Fear and perfectionism – our prison bars

By Dave Henning / July 19, 2020

“Too many of us live in prisons we’ve constructed for ourselves where the bars are fear and perfectionism.  The fastest way to break yourself out is to stop asking, ‘Will I fail?’ and start asking, ‘Whether I succeed or fail, will it make a great story/’ “- Jennifer Fulwiler

In Chapter 11 (“You Can Live a Grand Story”) of Your Blue Flame, Jennifer Fulwiler asserts that anyone fighting to use their blue flame has a good story.  Because that fight involves passion and risk.  Furthermore, you’re trying desperately to do what you believe God created you to do.  Even if life stacks all the odds against you.

Also, we all yearn to live great stories.  And stories, by definition, require drama.  But you shouldn’t fear the loss and failure that occur in this drama.  Rather, loss and failure represent signs that you’re doing something right.  Above all, no one remembers the easy stories.  Instead, characters need to face their greatest fears with courage.  So, when you see your life as a story, you understand the redemptive nature buried within even your worst moments.

Tragedy and triumph create a tale worth telling.  Loss and hardship connect us with each other.  Finally, Jennifer stresses, we crave drama for a reason.  Not only did God wire us for it, but drama makes our lives better.  However, the key involves seeking the right kind of drama.  Hence, Jennifer explains:

“Our desire to dig deep into the human experience is a good thing.  But if we’re not intentional about how we do this, we can end up with lives that are filled with drama in the worst sense of the word.  ‘When we don’t have good drama, we create bad drama,’ my youth minister friend said.”

Embracing the fears that arise with trying out your blue flame adds all kinds of drama to your life.  Above all, even when things go awry, those things still make a great story.

Today’s question: Do fear and perfectionism comprise the prison bars of your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Encounter your blue flame – a choice”

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Dave Henning

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