Simple Tricks for Confronting Fear and AnxietyDec 05, 2020
Fears, like bad dreams, are best disposed of in the light of day. Expose your fears to yourself and others you trust. Identify them and where they came from. They are much less powerful when you can look at them in the light. Say to yourself, “I have not taken a risk in an important area of my life because I’m afraid that:
- I will lose a relationship. Are you sure? Or will that person just get mad and withdraw for a while?
- Someone will get mad at me. The anger of others is unpleasant, but you must be able to tolerate people being mad at you to be successful.
- I might hurt somebody’s feelings. Certainly, you could. But hurt and harm are two different things. You don’t want to harm, but discomfort can be a help to someone.
- I might lose my job. Check out the reality of that fear with someone who is balanced. Is the situation truly that fragile?
- I might fail. You might. You might not. And failure is often a blessing.
- I might be disappointed. That is possible. When you are, call a friend, get a pep talk, and get back up again.
- I will be out of control. If you have strong feelings that emerge, deal with them with someone who can help you express and understand them.
- I won’t know what will happen next. Right, but you have a pretty good idea. Don’t wait until there is a 100 percent guarantee of the outcome.
- I might have feelings I don’t want to have. Yes, feelings can be uncomfortable, but they don’t last forever.
- I will be worse off than if I had never taken the chance. Certainly you shouldn’t risk everything on a long shot. But will you later regret missing the window of opportunity you have now to make the situation better?
I hope you don’t think I am trivializing your fears; I am not. Fears are real, and they are quite painful. But always submit your fears to reality. See if it’s your past talking, or a critical person you’ve given too much power to, or if things truly are as bad as you fear. It’s a helpful exercise.