Last Christmas my daughter gave me a Pressure Cooker XL because I had said that I wanted it. But once I had it, it looked very daunting and so it stayed in the box. I put it in the pantry and researched it on occasion throughout the time in holding, found wonderful recipes on Pinterest that I couldn’t wait to try, but still it seemed like an insurmountable challenge.

I had heard rumors of it being dangerous and more than once people shared stories of holes in ceilings. That must have been the older pressure cookers because mine has so many built in safety features that I’m sure it is secure. Except it still took me nine months to cook in it!

My first experiment was homemade macaroni and cheese and when I didn’t injure myself or the house, I started cooking all kinds of things. Pulled chicken, goulash, and soup last week. This week the menu consists of more chicken breasts, a roast, pork chops and spaghetti.

But before I start to sound like an infomercial I wanted to talk about the fear that kept that appliance in its box for far too long.

As I’m reading some books on child development, it seems my parents did a really good job of helping me connect with my emotions. They helped me develop coping styles as a child and into adolescence through the caring environment they provided.

According to authors, Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D. and Martha Jablow, in Building Resilience in Children and Teens, “Even unpleasant emotions are useful because they inform us when we should be cautious. Anxiety tells us that we have stepped outside our comfort zone and may be approaching danger. Sadness reminds us how much we care when we experience a loss and teaches us that need to appreciate what we have. Fear teaches us to be vigilant.”

So now it sounds like I’m justifying fear, but while it can be useful, fear can keep you from moving forward in life. It can stifle opportunities. “Fear tricks us into living a boring life.” (Donald Miller)

Fear is a very real emotion for me. Fear of injury, of change, of the unknown or of losing people, animals or things that are important to me. It’s the “what ifs” that keep me awake at night even though the Bible tells us 365 times to not be fearful. One for every day of the year.

What are the fears that keep you from moving forward?

Here are ten tips for dealing with fear found on Pinterest:

1. Do something. Anything. Fear feeds on inaction.

2. Make a decision. Let go of the belief that you cannot make a choice until you are certain of the outcome. Fear feeds on indecision.

3. Imagine the very worst thing that can happen and decide what you would do if it did. Fear feeds on the unknown.

4. Imagine the very best thing that could happen and how you’d feel if it did. Fear feed on feelings of unworthiness.

5. Say “Anything is possible,” instead of “this is not possible. Fear feed on feelings of impossibility.

6. Say, “I can,” and “Why not?” instead of “I cannot.” Fear feed on negativity.

7. Look for truth instead of hiding from facts. Fear feeds on lies.

8. Take in air instead of holding your breath. Fear feeds on suffocation.

9. Embrace mistakes instead of pretending you won’t make any. Fear feeds on perfectionism.

10. Take one step today instead of waiting to run a marathon tomorrow. Fear feeds on waiting for the perfect time.

  

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