This very question strikes fear into my heart.
I've been realizing that fear is a huge struggle for me. So often I don't do something or I'll act in a certain way or cover up who I really am because I am chained down by fear. I never saw it that way before - I thought of it as being a homebody, or a shy person, or just struggling with a bit of insecurity. But it's a lot more than that. All those situations, those reactions, are motivated by fear.
I have let myself be motivated by fear.
But I don't want fear to be my default, the "safe" way to react to life. I don't want it to control me, to chain me down to a little life that never gets beyond the trails I've carved for myself. I've chiseled neat, symmetrical, tidy little grooves for myself in my day-to-day routine, and once I am faced with something outside of those safe little trails, fear kicks in. And I let it take over.
Yet God is tugging at the chains, reminding me that He has already broken them if I but let them go. Oh man is it hard to let them go! I actually get a physical reaction when I bend my will toward doing something that I fear. Emotions of vulnerability and incapability and terror flood my mind and overwhelm my senses, making me feel helpless and consumed by worry.
But I don't have to live this way. I don't have to let fear control me. Granted, I don't think I can actually get rid of everything that I fear. I will always have new things to face that are scary or worrisome or out of my comfort zone. But By God's grace I can confront my fears head on, giving myself space to say "yes, this is something I fear," and then moving through and doing it anyway.
You don't have to let fear control how you act or react. When faced with something you fear, you can choose to give in to fear or you can choose to have faith and pray for the strength to do what God would have you do.
The Bible is full of instances where God enabled people to conquer their fears. Just look at Abraham who feared to sacrifice his son, Moses who feared to speak, Joshua who feared to lead, Mary who feared to bear the Son of God, and so many more. God strengthened each of them with His courage and endurance to throw off the chains of fear and live lives of faith.
How much more will he do the same for us?