THE DAY I FOUGHT A SHARK
Shark attacks happen often. But fear and anxiety take more lives.
The good news is there’s a way for us to take down and beat these lethal animals.
1. Don’t Talk about It!
Now this may sound like the exact opposite of what you should do, but just hear me out. What you talk about, you magnify. And I’m not just referring to audible speech. Our inner dialogue can create the scariest of phantoms. This is why we must be careful with our thoughts—any thought (whether positive or negative) should be constructive, not destructive. Your thoughts should always be constructive and never destructive. That wasn’t a typo.
The number one key to success against fear and anxiety is controlling your inner dialogue.
It’s also important to carefully choose who you share your fears with. As stated in the video, I highly recommend only talking to one qualified person about the problem. If you talk to too many people, the fear or concern will grow bigger, stealing more and more of your time and energy. I’ve made this mistake many times, and it has proven to be fear’s way of keeping me focused on the problem and not a solution.
Now is it always wrong to tell multiple people? Absolutely not. But be careful. You don’t want those conversations to magnify the fear. Pick people who 1.) are removed from the situation and can offer an objective opinion 2.) are a champion in this particular area—don’t just go to people who are dealing with the same fear or issue.
2. Find Confidence
Confidence is very important when facing your fears, so you’ll need to find some. But it can be hard to find confidence when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, so I want to give you my secret to finding confidence . . .
. . . trust in a CONSTANT.
So what’s a constant? Family? Friends? Job? Money? Yourself? Nope. None of those are constant. You, your family, and your friends are human and can mess up. Money can be lost faster than its earned. In fact, everything in life is subject to change—except for God, and we’ve been given His unchanging Word.
When confronted by the sharks, I quickly thought of a verse that reshaped my dilemma:
“God gave man dominion over all the fish of the sea, birds of the air, and every living creature.” —Genesis 1:26 ARV (Alec Revised Version)
Well a shark is a fish, so I knew I had dominion over it. I rejected the fear by putting it in its place. You might be thinking, It’s not that simple . . . Well, actually, it is that simple. I think we overcomplicate these things. Either we’re going to live in faith or fear, and faith comes from confidence in God’s goodness and constancy.
If you don’t know a verse for your situation, that’s fine. You get to find one. And when you look for your verse, you’ll end up finding much more than you originally expected.
3. Mind Your Surroundings
In the midst of fear, we can still find things to be thankful for—things that will ground us and put our struggle into perspective. Again, you may be thinking, Alec you don’t understand my situation. I can’t find anything to be thankful for!
It’s true I don’t know your pain or struggle. And I can’t imagine how difficult your battle has been. However, the truth is there is always something to be thankful for. But you’ll only find what you’re looking for. Again, you will only find what you’re looking for.
What did I have to be thankful for when I was surrounded by sharks? Oddly enough, a lot. I’ve never been so thankful for jellyfish in my life. Josh and I started throwing them at each other as a way to distract ourselves. The waves around us were gorgeous, and I was having quality time with one of my great friends. With sharks swimming beneath us, Josh and I had amazing conversations that I still remember today.
We can always learn things from stressful or fearful times, and that’s reason enough to be thankful for them. God doesn’t send trials our way because He likes watching us struggle. He uses trials and fears to develop strength and courage in us. But we won’t grow in the struggle if we don’t mind our surroundings
The very fact that you are on this site means you want more out of this adventure called life. You are an extraordinary person, which means you’ll meet some tough sharks. Don’t be afraid. Don’t stress. Get the right voices involved, find your constant, mind your surroundings, and don’t back down from the sharks.