The feeling that we can’t live without something or someone is what makes us anxious and insecure. If we learn to deal with that feeling, we may even be able to live with any eventuality or outcome that we fear!
Yesterday a friend called to invite us for his daughter’s wedding. It was a special moment in his Life. His wife had committed suicide nine years ago. And he was left with two adolescent daughters to raise. So, when he called, the conversation touched upon how his girls had to cope with the loss of their mother and how difficult it was for him to explain to them why his wife chose to end her Life. “My wife was always insecure about our financial situation. Her fear that she cannot live without a steady income coming home each month is what drove her to depression and eventually suicide,” confessed my friend who is a self-employed professional.
It is often the fear of, or not knowing, what will happen that drives people to desperation. We are all gripped by this fear at some point or the other. None can escape it. The most effective way to deal with such a fear, with anxiety and insecurity, is to face them.
Instead of only asking ‘what if’ in any context, go ahead and answer that question. For instance, if you are facing uncertainty at work – meaning, if you fear a lay off – don’t just allow that ‘what will happen to me’ feeling to keep building up within you. Complete the scenario to the last detail – “I will sell my apartment or move to another city or leverage all my savings or whatever…I will survive a few months and then when I am totally broke, I will go live with my parents or brother or sister…and if they won’t have me, I will take up a small-time job and live within my means until I get the break that I will need to rebuild my Life and career.”
Play out the worst case scenarios, of whatever you fear, very granularly. You will be amazed how much you will benefit from such an exercise. For one, you will discover that whatever is the worst case per your imagination, accentuated by your fears, is not so bad after all. Your detailing that ‘what if’ script will reassure you that you can cope with any impending crisis. You will, over time, also realize that the worst almost always never happens! And then you will further understand that all your anxiety and insecurity was such a waste of your time and energy!
Imagining the worst that can happen is not defeatist in any manner. It is the only way to kill feelings – like fear and anxiety – that may otherwise consume you. Your fears often blind you to your own resilience. Resultantly, you stop believing in your ability to face Life’s innumerable challenges. Looking your fears in the eye may not take any problem situation away. But it will most definitely help prepare you to meet that situation confidently when it arrives.