“My business is probably going to fail,” said no entrepreneur ever! At least not when they started the business. And while many entrepreneurs do fail sometimes, they don’t let it stop them from learning what went wrong and launching another business idea. Because something all successful businesspeople have to have, is an internal messaging system that says, “I can do this and I’m not afraid to try.”

Fear can be a Spirit, one that can paralyze a person into doing nothing, which virtually ensures failure. At the very least it keeps a person from every reaching their potential because the fear keeps them from learning and growing. This year I found myself fighting a fear that had taunted me for far too long. It had kept me up at night, stolen my peace and made my heart literally ache. I thought I had made such a terrible mistake in the record keeping of my children’s adoption papers and it was going to hurt them. My fear was telling me I had failed them.

When my oldest daughter applied for a driver’s license she was turned down because she had no Social Security card and the Chinese Passport she had as an infant was expired. Her other papers were all in Chinese. They told us she lacked documentation. We found her Permanent Resident Card and she was able to apply for a new SS card and eventually got her license, but it left me feeling like I had missed something in the adoption process. Later, when she wanted to travel, we attempted to get a US Passport and we were told that her papers were insufficient to get one. I made numerous appointments with the Immigration office and was told that both our children had to apply for citizenship, fill out an 18-page INS form and pay over $1100 for each application. The fear that I wouldn’t have the proper proof of what I needed took root. That was five years ago, and I just kept hiding from the reality of it all, putting it off and burying my head. I let fear paralyze me from doing anything.

When it was time to get my younger daughter’s driver’s license, the entire problem rose again and to make it worse, I discovered this daughter’s SS card was in her Chinese name. Now my daughter couldn’t even present herself legally with the name she had carried all her life. Fear and failure were digging in deeper. And to add to that, failure led to shame. I felt ashamed that I hadn’t seen the error until now and hadn’t done a better job of securing her papers. The fear grew deeper and uglier. Now my youngest daughter was looking at scholarship opportunities and those were only available to US Citizens, and I didn’t seem to have the right paperwork to prove she was one.

I found an attorney who informed me that I didn’t need to apply for citizenship after all. He said that the law was such that both of my daughters were already citizens and for less than the cost of one INS application, he would provide a letter making the legal argument that proved that both my children deserved US passports. We applied for Passports directly and within a matter of a few weeks we had them, in my daughter’s American names. I had the right documents all along, just not the right process.

Here is the point — what I feared would happen, didn’t happen. All the things I was tormenting myself with, weren’t really the problem I thought they were, but my fear had lied to me and had stolen my peace for years. When I finally stepped into that fear and just walked through it, everything worked out as it should, and I realized I had wasted a lot of anxiety on something I could have trusted to the Lord much sooner.

It says in 2 Timothy 1:17, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” It is a “Spirit” of fear that we do not get from God, but from his enemies instead. Those that oppose God will always try to distract us from God’s best, but we don’t have to accept it. Instead, face your problems, including your business challenges, knowing that if you step ahead in love, and with a sound mind, He will give you the power you need to face anything, and to do so fearlessly.