As a therapist, people come into my office for a variety of reasons. They do not come into my office on a daily basis because they only want to chat. Sure, it’s nice to have someone to talk with, however, my clients have a purpose for visiting me.
Each person’s purpose for therapy is different, some come to me to help them solve a problem, some have an expectation I can fix them, some need guidance on how to move forward, some come to dump out everything that is bothering them, some come because their partner has asked them to, and some come seeking help from the mysterious magic wand. Keep in mind the wand doesn’t exist and there is no magic.
One of the most common issues that surfaces is how fear dominates our lives. More importantly, I find that it’s the irrational fears that do the most damage. Friendly remember…You can only mess up your own life…no one can do it for you.
This is a very common one…what if ________ (fill in the blank), but what if ________. This is the one that adds gasoline to the fire leading to a panic attack. “What if’s” are so powerful that just by thinking of a few sentences, which begin with this, can cause you to spiral quickly into panic.
But what causes this to happen? Simple…you will never find an answer to the “What if” question because it can always lead to another one especially after a case of the “buts”.
This has so much power because it’s easy to think and applies to many areas of our lives. If you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough and you’ll not achieve your goals, go ahead and expect that this will be your outcome.
Continuing to focus on and repeat how your not good enough will become your reality quickly.
Sound familiar? If you avoid making decision to not move forward in a direction you want or not do something you want because you are fearful of judgment you are giving away all of your power. This is on you…your responsible for your life and happiness, not anyone else.
More than likely, if you decide to do anything of significance in your life you will be judged for the decision and possibly be judged even if you don’t make the decision. Long story short, you’ll likely be judged either way so why not do what you want instead, it’s the best chance you have at happiness.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter because each of us has to be able to live with our decisions, dreams, and desires. Since we have options why not choose our own happiness.
This is the irrational belief that keeps you stuck in useless worry ensuring that your plan won’t work because you’re not moving forward. How many times have you had a fantastic idea that popped into your head and you quickly dismissed it because of the automatic thought of “That will never work.”
Have you actually ever written this great idea on paper and brainstormed options to figure out if it has wings? If not, you’re simply stuck in fear.
Sure, your plan of buying fifty chickens, building a coop out back, and selling eggs to the neighborhood may not work if you live in a gated community. However, once you have really given your plan a fair and rational analysis you can then make an assessment if it will work or not, but not until then.
Letting fears dictate your life keeps you locked in a place of mediocrity, unhappiness, and often times it leads to regret.
Mae West said it best
Think about it, who determines if you “do it right”? Only you can determine that which makes it all the more important to challenge your irrational fears and do what you are meant to do!
What drives your fears?