Fear. It creeps up on us, often without a sound. It asks, “What if everything goes wrong?” “What if I fail?” “What if I never get what I want?” And disastrous answers to those questions can send us down a path of negative thinking that spirals out of control. Psychologists call it “catastrophizing.” Next time it happens, stop fear in its path with an opposite question: What if it does work out?
What if you succeed? What if you finally get what you want? What if things go right? Asking these questions gives you a sudden burst of energy. That energy is hope. It can feel like a small light in a dark place. What if your idea does manifest into all you have hoped? What if that relationship does work out? What if your persistence despite your discouragement does pay off? What then? Then, perhaps it will all have been worth it.
This is not to say you should never have a contingency plan. But you can’t live life simply avoiding your fears. Living and working with passion means giving your all because you believe in the possibility of success. You hold more closely to your dreams and desires than your fears and doubts. So in this moment, I invite you to consider the challenge or possibility that causes you the most doubt or anxiety. You know the one, that thing that causes the persistent question, “What if it doesn’t work out the way I hope?” And ask the opposite question: What is does work out the way I hope? Don’t just ask the question. Imagine your answer in depth. Take a moment right now. Imagine what it would look like for things to work out. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. What would it feel like? Really imagine yourself there. Imagine who is with you. What you are doing. How things are different than they are in this moment.
Now, move forward focused on the possibilities for your success. Allow your motivation to be a spirit of faith rather than a spirit of fear.
My challenge to you this week:
Choose optimism. Stop obsessing about what might go wrong, and put your energy into what could go right.
Consider the thing in your life you most want, but are afraid you will not get. What if it DOES work out? What will that look like? What action can you take that will demonstrate you are operating in faith rather than fear?
Valorie Burton, a life coach and speaker, is the author of Listen to Your Life, Rich Minds, Rich Rewards, What’s Really Holding You Back?, Why Not You?, How Did I Get So Busy?, and her latest book, Where Will You Go From Here, Moving Forward When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned. Subscribe to her FREE, inspirational e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com.