On The Other Side Of Fear

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.

~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his book Intentional Living, John Maxwell describes the faith factor as it relates to connecting us with like-minded people. In a more personal way, he relates the role fear plays in preventing us from reaching our goals and dreams. Maxwell states, “Fear is the most prevalent reason why people stop. Faith is what makes people start.” Over the years I’ve had my fill of fears. I reckon it’s possible you have as well.

If you’re like me, you possess no shortage of ideas or goals you’d like to achieve. I’ll admit some ideas were perhaps conceived too soon, some a little too late, while others just died a slow death due to the restraints of time. Can you relate?

Yet there are some dreams and goals that died a slow death for another reason- fear. We’ve all wrestled with fears. I remember in Little Leagues it was always the fear of striking out. In school, I had test anxiety. Fear would get the best of me that I would fail. Even today I struggle with another fear- arachnophobia- the fear of spiders. What are yours?

Thankfully, Maxwell’s depiction of fear and the struggles we all face didn’t stop there. He went on to point how faith makes up for our fear and when applied in our lives can turn the tide in our favor. Maxwell said, “Faith does not make things easy, but it makes things possible because it puts everything, including fear, into the right perspective. So, if you want to learn, to grow, to achieve your dreams of significance to make a difference, have faith”.

How different would your life look if the decisions you made, whether those decisions are personal or professional, look if they were made through the lens of faith rather than through the lens of fear? How would things look on the other side of fear? Here’s my challenge to you.

Lead on the other side of fear

Imagine the kind of influence you could have as a leader if you opted for faith over fear? Fear will paralyze you as a leader and hinder you from becoming all God created you to be. When you lead with faith it will bury your fears and you will lead on a new level. Living on the other side of fear doesn’t mean you don’t have doubts or have questions, it just means that it’s a burden that doesn’t rest entirely on your shoulders anymore. Faith takes the weight off, fear puts it on.

Dream on the other side of fear

I know all too well what happens to dreams when fear sets in. They die. How many dreams of yours have suffered an untimely death because of fear? Fear will keep your dreams small. But I’d rather fail on the other side of fear with a God-inspired dream than succeed knowing I didn’t need God’s help. As Mark Batterson says, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s too small.”

Serve on the other side of fear

When you live your life free from fear you live a life that is a peace. You are at peace knowing that you don’t have to worry about what other people think about you, say about you, or otherwise interfere with your life’s purpose. You are free to lead with your heart and serve causes greater than yourself. Fear is a speed-bump on the road to being a blessing to others. Get rid of the fear.

Grow on the other side of fear

Fear stunts your growth on many levels. It can rob you of your dreams, goals, creativity, and productivity to name a few. But when you feed your faith and starve your fears you position yourself for unprecedented personal and professional growth.

I am in no way suggesting here to throw caution to the wind and chase your dreams on blind faith. It pays to be prudent and listen to wise counsel. But well-meaning people along the way will fuel your faith or they will fuel your fears. You must not allow fear to win. Faith is hard because of the unknown. But with fear, the unseen and unattained dreams and goals will always be that–unseen and unfulfilled.

A wonderful life in leadership awaits you. It’s on the other side of fear.


Doug Dickerson
Doug Dickerson
DOUG has been speaking to audiences in the U.S. and overseas for more than 30 years. Doug knows how to spin a story, make you laugh, and how to challenge your traditional ways of thinking about leadership. Most of all, Doug is committed to helping you grow as a leader. Doug is a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Palmetto Baptist Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. While his leadership expertise has its roots in ministry and teaching. His background also includes public relations and business. Doug understands the necessity of leadership development and why creating a leadership culture in your organization is critical to your success. He is the author of four leadership books including: Leaders Without Borders, 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders, Great Leaders Wanted, It Only Takes a Minute: Daily Inspiration for Leaders on the Move, and Leadership by the Numbers. As a speaker, Doug delivers practical and applicable leadership insights with a dose of humor and authenticity that endears him to a wide range of audiences. Doug is a John Maxwell Team member.

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