Uncertainty stirs up fears which your imagination exploits by crafting unfavorable scenarios that occupy your attention and disrupt your sleep. As your anxiety increases, your capability decreases. Either you stop the pattern or the pattern will stop you. This coming year, whenever you find yourself worrying about things you can’t control, make a conscious decision to call on your sense of humor to reset your emotional state. Recast your impending crisis to play out as a comedy. In a matter of minutes you can transform your fears into fantasies by following these seven steps:
1) Start by admitting out loud what you fear could happen.
2) Next ask, “And then what?”
3) Take your worry to the extreme by responding with an even worse outcome, immediately following with, “And then what?”
4) Continue this process, exaggerating increasingly negative, even preposterous outcomes.
5) Finish by stating a final positive outcome.
For example, you could say something similar to this:
“I’m afraid that my company might downsize and I could lose my job.”
“And then what?” … “I would receive unemployment benefits while I look for another job.”
“And then what?” … “I won’t find a job and my benefits will run out.”
“And then what?” … “I won’t be able to pay my mortgage and will get evicted.”
“And then what?” … “I will have to ask my parents if I can move back home?”
“And then what?” … “They will say no and I will have to live in my car.”
“And then what?” … “I’ll have no gas money and my car will get towed away with me inside.”
“And then what?” … “The towing company needs an office manager and they hire me!”
6) Now that you’ve expelled these negative thoughts from your mind,resume the question and answer session starting where you left off.
7) This time respond with exaggerated positive outcomes, each one more outrageous than the previous one. Continue until you feel safe and happy or proclaim your wildest dream.
“The towing company needs an office manager and they hire me!”
“And then what?” … “A client is impressed by my work and offers me a job in a corporate office!”
“And then what?” … “My salary is tripled and I’m accepted into a management training program!”
“And then what?” … “I’m promoted to CEO and earn a six figure income!”
There is one stipulation you must adhere to during this exercise – you set no limitations about yourself. You can be whoever you wish and do whatever you desire. Trust me, once you get on a roll, there’s no stopping you. But, you knew that all along. You just needed to remind yourself. Now take your optimistic, enthusiastic, confident, “new you” back to your current situation and look for possibilities.