1. Always remember your worst fears will rarely come true. I learned this one from David Cain. And I’ve found it to be quite spot on. Always in hindsight, but spot on nonetheless. The truth is most of us worry ourselves with things that are most likely never going to happen. Truth might be stranger than fiction but fiction will scare us more than reality, most times.
2. Reflect on the potential worst. You need to ask yourself this even after you’ve decided your worst fear won’t come true: What is the worst that could happen? Many of our future fears, even if they did come true, are not the life-threatening, death sentence we think they are. Yes, there are some scenarios and situations that would adversely affect our lives. But maybe the potential worst is only an inconvenience rather than a life-shattering experience.
3. Turn your worries into work. Having suffered from time to time from insomnia often produced by specific anxieties or melancholic periods, I realized that working was the best antidote to worrying. Whether it’s gaining the courage to confront whatever it is you fear by purposefully working at it, engaging your mind in something interesting, or physical activity, you will feel a lot better when you “do” things.
4. Focus on the moment, the hour, the day. Most of our fears stem from our lack of knowledge about certain things, combined with an inability to see into what the future brings. The truth is no matter how you look at it, you can only do what you can today. If you can’t do anything about your current fears, then go for a walk, a run, or take a nap. You are better off.
5. Think about the last time you were scared of anything. Think about the last time you were scared, what happened? Chances are, you made it. Maybe you think that you might have lost or things didn’t work out the way they should have. But maybe we don’t always lose because we’re not good enough. Maybe we lose because there is a different path that we ought to take.
6. Ask for help if you need it. Sometimes we walk through life feeling unknowingly anxious and we haven’t even had the courage to first admit to ourselves that we’re scared. Once you gain this courage you’ll find that you can much more clearly see the things you need to get through your fears. But more importantly, you’ll often recognize that you might have to humble yourself and need others. It’s okay, you’re human.
7. Visualize a positive outcome. It can be hard at times to “think positively” of the moment, and in the moment. But can you visualize the outcome that you want? Visualization is more than just day-dreaming but actually practicing and projecting the reality that you want in a deliberate way. It’s about experiencing the emotions and feelings of victory even before it happens.
8. Meditate and do so, often. There is a lot of psychological and medical research to show that spirituality helps people heal even physical ailments faster, so surely it can help with your future anxieties. For people who haven’t tried it, just sitting there and breathing seems like a pointless activity. But taking deep breaths, with eyes closed, does amazing things for just calming your restlessness.
9. Always remember you have the fight in you. We’ve all felt defeated. But courage doesn’t mean never feeling defeated, courage means that you do what you can, with what you have, regardless of how you might feel. And perhaps the most important thing to remember about courage is that no one else can give it to you, you have to give it to yourself. And you first start with the belief. Indeed in order to face your fears and your future, you must believe you can.