Sometimes I feel as though I’m all alone when it comes to facing my fears. Then, something will come along to let me know that isn’t so. In the past, I would have read something and told myself, “Well, that’s great and wonderful, but my situation’s different.”
Now, I read something and think how I can use the lesson in the story. One of those stories came through my mailbox this morning.
Jean Sumner is co-founder of World Wellness Education and a cancer survivor. She is truly an inspiration to all who know her. Her newsletter for today is spot on for those of us who need to ask ourselves, “What’s the worst that can happen?”
The lesson Jean reinforces is there are options in every situation. The key is to take the time to review those options.
Fear can hold us back from experiencing life to it’s fullest. It can also limit our potential. Since we all want to live life to it’s fullest it is important to be able to face your fears and put them behind you.
My personal way of dealing with fear is to quickly ask myself the question “what is the worst that can happen!” I will tell you a story that demonstrates this easily. I was working for a bank and was the Regional Controller. It was a time of consolidation in the banking industry so there was a lot of change happening. On a Friday afternoon I received a call from my boss telling me that my entire department was being eliminated and our functions were being moved to a city 150 miles away. I cannot even describe the physical symptoms that happened immediately, suffice it to say there was a pretty large know in my stomach.
I spent the evening in total fear, “what will happen if I can’t find another job” “what will I do?” Well you get the picture. But the next morning I asked myself the question, “what is the worst thing that could happen because of this change in my life?” That moved me to a different place and I started looking at my budget. By the time I was done I realized we could pay all our bills even if I made a fraction of what I was currently making. This lead me to know that even a job at McDonalds would get us through this crisis. Once through this thought process I could again think clearly, the knot in my stomach went away and I could move forward.
When you go to the question “what is the worst that can happen” quickly it can really help you make strides facing your fears!
Yours in good health,
Phil Holleman spent over 11 years struggling with major depression. He became an “expert” at being depressed! After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created ABoldNewLife.com to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use your inner strength to be freed from the bondage of depression.
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I've found a different approach to fear. Having anxiety, I experience fear quite often over even little things like emailing people or being on the phone. For the little things, I present myself with small rewards, since overcoming a small fear helps desensitize me to it. But, when it comes to larger ones, I try to adopt a realist attitude. I do think about it in some terms of "what's the worst that could happen?" but I also plug into my creative side and find out all the different possible outcomes and how to prepare for them. This not only establishes a game plan that helps me feel more in control of the situation, but it also provides a distraction from being afraid.