Are you making fear based decisions?

Are you making fear based decisions?

Every day we make thousands of decisions, from what to have for breakfast, to where to send our children to school. Some decisions we don’t even realize we are making, and some take a lot of meditation, thought and prayer.

How often do we stop to think WHERE our decisions are coming from? Are we making decisions out of fear or faith?

Almost immediately after I gave birth to my second son, friends and family (and honestly, strangers too) have been asking if “we’re done” or if we plan on having more children. My response was always the same: “We want more, but not until both of these two are out of diapers. I’m afraid to risk three boys this close in age.”

I was living on an automated decision based on fear. In the very moment I realized I was using the word “afraid” in my response, a switch flipped, instantly I had no reasoning to not have more children at a sooner time.

What made me think I couldn’t handle three boys? Fear. My history with anxiety.

How to tell if our decisions are fear based

Some decisions we make after carefully weighing the pros and cons, others we make on impulse, even some we consult a close friend on.

To discern whether or not your decisions have been based on fear we first have to look at your reasoning for the decision you made.

Let’s take quitting a workout plan for example. I’d have to think WHY I gave it up. Was it too difficult, did I need a lower level program? Was it not right for my lifestyle or for my body?

Did I quit because I was afraid to fail? Sometimes we give up on things before we can fail them. It’s like dropping a class in college because and INCOMPLETE looks a whole lot better for our GPA than a big fat F.

Or did I quit because I was afraid to succeed? Sometimes we are so set in the ways of who we are right now, the idea of change is unsettling. We get close to the things we want and we get scared. What happens if I succeed at this?

Fear continually seeps into our lives any way it can

I’ll be honest, I gave up training for a half marathon three years in a row. I had an excuse every time: I had bad knees, the shin splints hurt, I got pregnant, I’d just had a baby a few months before. *This specific race also had a 5k walk/run option. At three months post part I’m I could have easily walked this as I was already back to regular physical activities but I let it be an excuse not to. I also could have walked it while 8 months pregnant two years before.

Here I am training for that same race, determined to run the full 13 miles. And here I am trying to talk myself out of it again. I’ve already pushed past the shin splints, my knee hasn’t bothered me, my body has fully recovered from my last birth and no current pregnancy in sight. Yet here I am, talking myself out of the training. And why?

I’m scared of the hard work and commitment. If I run my 20 minutes this week, I have to do 30 next week… the commitment keeps growing and it’s terrifying me. But because the decision to end my training would be 100% based on a silly fear, I will press on, however reluctantly.

We have to move past the fears and the struggles. We have to push through. We have to keep moving forward.

Sometimes fear based decisions are the smart decisions

I do want to say, there is a level of healthy fear we should live our life with. Self preservation is important and we should definitely avoid situations that might physically injure us or kill us.

Those are not the kinds of decisions I’m telling you to stop making. I want you to live our life to the fullest because you deserve that, and you can’t do that if you’re dead.

How to stop making fear based decisions

Put to death that voice that tells you you’re not good enough, smart enough, strong enough.

  • You are enough and when you start believing that, wonderful things begin to happen in your life.
    1. Realize your decisions are fear centered. When we know the core thoughts and feelings at the center of our decisions we can better understand why we’ve made that decision.
      Weigh the danger. Ask what are you afraid of? If the fear has anything to do with you not being strong enough, smart enough or good enough, ditch that reasoning. You ARE enough, and whatever you do lack you can gain. If you need to be stronger, get stronger. If you need to be smarter, study up. You can do what you put your mind to!
      Decide to be brave. Courage and bravery are decisions that don’t come naturally to all of us. We have to make the decision to be brave and to turn from fear and go after what we want. Not because we aren’t afraid, but because we won’t let the fear stop us. Don’t let fear make your decisions for you.

    “Be strong and courageous!

    Do not be afraid or discouraged.

    For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

    Joshua 1:9 NLT

    Stop being a bad friend to yourself.

    Stop being a bad friend to yourself.

    Making friends as an adult is hard. We’re surrounded by so many lies that make us feel unworthy of friendship, and most of those lies are coming from ourselves.

    Take a minute and ask yourself: am I a good friend… to myself?

    Really think about it.

    Are you. A good friend. To yourself?

    How do you talk to yourself?

    What does your inner voice say to you? Does she constantly criticize you? Does she always have something negative to tell you about yourself?

    Don’t listen to her. Break up with that version of you. You literally don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

    How would you talk to a friend in your situation? If your friend was trying to lose weight would you congratulate her for all her hard work, or would you tell her she hasn’t lost enough?

    Would you tell your friend she’s a bad mom for giving her kid chicken nuggets for dinner, or would you be understanding that she’s had a rough day and just needed to feed the kid something he would eat without a fight?

    Would you tell your friend that you still remember that dumb thing she said in front of the whole class freshman year, or would you have some grace and realize it’s not worth remembering?

    Can you count on yourself?

    How many times have you told your self you would do something and then flaked out for a lame excuse?

    If you had a friend that was always cancelling plans to watch Netflix or to waste time on Facebook, would you still want to be her friend?

    If you had a friend that was always giving up on her dreams, what would you say to her? If your friend wanted to run a marathon or start a business and gave it up with no real reason, what would you tell her?

    Do you make time for yourself?

    Would you want to be friends with someone who never prioritized spending time with you?

    Yeah, adults get busy and we just don’t have time for friends sometimes, but what if your friend had the exact same schedule as you? What if you KNEW she had the time to spend with you, but chose not to every single day?

    Then how would you feel about that friendship?

    10 things you can do to be a better friend to yourself.

    1. Start talking to yourself like you’d want to be talked to. Compliment yourself and move past those complaints. Turn your focus to the positive things about yourself and the negative voices won’t be so loud.
    2. Realize when your being mean to yourself. Stop the thoughts before they turn into feelings. Every time you find yourself tearing yourself down, stop and build yourself up immediately.
    3. Keep your promises. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Whether it’s a diet, a work out program, a beauty regimen, journaling, starting a business, whatever, stick with it until it doesn’t make sense anymore.
    4. Remember it’s okay to change your mind, but it’s not okay to give up. It’s not breaking a promise to yourself if you decide what you’re doing isn’t right for you. But just stopping because it’s too hard, that’s not okay.
    5. Practice self care. Take time to intentionally be with yourself, take a walk or a bath or read a book. Do something that makes you happy on a regular basis.
    6. Treat yo self! Don’t be afraid to spoil yourself once in a while.
    7. Get to know yourself. Sit down in a quiet place and do some self reflection. Who even are you anymore? What are you like? What are your dreams and goals?
    8. Do yourself a favor and pay it forward – to yourself. Don’t procrastinate the little chores for tomorrow. Do them today, so you can thank yourself tomorrow.
    9. Invest in yourself. Invest your time and money to be the best version of yourself. Enroll in a course to help you where you’re struggling. Spend the time it takes to declutter or organize your home. Buy that self help book. Meal plan to save yourself time and stress later this week.
    10. Believe in yourself. Chase wholeheartedly after your wildest dreams. Believe you were created for more and that you are capable of fantastic things. Why not you?
    How to stop hating housework.

    How to stop hating housework.

    I hated cleaning most of my life, you can ask my mom. I gave her such a hard time when it was time for chores, I always had a headache.

    At the time, I didn’t understand why I got headaches so conveniently when asked to sweep the kitchen. My mom always thought I was faking.

    Turns out I was giving myself headaches. I hated cleaning so much, the stress would boil up inside me and cause a tension headache.

    This hatred stuck with me into adulthood, into motherhood. I never liked to load dishes, fold laundry, clean toilets or mop. And because I didn’t like it, I didn’t these things as often as they need to be done, which inevitably resulted in my house being a disgusting garbage pit all the time.

    Clear Out The Clutter

    I’m just gonna say it: cleaning sucks and I never want to do more than the bare minimum.

    You know happens when we have more stuff than we need? We have to clean more stuff than we need to.

    Don’t like doing dishes? Don’t have more dishes than you’re will to wash daily. If you have 4 plates per person, you’re going to use ALL of those before you clean them.

    If you only have 1 dish per person, you’ll never have to clean more than that. You’ll be forced to wash them as you need them, but never have a chance to let them build up.

    Doesn’t that life sound lovely? Only ever having enough dishes to fill your dishwasher once. Never having a mountain of dirty dishes that require three wash cycles? Imagine the free time you’d have. Imagine how much less time you would have to spend thinking about those dishes.

    Cleaning gets so much easier when we have less to clean. The stress level goes down and confidence rises.

    I can clean my house. It’s not too much. I am not overwhelmed.

    I want you to be able to say those things, too.

    Use Purposeful Products.

    I used to use a lot of dollar store cleaning products that were full of harsh chemicals that just didn’t work. The strong odors made my chore related headaches worse. These products’ power were not as potent as their smells and required a lot of elbow grease, which I just didn’t have. I was always frustrated.

    A good friend finally convinced me to try essential oils for cleaning and that changed everything. The oils were far more potent and did an incredibly job at tackling these ancient messes that nothing else could touch.

    The best part: they smelled better! Aromatherapy has some major impacts on our mood. Citrus oils have a mean cleaning punch to them, but they are also uplifting and energizing. The last thing I usually feel when cleaning is energized, but thanks to aromatherapy I was feeling it.

    Get Into a Routine

    Once you get your house clean, the worst feeling is letting it get out of control again. The best way to avoid this is to stay on top of it all, all the time and that doesn’t have to be a ton of work.

    It takes some getting used to, but when you develop habits that help you clean as you go about your day, most of your chores will get done without much thought.

    I always try to start a load of laundry before I pour myself a cup of coffee in the morning, this ensures that I will wash a load for the day and avoid piles of unwashed clothes that turn into a mountain of laundry to fold later. This one load I start in the morning I will dry around lunch time and fold before dinner. I either put it away before bed, or first thing the next morning while the kids are still asleep.

    I also like to clear my kitchen counters and empty the sink every night while I pack my husband’s lunch and program the coffee maker for the morning. This way I get to walk into a clean kitchen in the morning with fresh coffee waiting for me, and there’s hardly a better feeling than that.

    Because I know the kitchen will need to be cleaned up in the evening, it helps to motivate me to keep it clean throughout the day. One incredibly valuable thing my mother taught me was to “clean as I go” when I’m cooking. This means rinsing mixing bowls immediately after use and putting ingredients away as soon as I’m done with them. I avoid a huge intimidating mess at the end by doing this.

    Know Your “Why.”

    Motivation and mindset are huge players in this game. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, it can be pretty hard to find the strength to do it at times.

    It helps to focus in on why having a clean home is important to you.

    I like to keep a clean home so I can have guests over without stress, because my family deserves to not live in a sty, and because I know God has called me to at least have this area of life semi put together.

    The Proverbs 31 woman is my role model for being the best wife, mother, and woman I possibly can be.

    How Do I End the Hatred of Cleaning my House?

    1. Declutter your hot spots. For me this was laundry and dishes. Thoroughly go through your spaces and ask of every item “is this serving me?” If it’s causing you more stress than it’s relieving, get rid of it. If you have multiple appliances, pare it down to one of each type. (I traded in 3 different appliances for an Express Cooker, that’s a lot of freed up space in my cupboards!).
  • Need help decluttering? Check out Decluttering 101

  • 2. Rethink your products. Declutter and organize your cleaning tools and products. It does a lot for your motivation to get excited to use your cleaning supplies. Don’t be afraid to invest in a new broom if that’s what will help you.

    If you’re interested in switching to oils for cleaning and aromatherapy, click here.

    3. Create a routine to keep on track. Think about what things are nonnegotiable tasks that need done daily. List these things out and find specific times of day or other tasks that are done daily (like meal times) that you can connect these chores with.

    Want some more info on creating habits? Check this out.

    4. Determine your motivation. Why is it important for you to have a clean home in the first place? Do you like to have company over? Does it make you feel more comfortable? Does it ease anxiety? Do you do it because your children and husband deserve it? Has God called you to have a clean home, to be hospitable at any moment?

    Have you overcome your hatred for cleaning? How did you do it? Let me know in the comments!

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