You know that "what if" voice in your mind? When do you feel fear of the future? It is nagging and relentless; not at all reassuring. Just when you get comfortable, it leaps into action reminding you that you should be worrying. It steals your peace and kicks up drama inside of you. It causes you to do and say things that aren't a good idea.
What if I fail? What if I never get better? What if I'll be alone forever? What if my child isn't ok? What if I lose everything?
Why does this happen?
Well, the mind thinks it's protecting you from failure and pain.
The 'what if' voice is trying to keep your life in order and create ideal outcomes. Except it's on overdrive. Instead of it having a small say, it gets ahold of the mic for extended periods creating an imbalance of fear and stress.
3 Things You Can Do to Overcome the Fear of the Future
When our lives are out of balance, we lose perspective. We get so wrapped up in what we think is essential we lose track of more valuable priorities. And worst of all, we believe these tricky thoughts and feelings.
So what's the best way to fix the '"what if" voice?
#1 Develop a consistent practice of clearing out the garbage in your mind and body.
Clearing the mind is one reason therapy is so useful.
Therapy helps sort out the confusion in your thoughts and feelings. A therapist can also help you rule out post-traumatic stress disorder or an anxiety disorder. Both of these things can cause an overabundance of negative thoughts.
Other ways to clear your mind include:
- Listening to soothing music while focusing on taking clearing breaths.
- Watching a peaceful body of water or getting lost in a fish tank.
- A slow yoga practice or a solo walk on the beach.
The idea is to eliminate the stimuli that tell you: "you're not enough." Start with the idea that you are ok and that you are worthy and allow the rest to unfold.
#2 Get connected with people who care.
Immerse yourself in love and fun.
There is something very magical about laughter and something very healing in the act of living. Sometimes we become so burdened by the responsibility we forget to live.
I am guilty of this.
It's easy for me to prioritize naps and isolation, but harder for me to get out and about to spend time with friends and loved ones. When I get out and play, I'm always glad I did.
# 3 Deal with your emotional wounds.
What we avoid only piles up and comes back to haunt us.
Avoiding our pain can seem highly effective. It's not. I promise (winking).
I have a job because emotional and psychological wounds need care just like our physical injuries require medical attention. So please don't judge yourself as weak or inadequate just because you can't figure it out on your own.
You don't expect yourself to know how to do surgery, do you?
You are very clever and highly capable, but it's healthy to need support and guidance when facing your internal struggles.
If you're stuck in the "what if" trap, you may feel deeply resistant to trying these things. I understand.
You are at a crossroads.
Continue doing things the way you have been and remain anxious and unsettled. Or, take a leap of faith and do something different.
Yes, it will be hard.
I am sympathetic to your struggle. And yet the harsh reality is no one can take the initiative but you!
Trust me I struggle with "what ifs" also.
I often think that creating backup plans is the solution. Even that is usually a faulty thought.
Getting Quiet to Create a More Peaceful Life
When I get quiet and clear my thoughts, I realize that my mind is like an episode of real housewives. The drama is going on, but it's entirely made up by the production crew (my ego, my wounded self & fear) all orchestrating a farce. It's not real. But it sure feels real.
If you want a more peaceful life and more peaceful relationships, get less busy in your day and more busy practicing peace. Your "what if's" will melt away. And, if you'd like to receive free advice about life, love, and relationships, be sure to opt-in to my newsletter! It's a convenient approach to add a little therapy into your life.