Most fears are silly.
Founded or unfounded, our fears are rooted in a desire not to feel pain. These desires tend to create patterns in our mind - fear patterns - that hold us back.
When confronted by our fears, it's important to let our reality mind - and our faith in God - take hold. I can be afraid of all people I don't already know and refuse to go anywhere without my husband because a girl my age in my area was killed by a stranger, or I can realize that statistically it's improbable that I will run into the same situation, and choose to have faith that God has a greater purpose for my life.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm still careful when I'm out alone. I don't go whistling into dark alleyways just because God has a greater purpose for me.
Really, most fears aren't any more of a problem by themselves than spiders are. It's our brains and our choices of what to do with those fears that makes them road blocks.
Right now I have a lot of spiders around my house. They've crawled up from the forest behind my yard and made homes for themselves on the windows and railings around the outside. Some of them have even made massive webs stretching from the side of the house to our cars! And, as is always the case, some of them have found their way into the house as well.
I hate spiders. They freak me out. I think they're gross and I'm afraid of one biting me because I've heard of some awful situations where people have died from spider bites.
Do I know this is an unreasonable fear? Yes. I'm much bigger than the spider, and the chances of it actually being able to get through my flesh far enough to get poison into my blood stream is very, very low. Even then, I know that most spiders don't have venom strong enough to actually kill an adult human anyway. There may be a little bit of sickness or inflammation, but overall the chances of me dying from a spider bite are incredibly small. So it's silly for me to be afraid of spiders.
And yet, something in my nature just causes my whole body to cringe when I see one near me, and I tend to stay as far away from them as possible. They can live in the window frames on the outside, and I'm ok with that, but I don't want them in the house or near where I'm going to be walking.
Recently, a particularly ambitious pair of spiders has taken residence in the corner of the frame on the sliding glass door I use to get in and out of the house. For a few days I just ducked my head slightly to avoid the web and didn't bother with the spider. It was keeping the moths out, after all. But this morning I opened the door and the webs they had made were impossible not to walk through. It's almost like they were trying to catch me! Did I shut the door and stay in the house? No! That would be silly! I got the broom and removed the webs, and then went about my business, as anyone else would do.
So why don't we do the same with other fears?
That's not to say that there aren't reasonable fears and things we all ought to be careful about. But there is a balance to be found between exercising due caution and letting our fears control us. Picking up hitchhikers isn't safe anymore, and especially should be avoided if you're a woman driving alone. But you would probably think it silly if one of your friends told you that they would not get into a car anymore because they might be in a car accident sometime.
Some things are risky, and have potential of pain, but the payoff is worth whatever the potential failure is. For example, it was risky and frightening when my husband and I took our lives into our own hands and started a business. We had no money, and there was huge potential for massive struggle and even failure. There was a potential that things wouldn't take off, and by the time we realized the venture was lost we would have even less than we started with. But there was also potential that we could make it work, and we could support ourselves on our own business and even live comfortably. So we took the chance, and today we're glad we did.
Today I'd like to encourage you to face your fear. Look it in the eyes and say "I'm going to do it anyway. You can't stop me."
And remember, fear isn't from God. God gave you a spirit full of love and power, and a mind that is meant to be a tool of strength for you. Use that tool, be strong and courageous, and go take your victory!