1.2 Overcoming Fear

A young professional’s life is special – there’s a certain type of maturity that adds to the way a person lives his or her life compared to when he or she was a student.  When I was a student, it’s easy to excel in class by reading books and chatting with friends while reading books and cramming through an exam as you read the books and answering all your professor’s questions in a manner that would make you look so eloquent and knowledgeable on the subject. Part of that didn’t work out well at work. This transition period for me is a painful process of taking all immaturity that lies within the heart.

I’m currently working as a junior research consultant for BCI. We have field researchers but I belong to the in-office researcher’s category and what we do is that we gather data on current construction projects and talk to architects, engineers, contractors and builders over the phone to ask the progress of that project. I only have 154 projects on my portfolio and we are required to target 3-8 New version updates everyday which was difficult since a construction project takes months or years before it progresses to the next stage (e.g. Feasibility Study to Sketch Plans).

I wasn’t able to hit target for the first two weeks and it was disappointing. These were weeks of crying and doubting if I made the right decision. Each day seems to be a day of battling with fear and the joy of going to work was slowly being taken away by fear of not hitting my targeted updates. Later on, I’ve learned that not because I’m encountering certain difficulties in my job doesn’t mean it’s not for me – what I have to learn is not how to hit target but how to overcome fear.

I was reading a file on basic psychology and got into the topic of free will vs determinism. Psychologists still debate that man doesn’t really have free will but his actions and way of thinking is determined by his environment and some external factors. I got to go through my Bible and remembered what Paul said in Romans that he does what he doesn’t want to do and he doesn’t do what he should do because of the sin living in him. I believe I have a free will and it’s my choice whether I let sin control my life or I give God my life. I had now understood that my sinful nature is the one that created fear and not God and what God is offering me is the joy and freedom from it by casting all my burdens and fears to Him. It takes a lot of faith and trust in His Word to declare His faithfulness in my life in an unlikely situation.

There’s also one study by Ivan Pavlov on how dogs salivate at the sound of a tone that had previously been associated with the presentation of food. In his research Watson found that systematically exposing a child to fearful stimuli in the presence of objects that did not themselves elicit fear could lead the child to respond with a fearful behavior to the presence of the stimulus (Watson & Rayner, 1920; Beck, Levinson, & Irons, 2009).

Now, whenever I think of targets, I had this fear because one of my co-employees didn’t pass probation for not hitting his targeted published projects. That may have caused me to fear something that I should not fear. This realization helped me to understand that I should be transformed by the renewing of my mind – to live not based on emotions but to live out my identity in Christ. This verse also helped me pass through the days, “No temptation has overtaken you except which is common to man, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13

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