I wonder why it fills me with so much anxiety to do something I know I ought to do. On the one hand, it feels more comfortable to avoid the thing than do the thing. But on the other hand, it feels heavy to carry around something I know I need to do; getting it done is freeing.
That is how I’m feeling about writing this blog post. Three days ago my oldest daughter asked if I’d written anything on my blog lately and I had to tell her no. She look at me and said, “you should really write, Mom.” For three days I’ve been carrying around the notion that I should be doing something and I’m just not doing it. Today I am finally doing it but am filled with a sense of anxiety over it.
Let’s talk about why. Why do we feel anxiety over doing good things that we just don’t want to do?
Fear of … failure or success?
A fear of failing at the task is certainly worth considering. Especially if the task is something that will be seen by others, such as your mother-in-law or an audience of strangers.
But what about fear of success? Isn’t that just about the stupidest thing you’ve heard? Who would be afraid of being successful? Well, quite frankly, I would. What if I’m really great at something and people count on me, then I let them down? What if the success puts me in a position of having to make hard choices that I wouldn’t have to if I just stayed mediocre?
The fact of the matter is that mediocrity is not what God has called us do and not what any of us strive for. We may settle for mediocrity out of fear or apathy but it is not something that anyone consciously chooses. So how do I get past that fear? I remember that God has promised he will be with me wherever I go – whether I go into success or failure, he is there with me.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-12
This verse shows that even if success takes us up to the heavens or failure takes us down to the depths, God’s Spirit is with us and will be guiding us. So to overcome my fear I remember God’s promises and don’t let myself be tempted by mediocrity/security.