See last week’s post, “Overcoming fear: A personal journey to the divine” to read about how I mislabeled fear in my life and why unchecked fear cannot coexist with faith.

To banish trepidation, we must be vigilant to prevent its creep back into our lives. First, though, we need to determine when fear is valid and important to heed.

Fear’s true purpose is to warn us of danger.
When we first notice anxiety, we must assess the situation we’re in. Are we facing danger? Is our intuition telling us something is amiss?

Once while taking groceries out to my car in a Walmart parking lot, I witnessed a man peering in car windows. Fear heightened my awareness of my surroundings. I realized I was the only other person outside on that blustery day. As I was too far from the store to retreat back to its safety, I concocted a plan and moved quickly. By the time he approached me at my car, I wasn’t nearly as vulnerable as I could’ve been. He demanded to know where my purse was. And, when I didn’t answer, he left in frustration.

There’s a reason we’re biologically wired for fear. It’s that fight or flight mechanism that allows our species to survive.

But when we live in a low-level, constant state of fear, we need to consider these questions:
• Are we speculating about the future and allowing past bad experiences to cloud our reasoning?
• Are we allowing ourselves to dwell on worst case outcomes?
• Are we rooted in self-doubt?
• Are we worried about the reactions of others?

If we answer “yes” to any of these, it means we’re living in anxiety and need to readjust our outlook.

Follow our hearts to live in faith.
We can’t go wrong when love and positivity guide us. When we pursue the affirmative and trust the Most Divine, our relationship with the sacred will help us emotionally prosper and live fully in the present.

We can bring God into our hearts, accept divine protection and banish fear from our lives. We possess the power of prayer. The Most Divine has given us awareness and intellect—and at times, fear—to thrive in this realm.