the reckless dad

‪reck·less /rekləs/ adj. without thinking about the consequences. rash, heedless, impetuous, impulsive, daredevil, audacious, madcap‬

Category: Failure (page 1 of 2)

Fear is a Liar

Fear-is-a-Liar

Fear is a Liar.

I believe this to be the most appropriate location to begin a conversation on how to limit fear. In order to limit fear in our lives, we have to recognize it for what it is. A Lie. Fear lies to us on a regular basis. Fear attempt to convince us of things that likely will never come true. Fear attempts to thwart our efforts of success by getting us to short-circuit ourselves before we even try something.

I am not an expert in mastering fear. I often feel like the apostle Paul who said, ‘not that i have attained it’ because I have not attained it. Not even close on many subjects. Or any subject for that matter. But I have learned to control fear in my life to some degree. I have learned to overcome it and press on through the darkness and coldness of fear. Here are some things I keep in mind to assist me in pressing on through the fear.

  • Failure is ALWAYS and option – Always. It is ok to fail. There is no need to fear failing because it is inevitable. I will fail. And I will fail again. And again. Failure is an opportunity to learn. Learn both what I did well and what I did poorly in that given scenario. There are times when failing is the only way to learn. It is the process of trial and error leading to a better way to get things done. I have overcome fear by learning that it is ok to fail. It is ok to fall flat on my face. It is to make mistakes. The critical part is learning from the mistakes so as not to make them again.
  • ‘What if’ is worse – In my experience, wondering ‘what if’ is worse than anything, even failing. Looking back across the landscape of my life and realizing I tried nothing for fear that it work out the way I hoped. Second guessing my life and decisions I have made, has consumed more hours of my life than I care to admit. Constantly consumed with ‘what if’ because I was unwilling to try something is significantly worse than trying something and having any outcome. Because at least I tried and now I know.
  • Nothing is gained by doing Nothing – my brother had children’s book as we were growing up, whose title or premise I can’t recall. The only thing I do recall is a mouse who consistently said he can’t do this or that. Finally at the end, another wiser character told him ‘Can’t never could’. This phrase has stuck with me ever since. Because can’t never could. If you never try anything then you will never know your limits and you never gain anything, even if the only gained is self-awareness of what you are capable of.

Fear does not tell the truth. Fear uses lies to limit us and give us a false sense of we who are and what we are capable of. These are some things I keep in mind when facing a situation I fear. They have helped me. Maybe they can help you.

An Unpleasant Emotion

fear 1

fear

ˈfir/
noun
  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

    “drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder”

    synonyms: terrorfright, fearfulness, horroralarmpanicagitationtrepidation,

    dreadconsternationdismaydistress; More

There you have it. Fear.

When I think of fear, I can’t help but to think of The Replacements and the classic locker room scene where the coach asks them to admit their fears. Watch it here.

I have come to believe the reality of life is that we are held back in every aspect of lives by fear. Fear takes on many faces and comes in many forms, but the ultimate reality is that fear controls us all at some time or another. Fear traps us and keeps us from being able to move forward in life. Fear inhibits, prohibits and limits us from moving. It paralyzes. It overcomes and overwhelms. It conquers and leaves devastation in its wake.

Why? Why do we let fear immobilize us the way we do? Is fear really that powerful? Does fear really have that much control? Has fear been unlimited power, rendering us powerless to battle against it?

I think what gives fear its power is the unknown or the intangible nature of what it does to us. There are times when our fears are rooted in reality or in previous experience. But many times, fear is not rooted in anything other than our own fear of fear or a fear of the unknown or fear of an outcome based on insufficient or incomplete information. Let me explain. On Friday I took the youth from Grace Landing’s group home to a high ropes course. A couple of the obstacles we tackled you had to climb a ladder for about 15 feet, then climb a telephone pole for another 15 feet arriving at the obstacle approximately 30 feet in the air. One of the youth was barely able to make it off the ladder. He was afraid of falling. His fear in that moment was fear of an unknown, or more specifically fear based on insufficient or incomplete information. He was wearing a climbing harness which was secured around his waist. He was securely attached to a safety rope by locking carabiner. The safety rope was proper rigged and secured to an anchor point. There was a trained professional belaying this youth. There was literally no way for this youth to be injured while at the ropes course, yet his fears kept him from experiencing the ropes course to its fullest. His fear based on insufficient and incomplete information – if he fell, he would get hurt or die. His fears were never going to be realized at the ropes course.

This happens to us across the expanse of our lives. We face situations and determine our course of action based on what we think could possibly occur and if it is an outcome we don’t like, we are afraid. We begin to fear the outcome and then fear has crippled us from completing the task at hand. Fear based on a possibility. A possibility that is just as likely to not happen as it is to happen. Fear is at its essence being crippled by the possible. Even when experience supports our fear, there is no guarantee the fears will be realized this time around. For the person who gets married and their spouse breaks their heart and leaves them, just because this was their experience it does mean they should withhold from engaging in authentic relationships with other for fear of being hurt again. They may be hurt again, but they may also find a rewarding relationship in which they are surrounded by the love they deserve.

Fear, in reality, only has as much power as we give it. Fear is only as strong as we allow it to be. Fear can only overcome and cripple us because we allow it to do so.

My hope today is identify fear as a force working against us, only having the power we give it. Tomorrow, I want to identify how to limit the power we give to fear.

How has fear limited or crippled you?

Personality Traits

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I have always been fascinated by personality theory… or at least as long as I’ve be aware of something called personality theory, which in reality has only been about 10-15 years. So not, literally always… just always that I aware of.

At any rate, it is interesting to me to think through the differing qualities and characteristics which make us individual human beings. The intricacies making each of us tick, slightly different than the next person. Understanding who a person is at their personality core will help you to understand how to interact with them in the most effective way. Understanding how they view the world, how they frame and interact with the their internal world and the external world.

I spend a lot of time thinking about stuff and processing internally. Maybe this is why one of my professors suggested I was an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. On a side note – I am not an introvert, I am undoubtedly an extrovert who will at times do introverted things. Make sense? Not to me either. But in these times where I spend time thinking, I think about my personality and the pieces of that are holding me back. Or maybe not holding me back as much as u become aware of them as I attempt to become the person I am seeking to be.  I am a visionary. I dream. Big. A LOT. I have great plans with executable ideas requiring follow through. These dreams require organization and delegation of tasks.

Here’s my dilemma, I have very poor follow through.

My problem isn’t organization or administration. I’m not the most organized or the best admin, but I’m not the worst.

My problem isn’t ideas… God knows I have billions of earth-shattering, ground-breaking, life-altering ideas.

My problem isn’t communication… I am an excellent communicator.

My problem isn’t with motivation, of others… I  magnetic and able to motivate others towards an end.

My problem isn’t even with valuing the dream, idea or end in mind. Or even my commitment to the idea at hand. Admittedly, my actions often (regularly) belie my commitment.

My problem is my personal follow through. I have been aware of this for some time now. This year, 2016, one of the personal goals I am setting is to do a much better job with follow through. I am committing to doing better about finishing what I start. I am also committing to NOT committing to things I know I am not going to be able to finish. There is a beauty in saying ‘no’. I heard it said the greatest enemy of the best is good. Committing to do good things we don’t have time for inhibits us from being able to complete the best things we can. I am committing to my best in 2016.

I am setting several personal and professional goals for 2016 (they aren’t resolutions, so its ok that they aren’t totally in place and rolling on 1/1/16). I am setting goals to move me forward personally and professionally.

History

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There are times when it is almost too difficult to forget where we have come from. Times when our past overwhelms and not just informs our present & future but times when that past consumes the present & future.

Today is one of those days for me. As I think through my past failures and mistakes and realize the depths of brokenness I have come from, it feels as though I haven’t come far enough. Like I haven’t overcome yet.

Truth is I haven’t overcome. I’m done. Or should I say God isn’t done with me. He isn’t done redeeming me.

I am a sinner with a broken past… a past full of hurt and damage down to those I love the most.

But that is not who I am anymore.

Who I am is a son, an heir, a sought after purchased child of God whom he has lavishly poured out his love on.

Does this erase the past? No.

But it does keep it from defining my present and future.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

The Daikini Crossroads

20120126-133559.jpg(C) by www.martin-liebermann.de
We’ve all had it happen to us. Our spouses, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, uncles, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, roommate or landlord has done it to us. They’ve given us an

ULTIMATUM.

A deadline.
A get this fixed or our relationship is seriously going to be affected.

The stakes are different for each of us. No matter the stakes, they are high.

With our friends, it may be the future of our friendship. With BFFs, it could be the balance of te universe shifting because we no longer have someone to share every moment of life with. With relatives, it may be a chane to attend family gatherings or it may even be the familial bond and relationship on the line. With spouses, it’s the highest.

Often in life our attitude and demeanor slowly change. It’s not a drastic change, but a slow insidious one that take time to infect every aspect of our lives. Slowly, the way breathe, think and eat changes to something else. We become someone else… At least within the context of the dynamics of that particular relationship. We no longer respond with love. We no longer respond thinking the best. We now have become oppositional, defiant, defensive and repulsive.

And it changes everything.

So finally, our loved ones get tired of it. They love us, have to begin thinking of their own good. Their own mental, emotional and spiritual stability. So enter stage left the

ULTIMATUM.

What do we do now?

As I see it we have two choices:
1. Do nothing and let the chips fall where they may and have our lives and relationships destruct around us. This is a choice of non-action in reality. We are choosing to change nothing, to not do the hard work of saving our relationships. This at its core is a selfish choice. It serves us the most. True, life may be hard for a short time after we lose the treasured relationship, but we haven’t had to work anything out. That’s what makes this the easy, cowardly way out. We don’t have to do anything except do nothing and let our relationships disintegrate.

2. That leaves us with choice number two which entails dealing with that hard garbage. We have to move outside of ourselves and think of someone else and make changes. Hard changes. Difficult changes. Uncomfortable ones. Changes that hurt. Changes that cause pain in our own disjointed, screwed up self-centered reality where we allowed ourselves to become the center of our own universe. Changes that puts others back at the forefront of our lives. We were built, designed with a self-less aspect to us. We were created as image-bearers of God. I think two aspects of that are the communal aspect of our lives. We are community based and focused. We need others around us. The second aspect is in our selflessness. We were designed to think of others first, as Christ did. But that hurts. It is much easier to live with ourselves at the center. When we get this ULTIMATUM we have to decide are we going to continue to sit at the center of our universe or not. Removing ourselves from that place hurts. It hurts like ripping off a leech that is dug in and sucking. Or yanking out a tick that is getting fat of our blood. It hurts.

Why bother?

Good question. Why should we suffer the pain and indignity of change? Because life is better that way. When we sacrifice ourselves and put others first, serve others, look to God first, make him the center life feels more complete. This is not to say that it is going to be easy without hardship. The exact opposite. This isn’t to say it won’t be painful. The opposite. If we don’t change at some point nothing will ever change. What do I mean by that? I mean if we let this relationship self-destruct and we move on to the next one, everything will be good for awhile… until we get the next ULTIMATUM.

Then what?

Let this one fall victim to the destructive lifestyle we have chosen? Allow this relationship to become yet another burning hulk of destroyed, damaged and jacked up people we know?
At some point we have to decide things are going to change, things are going to be different. Let me rephrase that, WE are going to change, WE are going to be different. And after we make that decision for change, we commit to it, we throw ourselves all in, we begin to furiously work to alter our lives to be something else we have to stay the course.

I like the word furiously. It denotes that we are approaching this change with every ounce of effort we can muster. We are holding nothing back to assist us in the change.

Are you ready to do that?

Are you ready make a change?

Or are you ready to let things be the way they have always been?

If you let things stay the same, then life will continue to be a downward spiral of never-ending destruction of relationships.

As for me, when I get to the Daikini Crossroads I am furiously changing.

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