Anticipating worrisome, dreadful encounters or events can lead to emotional discomfort, distraction from priorities, performance disruption and sleepless nights. We agonize and fret over disruptive triggers that have yet to occur and possibly never will. We predict severe and unmanageable consequences that are just around the corner. We feel powerless to intervene in any constructive manner, so we flee, shut down and sit fretfully in anticipation of the moment doomsday strikes. And when this happens it is possible that we will lose our ability to attend to daily tasks, adhere to routines, take on additional roles or responsibilities and most importantly lose our ability to enjoy activities and relationships.
I believe a good deal of the anxiety we experience is related to the way we define, and imagine the ghastly experience we foresee ahead of us and our desire to avoid it rather than on what we can and will do if that anticipated moment were to actually materialize. I adhere to that ol Boy Scout motto, Be Prepared.
We are significantly more powerful and confident when we are prepared to take action while facing these unsettling moments. Project yourself into that anticipated experience and think about the actions you could and will take to quiet the storm if it hits. Identify the words that calm your spirit, strengthen you and diminish the power of that event and write them down and say them out loud. What resources will you activate to give you the confidence to face that moment? What prior experiences can you draw upon to remember how and when you have mastered similar anxious moments? Utilize one or more of the many breathing techniques that help to reduce the stress response. Visualize yourself actually facing and moving through the event calmly and confidently.
Remember the Godzilla in your mind is always so much bigger, significantly more destructive and breathes gobs more fire than the one on the big screen or in real life. You are the master of the movie and you write the script.