Amy's Humble Musings

Life in rough draft — by Amy Scott.

How to face your fears

with 78 comments

It has been two and a half years since I bled on the internet, and today I am going to break that streak. Let’s give it a whirl. What the heck. YOLO.

Fear has always controlled me. When I was 17, I went camping with a couple of college friends. I know I’ve already told this story, but there is nobody here to stop me from telling it again. Plus, stories always get better the more times you tell them.

We went horseback riding. This is something I’d never done before. As I was getting into the saddle, the horse got spooked and took off. I hung onto this galloping horse. It seemed like I held on for an entire mile, but since my mind is prone to hyperbole, I will guess it was probably closer to 100 yards. I held on as I got jostled, bumped, and thumped. My brain sloshed a little in my head.

Then I fell off of the horse in a pile of crumpled bones and tears. I can not remember if these were tears of pain or humiliation, but considering how well I know myself now, I am guessing they were for both reasons.

My friends – and I am debating if I should put that word friends in quotes since they caused the whole thing — caught the wayward horse. Then I got back on it. The reason I got back on the horse was not because I was thinking, “What do you do when you fall off a horse? Get back on it,” but rather, I got back on the horse because I couldn’t walk back to camp. I have a lot of fears, but at the end of the day, I think we should be practical.

Which is to say, if I ever do anything brave, it is not because I’ve overcome some fear or personal hangup. Instead, the reason I do brave things is often because there is only one way out– on the back of a cranky horse. There are brave people in this world, but I am not one of them.

I recently read Khaled Hosseini’s novel, And the mountains echoed. In it, one of the characters notices that people think they live by what they want, but what really guides them is what they’re afraid of. There is so much richness in that idea that I can barely stand it.

I am afraid of everything: not being good enough, brave enough, strong enough. I’m afraid that when I die, nobody will come to my funeral even if the World Cup is not on TV. I’m a champion of seeing the truth in other people but terrified of what that looks like in me. I’m afraid of the IRS, which is understandable. I’m afraid when my faith takes a meandering path heavenward and not a straight one. I’m afraid of heights with edges. I’m afraid of the boogieman.

I’m afraid of living a life that is meaningless. If you remember Freud from high school psychology class, you know that he said that man’s greatest desire is for pleasure and that he will behave in a way that seeks his own pleasure. I’ve seen people on YouTube on Black Friday at the local Walmart. Nevertheless, many agree that Viktor Frankl had it more correct. He said that man’s greatest desire is not for pleasure but for a deep sense of meaning. When man can’t find meaning, he distracts himself with pleasure.

I am guilty of distraction.

I’m a huge Dr. Laura fan. I listen to her whenever I’m driving between 2 – 6 p.m., putting the program in the front speakers so the kids can’t hear.

Callers will often ask Dr. Laura how to change their feelings, and she will tell them to change their behavior. I like this.

I like this because it means that we are not animals guided by impulse but by meaning, made in God’s image. I like that we can behave kindly even when we are not feeling kindness in our hearts. I like the idea that maybe we can live fearless lives, not by actually being fearless at first, but by acting fearless. This is good news.

Greg’s work takes him out of town often, sometimes up to three weeks a month. This means I’m the one who has to get up in the middle of the night and check out the scary noises.

Two times the noises were distinct enough that I got my Rugar LCP, put an extra clip in my pocket, chambered a round, and prepared my mind to take care of business. Each step down the stairs, I repeated to myself, “I don’t care about your feelings.”

If someone breaks into my house, I promise the world that the intruder will face me first. Then they will tell the undertaker that maybe I was not just a scared little thing after all, and wow, she’s a light sleeper. One of the benefits of having high anxiety is that the spring is always coiled.

I want to approach the things that make me afraid– how silly I will look if I become more sentimental or the feeling in my stomach before I speak in public – like I approached the stupid horse in my college days or my imaginary intruders. Let’s do this. Not in a way that disregards intuition and caution, but in a way that doesn’t hand the keys to fear and beg to go for a little spin. Most people think they live what they want but what really drives them is what they’re afraid of.

I’m scared of writing in public. But….click….I hit publish. Just like that.

Written by Amy Scott

July 18th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Posted in Fear

78 Responses to 'How to face your fears'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'How to face your fears'.

  1. Yea! I enjoy your writing and your thoughts. So does my wife. Thank you for clicking publish.

    Tim Snider

    18 Jul 14 at

  2. Oh Amy, it is hard to believe that is one of your fears. I have always LOVED your writing. Hey, even my husband does. He asked me a couple of months ago what ever happened to you? We checked out your blog and FB and realized you had disappeared. :)

    I hope to hear more from you in the future.

    Marci

    18 Jul 14 at

  3. Welcome back to the land of the fearless! :-)

    Sallie Borrink

    18 Jul 14 at

  4. Welcome back! You’ve been sorely missed.

    Lady Why

    18 Jul 14 at

  5. Grateful for this.

    lisa in ky

    18 Jul 14 at

  6. So awesome to see a post from you!! Hope it’s the first of many more to come.

    Beth

    18 Jul 14 at

  7. Fabulous essay, Amy. I’ve miss you – your awesome writing wrapped with wisdom and humor.

    I’ve often said that fear was the emotion that controlled my behavior much of my life – way too much. Living brave – at least acting brave, even when fear threatens to undo me – makes this life way more fun.

  8. Gosh, have I missed you. SO GLAD YOU”RE BACK I COULD SCREAM FOR JOY!

    Thank you for mastering your fear today.

    Servetus

    18 Jul 14 at

  9. So glad you hit publish. We’ve missed you!
    By the way, we are thinking of moving north of Nashville from California. Big change. You have a few years perspective on a move to the country. Any advice would be welcome.

    nancy

    18 Jul 14 at

  10. OH MY GIRDLE! I love your writing and I’m so glad you’re back. I never deleted you from my blog list in hopes that you would return. Now don’t leave me again or I shall be most put out.

    Valerie

    18 Jul 14 at

  11. I have missed your musings! They have often brought me to tears…with laughter:) Btw, I love Dr. Laura too. She isn’t on the radio in Ontario anymore, political correctness of course. I hope you keep on writing!! We all need some common sense and humor in our lives:)

    Jo

    18 Jul 14 at

  12. Yep.

    I’m scared, too.

    I’m scared of failure. I often don’t attempt things simply because I don’t want to fail. It’s easier to not even try.

    I am mad at myself about it, but if I procrastinate long enough, I’ll be dead and gone, and it won’t matter much. Except there’s that thing about the talents. I don’t want to be the one who buries the talent and incurs the displeasure of the Master.

    Anyway, I’m glad you gulped and pressed on that publish button. I missed your posts.

    And can I say, Boy, are your kids ever getting tall! Before you know it, they’ll all be taller than you.
    (I know this from personal experience.)

    Janet

    18 Jul 14 at

  13. Yay!! Thank you for doing that!! One fear I don’t have is in speaking publicly. I rush in where angels fear to tread. But I’m learning. And I know there are other areas where I do have fears. I need to do a little self-examination. Thanks for prodding me.

    Lois

    18 Jul 14 at

  14. I so understand the fears. I have all of them, including the writing thing. My fear stopped me just a few months after starting a blog…then two years later started again. Still afraid and unsure every day. I’ve missed your blog. You are a fantastic writer.

    And….I too am afraid nobody will go to my funeral….really I actually spend time worrying about that…sometimes.

    Mary

    18 Jul 14 at

  15. Welcome back! I missed your perspective and voice.

    Martha bunch

    18 Jul 14 at

  16. Thanks for being brave! I always enjoyed your humble musings.

    Lori Cundiff

    18 Jul 14 at

  17. I have really missed you! So welcome back. I so appreciate your willing to be transparent and your humor. I love it that you dont have it all together cause i dont either.

    Jamie Brauns

    18 Jul 14 at

  18. You have made me very happy by stepping back in.now let’s get started on that book!

    Dad

    18 Jul 14 at

  19. For the LOVE of Peter, Paul and Elvis Presley! I have missed your internet voice. Welcome back and please don’t go away for so long again.

    Debbie Q

    18 Jul 14 at

  20. Welcome back. Jamie celebrated and is already reading you aloud to me.

    Chris Brauns

    18 Jul 14 at

  21. Glad to see a post from you. I enjoyed reading your blog in the past.

    HeatherHH

    18 Jul 14 at

  22. Yay! You’re back :)
    Thanks for getting back on the horse.

    Julie

    18 Jul 14 at

  23. Welcome back!

    Rachel

    18 Jul 14 at

  24. Amy, I am so happy you are back to blotting! I really enjoy your thoughts.

    Daniel

    18 Jul 14 at

  25. This is very thought provoking. I always loved your posts and was so happy to see you write again. You are inspiring and funny. Blessings to you, because He first loved us.

    Sharilyn

    18 Jul 14 at

  26. YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

    Rachel

    18 Jul 14 at

  27. I’m so glad your back!! I LOVE your blog :)

    Monika

    18 Jul 14 at

  28. Thank you for sharing. I have learned a lot from people who have it all together (mainly through boos), but I’ve learned even more from those who don’t. Write on.

    Jac

    19 Jul 14 at

  29. You’re baaaaaaaaack. Overjoyed to have a word from you. Please. Keep. Writing.

    Ann Pereira

    19 Jul 14 at

  30. Amy, I was just thinking about you this week and wondering how you’ve been. Good to have you back. You’ve been missed.

    Beth

    19 Jul 14 at

  31. I am so thankful you are back!!! I relate so much to what you write. Thanks for finding such descriptive words for your thoughts and feelings. Your writing helps me process my own thoughts and feelings. No pressure but I agree with Dad above. :) Welcome Back, Amy!

    rv

    19 Jul 14 at

  32. glad you have resurrected your God given writing gift.
    keep it up and you’ll get that book written and published.

    dottie

    19 Jul 14 at

  33. Welcome back most favorite blogger! Thank’s for coming back. You have been missed. I love how God has gifted you.

    Nancy

    19 Jul 14 at

  34. I don’t usually leave comments on blog posts but I have to let you know that I have thought of you, prayed for you, and missed you! What a nice surprise to have you back!

    Shayla

    19 Jul 14 at

  35. So glad you’re back.

    Marla

    19 Jul 14 at

  36. Yes, good to have you and your musings back again.

    Brenda Nuland

    19 Jul 14 at

  37. Welcome back! I’ve thought of and prayed for you often and hoped you would be back writing again.

    You have a voice and it has been missed. You go girl!

    Lorraine

    19 Jul 14 at

  38. Brava!

    Ami

    19 Jul 14 at

  39. Woohoo! I’ve missed you! Your writing style is wonderful. It really speaks to me. You have a lot to give to the world. Welcome back!

    Jennifer

    19 Jul 14 at

  40. I cannot tell you the joy I have reading your words again! Your fear and insecurity just add to your humility … which make you that much more likable ;) I’ve been a reader and follower of your little world since really close to your “humble” beginnings. Love your words and your heart! Looking forward to more!

    Kim

    19 Jul 14 at

  41. I echo the sentiments of all the other comments, it’s exciting to read a new post written by you.

    Any posts coming up with updates on your family and what you are up to these days? I always enjoyed reading your stories on family life.

    Robin in New Jersey

    19 Jul 14 at

  42. I’ve been wondering where you were and what adventures your children were on lately. Glad you are blogging again! I need to chew in this piece before directly responding to it. You always give food for thought. Thank you.

    Amy R.

    19 Jul 14 at

  43. The only thing I’ve been able to read in the last few years were the people leaving comments asking you to write again.
    So thankful to read your own words today. Praying for us all. Yesterday someone said to me in a (very matter of fact tone), “Christians should leave fearlessly”. It’s not that easy though, is it.

    Praying you’ll feel led to continue sharing.

    Deborah

    Deborah

    19 Jul 14 at

  44. Nice to have you back!!

    Heather Tharp

    19 Jul 14 at

  45. Glad you are back! Well at least back to sharing your thoughts with us out here. I have come to similar conclusions about facing my fears. After a horse accident, and sad time when kids left for college, then some hard work fighting against overwhelming fears that threatened to shut me down (on meds to control rapid heart rate etc), and much prayer…I have a horse. That I actually love to ride. That is actually trust worthy. That takes me beautiful places I could not hike. That has taught me much about trusting God. There are simply things that interaction with a good honest horse teaches better than a thousand words from a counselor. Congratulations on facing your fears and not letting them control you. Enjoy your cage-free living! I pray God blesses your trust in Him.

    Cynthia Bates

    19 Jul 14 at

  46. See, we waited for you! xoxo

    loriwith7kids

    19 Jul 14 at

  47. You’re back! I thoroughly enjoyed this post. In my old age (I just turned 37), I’m realizing life’s bumps & bruises have turned me into a huge scaredy cat. I mentally wrestle with those fears on a very frequent basis, and they win more often than I’d like, but lately I’ve been overcoming them on a more frequent basis. Great job conquering one today. :-)

    Laura

    19 Jul 14 at

  48. Wow! Have missed your writings! And you start right back up writing about fear, who is a good friend of mine. So glad to have you back and hope you stick around!

    Lela

    19 Jul 14 at

  49. Glad you posted. You’ve been missed.

    Tressa

    19 Jul 14 at

  50. So glad to read these words from my little sis again.

    david t. in fayetteville, ga

    19 Jul 14 at

  51. I’m glad you’re back. You’re my favorite.

    Jenny

    19 Jul 14 at

  52. Welcome back! And, wow, you plunged right in with a pretty weighty topic. Sounds brave to me.

    Before kids I used to believe that I wasn’t afraid of anything. Would do and say all sorts of things without thinking of consequences (sky-diving anyone?).

    Now I feel the same way as you most days. I’m in a classical homeschool co-op because I’m afraid that I can’t teach them myself properly, and so they won’t grow up to be those homeschooled nerdy kids. I’m obsessed with eating organic, non GMO foods because I don’t want them to grow up and develop an auto-immune disease, and I certainly am afraid of mine getting worse and leaving this world and them alone (well, there’s my husband, but you know what I mean). And a thousand other fears.

    But God tells me Fear Not. So I pray and try and thank Him for your words that let me know that I’m not alone.

    Debbie

    19 Jul 14 at

  53. It’s like you’re in my head. I resonate so much with your writing.

    I hope you’re going to tell us that while you were absent, you wrote a book. Because that would be awesome.

    Thanks for coming back.

    Rachel Dewell

    19 Jul 14 at

  54. Welcome back! I am so glad to see you posting again. Please, please keep hitting “publish”.

    Kelly

    19 Jul 14 at

  55. Yay your back! So. Very. Glad!

    Rebecca

    19 Jul 14 at

  56. Have missed you… welcome back!

    Carrie

    19 Jul 14 at

  57. Hoooooooooorrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy! :) Welcome back, Amy!

    Lisa Beth W

    19 Jul 14 at

  58. Welcome back! I have missed your stories about your farm, kids, life! You are a true inspiration, thank you for conquering your fears and writing again!

    Heather Jones

    20 Jul 14 at

  59. I saw your name in my feedly reader and I got excited. Yay!

    Whitney

    20 Jul 14 at

  60. Thank you, thank you, thank you for returning and doing so with bravery! Following you on twitter is not nearly the same as reading your blog posts. Keep kicking that fear in the a** by hitting submit!

    Karan

    20 Jul 14 at

  61. Thanks Amy,
    keep sharing xx

    Elisa

    20 Jul 14 at

  62. Yay!

    Leslie

    21 Jul 14 at

  63. so excited to see you blogging again!!!

    Tiffany

    21 Jul 14 at

  64. Yours was the very first blog I ever read. What a nice surprise to read it again after such a long while.

    Bethany

    21 Jul 14 at

  65. So good to hear from you again! Hope to hear more.

    Meredith_in_Aus

    21 Jul 14 at

  66. Looks like I’m not the only one who (1) didn’t unsubscribe and (2) missed you. ;)

    Brandy Vencel

    21 Jul 14 at

  67. So there are lots of people who are happy to see your words……when your post appeared in my in box, I read it straight away……..your words are like water for the weary, for those who struggle you speak peace to their hearts….thank you for being brave :)

    Sheryl

    22 Jul 14 at

  68. Oh Amy. I never stopped thinking about ya or wondering how your life was going. You have always been an inspiration to me. I can’t begin to tell you all the ways~
    So glad to hear your voice again. I’ve checked back every few months when you cross my mind and am SO thrilled that you posted. Thank you for the willingness to again share what’s in your heart. I’m hopeful that you will continue, and be blessed for doing so.

    Whitney

    23 Jul 14 at

  69. Well, hello there! I’m so glad to see that you’ve popped back up in my reader!

    margaretinva

    23 Jul 14 at

  70. Amy, hello! So glad to hear from you. The longer you are gone, the harder it is to come back (from my experience anyway!) You always seemed like such a courageous person to make the big move to KY and have inspired me often over the years.

    Meredith

    25 Jul 14 at

  71. I too am glad that you have returned. I have been encouraged often by you. Your post today hit home with me. I have been very fearful. Two verses helped me a lot to start having victories, along with the realization that I didn’t have to be full of fear: 1 John 4:18 and Jeremiah 1:8.

    Sharlene

    28 Jul 14 at

  72. Amy, I have missed you! I’m so glad to read your post and to learn about you. But in so doing, I learn to reflect upon myself and my own fears. Welcome back to writing in public again.

    DL

    29 Jul 14 at

  73. Well I’ll be! Glad to know you’re still alive and kicking, girl.

    Hubs and I just ran across the photo you and I took a few years ago when we met up. And then here you are, in my email, with a post.

    Serendipity.

    Terry

    2 Aug 14 at

  74. So glad your back! Love this post. You make it all sound easy :) Learning, stepping out.

    Denise

    7 Aug 14 at

  75. I just discovered this morning that you resurrected your blog, which is one of the better things to happen to the internet! Please do keep on …

    Ali

    10 Aug 14 at

  76. I am glad you’re back :) didn’t realize it until I saw your comment on Challies.com just now. I don’t read blogs nearly so much anymore but I always did enjoy yours.

    amy

    20 Aug 14 at

  77. Oh-you’ll never know what an impact you have had on me today after reading this post. Thank you for your bravery!!!

    Cynthia

    24 Aug 14 at

  78. So glad you are back. I love your blog and have missed it.

    Kelly

    26 Aug 14 at

Leave a Reply