Okay, here is the scenario:
You are facing a situation, one that you may not have experienced before. You are anxious enough about it, but then your mind decides to help you freak out even more! How does your mind decide to help? It helps you by causing you to think about the “What ifs…” next thing, you realise that you have reached a new “personal best” in your anxiety levels.
There is nothing wrong with the “What ifs.” It’s only that the ones that your mind creates seem to be negative “What ifs” – What if I am useless at this new job? What if I fail if I try? What if people will tease me when I don’t succeed. How will I cope? What if I can’t cope?
Next thing we find that we are fearing the upcoming situation, be it a job promotion, a career change, moving house. If you take the time to stop and actually analyse the thoughts that cause you to question your coping ability, you will find that most, if not all, the thoughts are baseless. You are contemplating scenarios that may never happen, but you are stressing and worrying about them!
What has just happened? Simply this: you have imagined a fearful situation. Where is the evidence to support the conclusion you have just reached about your inability to succeed in that new job? Where is the evidence that your new neighbours are going to be annoying slobs who party to some godless hour in the morning? You will find that there is no evidence!
We need to be honest with ourselves and discard the fear that our mind has created. I do not deny the fact that we feel anxious whenever we are faced with an unfamiliar situation. In fact, it is healthy because it causes us to be on our game and to be aware of the situation. We can also consider the pros and cons of the new situation.
My point is that we also need to know when we have created a unfounded fear regarding the situation. We need to discard those fears. We also need to become aware as to what caused those fears to surface: Lack of self-esteem? Narcissim? Lack of social skills? Shyness? Fear of failure?
Once we can dig down to the psychological well-spring from where the fear orignates, then we are more able to ignore and discard them.
Next time you face a new opportunity or situation, rejoice in it. Look at the positives behind the situation. Use it as a mean of personal growth and also look inward to see if you have any “imagined fears”. If you find some, then chuck them away!