Last night I woke up about 2am to let CJ out. When he came back in and I crawled back in bed I had this overwhelming sense of panic. Every worry that I’d had for the last couple of years picked that moment to show up again.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time these last 9 months gaining perspective in my life. I jumped off the treadmill of working for money and started to consider what is important to me. But for those few moments last night I panicked.
At any other time in my life I would have gotten back up out of bed and let the panic overtake me. By the time Jack would be up I’d be in a full-blown panic attack and not much he could say would help.
Last night however I went right back to sleep.
What I’ve come to realize is that fear of anything is a waste of a good imagination….because that is all fear is…creativity at it’s worst. When we worry we devise all these worst case scenarios…which rarely ever come true. So rather than focus on the fear I give it perspective. And that is a much better use of my time.
Whether you worry about something small (forgetting to mail a bill payment) to large (are you going to lose your home because you lost your job) when you take the time to add perspective you’ll free yourself from the wasted time that is fear. Here is a Simple Step to help you change your point of focus:
- Write your fear down on a sheet of paper.
- Underneath it write down every scenario that you can imagine…whether small or catastrophic.
- Next read what you have written out loud. If you have a partner or someone that you can talk to read your list to them.
- Now take each scenario and talk it through. Yes you can talk to yourself!
- When you are done cross out every one that feels unlikely, just plain ridiculous or insignificant to you.
- Take what is left on your list and start again. It takes the place of your fear. Repeat steps 1-5.
Once you have worked through this sequence a couple of times you will realize that what you have left at the end pales in comparison to your original fear. Now you have gained perspective and you have freed yourself from your worry. And that is freedom at it’s best!