I don’t understand people and what motivates them.
Fear of Punishment (Blame/Punishing Others)
___ 1. I fear what others might do to me.
___ 2. After I fail, I worry about others' response.
___ 3. When I see someone in a difficult situation, I wonder what he or she did to deserve it.
___ 4. When something goes wrong, I have a tendency to think I'm being punished.
___ 5. I am very hard on myself when I fail.
___ 6. I find myself wanting to blame people when they fail.
___ 7. I get angry when someone who is immoral or dishonest prospers.
___ 8. I am compelled to tell others when I see them doing wrong.
___ 9. I tend to focus on the faults and failures of others.
___ 10. People seem harsh to me.
Fear of Disconnection (Shame)
___ 1. I think about past failures or experiences of rejection.
___ 2. There are certain things about my past that I cannot recall without experiencing strong, painful
emotions (for example, guilt, shame, anger, fear, etc).
___ 3. I seem to make the same mistakes over and over again.
___ 4. There are certain aspects of my character that I want to change, but I don’t believe I can ever
successfully do so.
___ 5. I feel inferior or less than.
___ 6. There are aspects of my appearance that are difficult to accept.
___ 7. I am generally unhappy with myself.
___ 8. I feel that certain experiences have basically ruined my life.
___ 9. I feel like something is wrong with me.
___ 10. I feel that I have lost the opportunity to experience a complete and wonderful life.
How did you score? Perhaps there are some areas of life you could eliminate the fear that keeps you from experiencing God’s best for your life.
Imagine what is possible with more courage and determination to be your best and experiencing God’s best!
Some encouragement for parents and families:
One of the best gifts you can give your children is a healthy YOU! As they’re growing up, our kids are learning how to do everything. They don’t know what we know, so we have to teach them.
One of the ways to teach them is to show them. As you learn more about who you are and why you do what you do, you have the opportunity to make changes where you want to in your own life and be the best example to your family!
We have a God who handles our fear. We have a place to take the fear that shows up in our life; Hisname is Jesus. Our job is to identify where it is, to take an honest look at ourselves and see where we are being held back from the victorious life available to us.
As we do that, our confidence, courage, and resilience improves and we become the examples our kids need us to be!
Consider what God’s word has to say:
Psalm 139: 23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”