I have been asked which temperaments are more prone to being fearful.
Guess what! All temperaments have the potential for fear. Whew, we are all normal after all.
Fear, with regard to children, looks like this: BLUE and GREEN children are more quietly fearful. RED and YELLOW kids are more noticeably vocal (or dramatic) about fear.
Tim LaHaye, temperament authority and author extraordinaire, has an entire list of key words GREEN and BLUE adults use instead of fear: Anxiety, anxiousness, concern, doubtfulness, timidity, indecision, withdrawal, loneliness, worry, inferiority, cowardice, suspicion, depression, social shyness.
REDS/YELLOWS, as adults, have a more in your face relationship with fear. We tend to be angry about fear, or in complete denial that we have a problem at all.
If there are things that scare you, no – terrify you, tell a good friend. Admitting your fears helps those who love you to live life more comfortably with you.
I read an article by a physiologist who suggested verbalizing your fears, aloud, would actually decrease your anxiety level about certain things.
Verbalizing has worked for me a couple times – one example with spiders. I decided a grown woman should not be afraid of (reasonably sized) spiders. One day, while cleaning my house, I ran across a couple of small spiders. I named them Lucy and Ethel. After naming them, I couldn’t bring myself to kill them, so I took them outside and let them go.
It worked. My grandkids enjoy every spider at our house now, asking their names when we come across them. We always take them outside to join their family members.
I do still have a few unresolved fears:
1. Car washes – the kind where you stay in the car and drive through – can be terrifying. You know what I mean? This is where all the huge, powerful brushes are covering the car, at exactly the same time, and you are inside! I have visions of the track stopping with my car frozen in place – in a holding pattern, the air inside the car becoming scarce and no one noticing until closing time.
My son was home from Peru this past week for a retreat. I was so excited to have some time with him. While shopping together, he asked if we could get the car washed. “Of course,” I answered, assuming he was going around the corner to my favorite car wash – where you get OUT of the car and sit in a lovely air-conditioned lounge, while they wash, vacuum and dry your car-inside and out.
Before I could jump out and scream for help, he put his credit card into a machine, which appeared out of nowhere, and drove straight into a car-wash tunnel.
He had been unaware of my fear before that moment, and assured me he would distract me by talking. It was a close call.
2. Bees scare me when inside my moving car. Hmmmmm…I’m noticing a pattern here involving my car.
Fear is a part of everyday life, but should not be in control of everyday life. If it is, then professional help may be needed.
Max Lucado has a great book called Fearless that sheds light on this topic with a different perspective than the usual rhetoric.
God, the first and best authority, writes a lot about fear in scripture, and spends a huge amount of time assuring His children He wants to alleviate their fears. However, this requires cooperation on our part. Our responsibility is to study passages relating to fear, and trust God will do what He says He will do.
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”(Deut. 31:6)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3)
“Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:36)
My life verse is John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you, not as the world gives, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I tried quoting that verse a couple times going through the car wash! I need to quote it every day.
Remember, God keeps His promises- even those related to fear.