Every notice that any situation we are in, we tend to think the worst case scenario is the only scenario? It could be the simplest thing we have to do, like making a phone call or giving a presentation. We always think something bad will happen. How did we get that way? How do we fix it? That is the purpose of this blog post.
I use to have a huge fear of presenting. Before giving presentations, I thought I would stumble over words and look ridiculous. In reality, those things did happened. Yeah, you heard me. The worst case scenario did happen. I bet you didn’t think I was going to say that. One time as I was presenting, I mispronounced a word. Another time I forgot my words and had to make up words on the spot. I’m glad those things happened, because I learned a valuable lesson. Even though I screwed up my words and embarrassed myself, it wasn’t as bad as my mind thought it was going to be. Both times I managed to get through and felt relieved that it was over.
I have another example for you to ponder. Before being a writer and a business owner, I was a finance manager at a large, financial corporation. When I decided to leave my job to start a business, I was so afraid to tell my manager, because I thought he would be upset with my decision. His reaction delayed me from giving my 2-week notice, as I thought. Sometimes we allow ourselves to think of all of the bad things that could happen because we are worried of the unknown. I was leaving a job to start a business, and I was allowing myself to think of any reason to prevent me from starting a business I so wanted to start.
Anyway, I eventually mustard up the courage to go into my manager’s office and give my notice. I prepped the night before to anticipate the things we were going to discuss. I imagined him saying, “Troy, didn’t I treat you fairly? Why would you do this to me at this time?” or “I can’t believe you would do this after all I’ve done to help your career.” The next morning I walked into my manager’s office and told him I was leaving the company. What happened next was something I did not anticipate at all – nothing happened. He accepted my notice, and that was the end of our conversation. The scenario I played out in my mind didn’t even happen. I wasn’t prepared for that scenario, which happened to be the best case scenario. A few days later, I was offered a consultant position, but declined the offer.
For a majority of us, we worry so much that it becomes a habit. My definition of worrying is a lie that our minds create to prevent us from achieving a desired outcome. Worrying immobilizes us in our personal or profession growth.
Changing our thought process takes dedication. If you follow my advise that I explain below, I guarantee you will begin to see that you are no longer guided by fear and worry. In time, you will be able to take on any challenges or events courageously. Now is the time for you to start living life to the fullest.
Recognize when you constantly dwell too much on the worst-case scenario, you are worrying
Many people think they are being a realist when they assume the worst. They also think the opposite of a realist is an optimist. If you don’t believe me, just ask the next self-proclaimed realist what he or she considers the opposite of a realist. The opposite of an optimist is a pessimist, not a realist. So while you should be a realist, most people are pessimistic realists. You can choose be an optimistic realist or a pessimistic realist.
For every negative thought you have, promise to dwell on at least one positive thought
After you accept that you worry a lot, it’s time to shift your thinking. Remember the old proverb, “As a man think, so is he.” If you spent years thinking negative thoughts, you’re not going to change immediately after reading this article. However, what you can do is start the process to change. You do this by thinking positive, motivational thoughts every time you recognize you allowed yourself to have a worrying thought.
For example, if you’re starting a business and allowing yourself to think you will fail miserably, the next thought you should immediately think of is having a business that will exceed your revenue projections in the first year of operation. Once you keep doing this, it will become habit.
Put action over thought
Life is about learning and growing. It’s about accepting our challenges and obstacles and figuring out ways to overcome them. We overcome our challenges by not thinking about them, but by doing things to ease our fears. My fear for presenting went away after I joined a local toastmasters group and gave weekly group presentations to help me feel comfortable speaking to large groups.
If you’re worried about starting a business, ask yourself, “What am I doing to mitigate my fears?” Are you sitting doing nothing? Or, are you doing things to turn the business into profit, like making phone calls, meeting potential customers? Successful people don’t only think about the actions the need to put in place to obtain their desired results, they do it.
Our thoughts guide our lives. We have to accept the responsibility of making sure we are focusing on things that will add value in our lives, not take away. It took years for me to master my thought process but once I did, I realized the only thing that was preventing me from accomplishing my goals was me. I prevented myself from starting a business, eating healthy, and living life to the fullest. All of us have the right to live a spectacular life, but that type of life begins in our minds. Take care of it and remove any doubt.