One way to keep a dog in the yard without tying him up is to install an “invisible fence.” This consists of a wire which is buried around the perimeter of the yard and a collar that the dog wears. The collar has a radio receiver that picks up a signal if the dog gets too close to the wire. When this occurs a mild “correction” (shock) is triggered to let the dog know not to go any further. Most dogs can be trained to learn the boundaries and not to get too close to them. Why? They don’t like being “corrected!” In fact, after a while, you might even forget to turn on the fence, and the dog might never even realize it.
Supposing, however, that the dog has a boy, a boy he loves and would protect with his life. Suppose further that the boy is being attacked by the neighborhood bully just outside of the fence. Do you think there is a good chance that the dog would defend his boy even if it meant that he had to endure the “correction?” Why? Because his reason to cross the fence is more important and more urgent than his reason not to.
Most of us also have an invisible fence. We call it our “comfort zone.” One way or another we have learned that when we get too close to the limits of our comfort zone we get this nasty “sick” feeling. I may gaze longingly out past the limits, daydreaming about what I could achieve or accomplish or do … if only I wasn’t afraid to try. I may feel frustrated at the limitations I have imposed upon myself, but I am too afraid of the “correction” I might receive (such as rejection, criticism, failure or ridicule) if I were to get too close to the line.
Just like the dog, it takes a reason more important to me than my fear to get me to cross the line; something I want badly enough to risk getting hurt. Sometimes when I finally step out of my comfort zone I discover that someone forgot to turn on the fence, and, other than the butterflies in my stomach, I receive no “correction” at all! Then there are times when someone does criticize or reject me, or I do try something and “fail” the first time. But if I just keep working on it, what I come to find out is that the limits of my comfort zone have expanded and I have lived to tell about it. In fact, after a while I may discover that pushing on the limits of my comfort zone has become a game I play with myself, receiving enough joy and pleasure in setting goals and reaching them to outweigh the discomfort or pain of the growth process.
What is your reason – your dream? Is it big enough to help you overcome your fear? If it is a righteous desire of your heart, the Lord will help you achieve it. He may not just give it to you. It may come in the form of smaller experiences, perhaps even uncomfortable ones, which strengthen you and prepare you so that when the opportunity does present itself you are ready to act upon it. Do you need help in overcoming fear? Find your dream. Think it through. Write about it.
The Lord loves us. He doesn’t toy with us. In Moroni 7:33 we find this promise:
“And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”
Become willing to follow His guidance and counsel, walking in faith, so that he can give you the power to achieve the righteous desires of your heart.
- What are you afraid to try?
- What would help you to overcome your fear?
- Will you pray for that help?
- What will you do today to push out the limits of your comfort zone?
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Related Posts: Failure? – Like a Baby Learning to Walk, Fear: the Enemy of Progress and Recovery, Learning Life Skills – Your Personal Tutor, Focus: Riding through the Boulders, The Quest for Perfection – Reflecting on Genesis 17:1
2 thoughts on “Overcoming Fear – the Invisible Fence”
Very useful metaphor about our comfort zone. Anxiety is like a correction but it is not based on logic. It is based on fear. Thanks, Mira.
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