Punch Fear in the Face: My Thoughts on Start

I just finished Start.

That doesn’t sound like it makes sense, until you know that Start is the title of a book by Jon Acuff. Now is the part where suddenly everything becomes clear.

I just finished the book Start, and it was AWESOME, just like the tag line, “punch fear in the face.”

This book has been monumental for me, and there are two reasons why:

  1. The book is about fears that hold us back from being awesome.
  2. The book is about telling your fears to stop holding you back from being awesome.

Acuff is blunt and to the point and he is not afraid to tell you when you’re listening to the wrong voices. At some point in life we are given “messages,” about who we are, how we look, what we will be when we grow up, what we should be right now, etc. Sometimes it is in words spoken to us by someone we look up to or admire. Other times it can be a subliminal message we give ourselves by comparing us to someone else.

Whether we realize it or not, we let those false messages affect our thinking of ourselves, which affects our self-esteem and confidence. When you hear the words, “you’re so sensitive,” you may struggle with self-esteem and question your feelings, even though your feelings are perfectly valid. When a parent says you will never be an all-star athlete, you may even give up the sport you love because you don’t see a future in it anymore.

I struggle often with feeling confidant as a mom. Wondering, “am I doing it right? Will he turn out okay? Am I giving him enough love and attention? Do I give in to the crying too much? Will he be spoiled? Am I enough?”

I started wondering where those messages were coming from. And surprisingly discovered that it was about more than just being a mom. There were a lot of fears below the surface and voices of doubt that I was listening to that needed to be brought out into the light of day.

So how do we recognize the fear holding us back? And punch it in the face?

Well, you’ll just have to read the book (and I HIGHLY recommend it). But I will leave you with this little snippet,

“…no one has a positive internal voice. No one’s internal voice tells them, ‘You’re skinny enough. You sure are pretty. People are going to love that new project you’re working on. It’s going to be a huge success.’ Most of us tend to think they’re telling us the truth. We’ve heard them for so long that we trust them. We think they’re looking out for us, that they’ve got our best in mind. That they’re trying to protect us or help us. We think our voices are friends. But they’re not. They’re foes.”

Why do we let the words of someone else, or the opinions of the world, determine our highest standard of ourselves? No one should set the bar for you, that is for you to decide.  You are enough.



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