5 practical principles for overcoming fear

 

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image from the movie inside out

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D Rossevelt

SELF-AWARENESS: self awareness is self knowledge, knowing your strengths and weaknesses . It is self evolution ,it usually requires tremendous change in the perception of our individual self. It is self honesty or sincerity ,it helps you see yourself in a better light and to see yourself just as you are not as others see you, self-awareness helps you be your own individual .

When you are self- aware you know when something is right or wrong for you, when you should follow trends, move with the crowd or follow your own path.

It helps you make concrete decisions about your life, be it  a career choice, marriage, friendship etc. . You are your own boss you take or reject advice rather than being pushed around by family and friends. Being self -aware is knowing  You can  acknowledge that you are a human being capable of making mistakes and you don’t expect to be perfect .

for example you know you are no good at math or anything that has to do with formulas and calculations, knowing this makes you take an easy approach towards studying the subject.  your normal reaction to fear  would be to skip classes for that course ,postpone studying it till its time for exams, probably when it is two or three days to the exam that’s when you start looking for who to teach you. you will discover that when you sit for the exam you will be in-equipped to solve the questions and would most likely not do well in that exam.

SELF-CONFIDENCE: Remember that guy  who could make everyone laugh and was so sure of him-self even if he was doing something ridiculous, yes I remember him, and no he doesn’t have super powers, its actually called self confidence.

Before I tell you what self-confidence is, let me tell you what its not ,Self-confidence is not acting like you are better than others , it never feels false ,it is not feeling like you are better than others. It is not something that you should feel guilty for wanting, It is not the ability to bully others or promote yourself by tearing someone else down.  Self-confidence is actually a feeling of certainty about who you are and what you have to offer to the world. It is also the feeling that you are worthwhile and valuable. When you are self-confident you can laugh at your-self when you make mistakes and learn from them instead of dwelling on them, your life would be so much more fun and easy if you have self-confidence.

BELIEF SYSTEM: Your belief system  whether you like it or not affects the way you perceive situations and deal  with fear or anxiety. When you are very pessimistic, things tend to go just as we imagine they would. Check out optimistic people,  every thing just seems to go well for them, its because they always think positively they see the good in every situation and even when something doesn’t go as planned they shrug and just move on. Learn to accept things as they come and always hope for the best, drop all the negativity and think positively . A practical example could be that in preparing for a job interview  instead of being afraid that you might not do well in the interview and having thoughts of 1000 ways in which the interview might go wrong( like focusing on what you are lacking) think about how you deserve the job and how during the interview you would place emphasis on your strengths as an individual that would make you an asset to the company or organization.

SELF-DISCOVERY: Discover who you are, and what you are good at, when you tell most people to discover them selves they only think about talents singing, drawing , dancing, acting e.t.c. Discovering who you are is discovering you strengths .Nobody knows you better than you do but inputs from family and friends could be very helpful in knowing what you are most good at .

Confidence strives and grows when you focus on your strengths rather than on your weakness . Decide what you are really good at and develop it. The whole essence of self discovery is to realize that everyone is good at something if they could just discover what it is, comparing yourself with others could be very dangerous as it will put pressure on you to be like those people, take for example Mister A is very charismatic, he is an extrovert and likes to be the center of attention on the other hand Mister B is the opposite of Mister A (introverted, shy and avoids being the center of attention) if they were given a task involving public speaking Mister A would most likely do better in terms of carriage and delivery ,content wise Mister B might do better but feel miserable because he has measured his performance  with someone who is better than him at public speaking. Its ok for someone to be better than you at something rather than trying to turn yourself into something that you are not embrace your strengths and build on them.

FAITH: Faith is the opposite of fear and like they say faith can move mountains and make the impossible to become possible a little faith in your-self and your abilities is not a bad idea. Even in situations where it looks like everything is upside down, just believe it would be better some day. Believe that everything will work out fine . There are deep seated fears that require a lot of faith like , fear of the future , fear of rejection, fear of marriage or intimacy. This fears could arise as a result of  our past experiences or mistakes.

Fear paralyzes us but faith propels us to be all that we dream of. It propels us to be ambitious and pursue our utmost desires.

NOTE: There is a good kind of fear, Don’t get me wrong when I say there is a good kind of fear; when fear drives us to work harder ,meet deadlines and pursue our dreams (eg fear of poverty, fear of contacting STDs ) it is only when we can convert fear to a driving force towards doing the right things that we can call it a good thing. Till my next post remember ” YOU CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO BE AS LONG AS YOU HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN YOUR-SELF”.

Understanding Mercy

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Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Mercy is an undeserved gift from God which preserves us; sometimes you notice that people have things more than you it is the grace of God that keeps them. Sometimes mercy and grace are often thought to mean the same thing, Mercy is God’s loving kindness towards sinners and his children; God who lets his rain fall on both the good and evil and the sun to shine on both the good and evil while grace is defined as the favor of God. This is what makes an individual qualify for what he ordinarily is not qualified for. At every point in time in our lives we have to be thankful for the mercy of God upon our lives irrespective of whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Sometimes you wonder why bad things happen to a certain group of people and not others.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. Lamentation 3:22

Thinking back some of us have never been in an accident or lost someone really close to us, humanity is different and we are all different, the mercy of God is fully evident in our lives no matter the situation. There are countries where Christians are being   slaughter but somehow you can decide to go to a different church every other Sunday. If you come from a home where you have to fast and pray before you pay school fees remember there are people out there fasting and praying for admission into school despite the fact that their parents are well to do.

On being the judge of whether someone deserves something or not

             Ye judge after the flesh, I judge no man. John 8:15

Remember when a pastor friend of yours was getting married and his bride happens to be a girl known for promiscuity in the past and even though she has repented you still felt she did not deserve to marry the holy, pure hearted guy. Or when someone whose character you are familiar with gets appointed as head of a department in church and your mind goes did the Choice Committee fast and pray properly before picking this individual perhaps you feel the individual  is not spiritual enough to handle this post but really its God’s business who he wants to serve at a particular time and he doesn’t have to explain himself to anybody whether you sit in the auditorium every Sunday as a member or worker of a church or you stand in the auditorium as a pastor.

Jesus a perfect example of mercy

Remember Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well despite the fact that the Samaritans were an abomination to the Jews, Jesus still preached eternal life to her, sometimes I wonder why Jesus picked a dysfunctional woman to preach to (someone who had five husbands and was currently co-habiting with her lover) why not pick a moralistic Samaritan and justify preaching salvation by saying i know she will make a good follower.

  • Mercy overlooks our errors flaws and shortcomings while grace overshadows over efforts.
  • Mercy clears the mess for grace to fill the ground.
  • Mercy cleans up the vessel, while grace fills up the vessel.
  • Mercy is preparatory to the workings of Grace.

An understanding of God’s mercy towards us and others helps us to appreciate the good that happens in other people’s lives whether they deserve it or not, it drives pride away from our hearts when we remember that our God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace that we have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5)

As Christians we serve a God who is ever merciful to us, who looks beyond our short comings and weakness and blesses us all the same, irrespective of whatever our situation might be it is paramount we give thanks always and be content with our lives while looking up to God as our source of up-liftment in every area of our lives. Let us always see the mercy of God working in our lives at all times, so in all that we do, let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.

 

FOOD SPOTLIGHT (SUYA)

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Suya (spicy skewered beef) is probably the most popular meat snack in the Nigerian community, it is quite affordable and easy to get access to if you know the right suya spots. People have been really innovative with this food from incorporating the spice in making Sharwama to eating it with various combination of food such as suya and bread, suya and noodles and my personal favorite suya and jollof rice .Aside the fact that suya is roasted beef or chicken the peculiar thing about it, is the spice it is dressed with, this spice gives it a unique taste and aroma that distinguishes it from any other meat snack. Well in the spirit of empowering ourselves, let’s find out how suya spice and beef suya is prepared.

 

SUYA SPICE

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  • ½ cup grounded Kuli Kuli (Substitute roasted groundnut powder )
  • ½ cup Ginger Powder
  • ¼ cup Chilli Powder
  • ¼ cup Paprika Powder**
  • ¼ cup Onion Powder
  • ¼ cup Garlic Powder
  • 1 table spoon sea salt

** Paprika powder in this context is ground dried tatashe (bell pepper), very similar to ground pepper (shombo). This helps to give the suya spice a more “Red” and bright appearance instead of the dull brown color.

Direction

  • Combine all of the ingredients thoroughly
  • Store in an air tight container for future use

        MAKING BEEF SUYA

 

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  • Beef
  • Salt to taste
  • Suya Spice Mix

Direction:

Thinly slice the beef. Combine with salt and suya spice and arrange on bamboo skewers.  Grill or bake until beef is cooked through.  Serve with fresh tomatoes and onions.

Notes for Making Beef Suya:

  • The best cut of beef for suya kebab is Top sirloin or similar cuts with reasonable amount of fat (this is necessary so the meat doesn’t dry out)
  • Combine prepared meat for suya with a little salt and maggi prior to use
  • The thinner your slice your meat, the less time it needs to cook
  • If using a non-fatty cut of meat, bast the suya with some oil during the cooking process
  • You may incorporate suya spice at the start of cooking but my personal preference is midway through or at the end

Recipe gotten from http://www.9jafoodie.com