Unless you are an anthropoid or alien, sometime in the last 24 hours you had a moment of doubt, worry or alarm.
It might have been fear of losing your job. Or possibly you distrusted a friend or partner’s feelings for you. Maybe you worried that fire or storms would destroy your home. Or had a nagging feeling that getting older might actually kill you. Why, with Halloween almost upon us, you might even have a fear of All Hallow’s Eve itself. (This is termed Samhainophobia, and originates from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to usher in the darker time of year — and ward off ghosts.)
Whatever your trepidation, how do you get rid of gnawing anxiety, creepy shivers, or full blown panic?
Start by thinking of one scary thing that’s on your mind right now. Something you tend to avoid, but that sparks fear in you. Whatever your boogeyman is, say the word out loud. Be it “sharks” or “elevators” or “corporate administrators” or “trapped on a Boeing 737 Max.” Giving voice to your fear can make you realize that what spooks you is mostly living in a dark corner of your mind, and is not an imminent threat. If sharks scare you and you live in Kansas, the worry is not a real threat. If you work on Wall Street and have a fear of farm threshers, you’re good for now.
Now take it a step further: Think about the worst thing that could happen if your fear actually materialized. What if that shark found its way to Kansas and bit your leg clean off? It’s true your professional tap-dancing career could be over, but you might still go on to win a gold medal in the Paralympics. If you lost your business, lost your faithful dog, lost your spouse or lost your mind, it can be the start of a bold new chapter in your life adventure.
The point is, when your worst fears happen, it is never game over. You will always have the power to change your attitude, even in the worst of situations. What about death, you ask? On the plus side, you finally get a good night’s sleep!
But this doesn’t mean you should walk around completely unprepared for the worst. Excrement does hit the fan, so what is the simplest solution to overcoming the fear you may be avoiding? After all, the only thing worse than our fear becoming manifest is being caught with our pants down, when we always knew better.
Book to read before asking for a raise.