Have you ever feared good things happening for you because you didn’t really believe you deserved them? I have. It is what I am dealing with right now, in fact. I know that, if I allow it, this will be the most incredible year of my life: for me, my family, my ministry, and my business. And I am certain that the only obstacle in my way is me. But what gives me the right to get out of my own way?

When I look over my adult life, I have done some wonderfully, amazing things. I have used my gifts and resources to help so many people. I have nurtured an incredible family and cultivated priceless friendships. I have envisioned and, with God’s help, brought to fruition several ministries and a new business. There are so many reasons why I should get out of my own way to allow God to take me further. I know this in my head but my heart feels bound by all of the other truths that are not so pretty.

You see, in my adult life, I have also done some wickedly selfish things as well, often in the same season and span of time that the wonderful things were accomplished. I have used my gifts and resources to hurt people. I have said and done things to damage my family and friend relationships. I have given up on or self-sabotaged just as many visions as I have nurtured out of my fear of failure. I have blamed so many of my seasons of downfall on my fear of failure. My fear has kept me prisoner in a dark, dim fortress.

But what I know for sure today is that it is not my fear of failure that keeps me captive. It is my fear of success. What if I succeed? What if I thrive? What if I prosper beyond my own imagination? Will I get too high-minded? Will I become conceited? Will my light shine too bright? Will my light shine too bright for those around me? Will I make anyone around me feel uncomfortable?

I come from meager beginnings and from very humble people. You were seen as doing too much if you dared step outside of the box to do the un-ordinary. So I chose to excel in doing the ordinary, expected tasks of life – college, teaching job, apartment, car, etc.

Can I tell you a secret? If I lived without fear back then, I would never have attended college or began teaching. I would have run off to California or New York to sing and act for a living. So every once in a while, I wonder who or what I would have become had I lived without fear then.

My context is different now but the lesson learned still holds true. So I am learning everyday to be fearless, to let my light shine, to do the things I dream of doing, no matter what. It’s a journey but I am definitely less concerned about dimming my light to accommodate others. I just want to shine bright to inspire others to do the same.

What would you do if you had no fear?

 ~Dr. Trenace Richardson

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