Playing It Safe v. Doing It Scared

I struggle with this on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis--

Do I play it safe or do it scared? 

Since college, when people would ask me what I want to do when I grow up my answer is always the same: I want to make a significant impact on my world.

(I used to say the world instead of my world. But as I'm learning to redefine success, I really want to make a significant impact on my world-- the people my life impacts. I'll let God define the number of lives that impact hits. My job is just to be willing to make the impact.) 


Where I struggle with this is I'm insecure. 

I'm insecure that I'll try and totally bomb. 

I'm insecure that I'll put myself out there and it will totally suck. 

I'm insecure that I've heard God lead a certain way and maybe no one else will want to come that way too. 

I'm scared I'll make a fool out of myself. 

I'm scared I've heard God wrong. 

I'm really scared that to do some of the things I feel called to that the yes makes me a crappy wife or mom. 

I'm scared that by working I'm neglecting the community around me in my every day life. 

I'm scared because there are about 1 billion people more qualified. 


I'm scared and this fear keeps me quiet. Keeps me playing it safe. So I don't put myself out there. 

This summer I was faced with those fears and totally confronted that I was hiding.

Hiding behind motherhood. Hiding behind Sacred Holidays.


I was letting circumstances and my own opinions of myself disqualify me before I even really tried. 

So I took some big steps in the right direction. I started doing more things that terrified me. I started sharing with others the dreams I thought were only lofty ideas. I took a lot more risks, both personally and professionally. 

You know what? I'm not feeling any more brave today than I did six months ago. Honestly, I feel more terrified. 

My husband sent me this Tim Ferris podcast with Brene Brown today and I was reminded of this quote she has said several times before: 


"If I'm not a little bit nauseous when I'm done, I probably didn't show up like I should've showed up."

-Brene Brown


Today as I try to finish up writing the Lent study, I'm doing it scared. 

In the coming weeks as I start to fill up my 2017 speaking calendar, I'm doing in scared.

In the coming months as I put together a book proposal for my first book (Not Enough: A Discovery of How Not Awesome We Are... But God. The title is clearly still in the works but this is the gist of the book.) for my dream literary agent, I'm doing it scared. 

In the next year as I no longer just dream but make efforts to building a sweet, fun, true community in my neighborhood filled with people I don't yet know, I'm doing it scared. 


I'm learning that peace is a facade, at least the way I've defined it. 

I became a Christian at 16 and well meaning Christians told me then, "If you don't have peace about something, then maybe Jesus isn't in it. He is the Prince of Peace after all." I've run from so many things because they didn't feel peaceful. 

I'm calling that whole idea crap today. 

Peace isn't the absence of fear. Peace is confidence that even in the fear Jesus is enough and totally worth it. 

I feel certain Abraham was scared when he was walking up Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac. (Gen 22)

I feel certain as Moses raised his rod to part the Red Sea he was scared beyond belief. (Exodus 14)

I feel certain Esther was scared when she went before the King. (Esther 5)

I'm sure Rahab was scared hiding the spies. (Joshua 6)

I feel confident that David was scared when his son died. (2 Samuel 12)

We know that Jesus was in anguish in the Garden praying before His death. (Luke 22)

We know Saul, who we know as Paul, felt something like fear when Jesus spoke to Him. (Acts 9)


This idea that fear can't coincide with faith is a lie. We need to be done with it. 

This fear has kept me living a half hearted life for too long. 

This fear keeps us in our Christians bubbles, serving only other Christians, because it's safest there. 

This fear keeps us home, spending more time with our remote than real life humans. 

This fear keeps us spending more money than our bank accounts have. 

This fear keeps us putting too many filters over our picture and cropping out the less than appealing parts of our lives on social media. 

This fear keeps us saying "I'm blessed" or "God is good" or "I'm good! You?" whenever people ask us how we are are, believing the lie that they can't handle how we really are. 

Let's all stop it. Time is short. Our lives are but a vapor (James 4:14). 


What is your thing? Do it scared. 

Not sure yet what your thing is? That's OK. Do the next thing scared. Ask for help. Share some dreams with others. Start serving somewhere. Put yourself out there today. Stop waiting for what could be or what's next to make it better. Now, today, do it scared. 

I would LOVE to hear from you and learn what you are doing scared. How about tag me (@beckykiser) when you post a picture and use the hashtag #doitscared. 

Let's do this! 

A great anthem song to this idea is Francesca Battistelli's song "If We're Honest":


You can watch Brene's Ted Talk on Vulnerability here: