Fear can have a powerfull negative impact on our lives especially when it spirals into dread that grows from anticipated unknown or troubling possibilities.
Our imagination can run wild with vivid details that can chain us to a life that is unwanted an unhappy.
The fact is no one can scare us better than we can. Most “what ifs” focus on worse case scenarios…”What if I lose my job?” or “What if I can’t pay my bills?” or “What if someone gets angry at me?”
Years ago I was having coffee with a colleague and the topic of fear came up. He asked me about one of my fears and I answered, “I have a fear of losing everything and being out on the street living as a homeless woman or a bag lady.”
He challenged me to heighten that fear and suggested the following scenario:
Imagine that I found myself in a town where I knew no one, had no money, no clothes except the ones I was wearing, no family, and no friends. As if I was just dropped there and had nothing except myself. He asked, “What would you do?” I could feel the panic beginning to escalate and I didn’t want to play.
After my initial shock, my answers began to pour out. I said, “The first thing I’d do is look for work. I would accept any kind of job I could get to earn immediate cash. Then I would look for some place to sleep, any shelter that felt safe.”
The more I talked about what I would do, the calmer I felt. This “what if” scenario reminded me that I’m a thriver and willing to do whatever it takes to land on my feet. I always have and reminding myself of my abilities, tenacity, and courage was comforting. Whew!
In the same situation, what would you do?
Playing the “What if?” game can help to expose the truth about your fears so that you can claim responsibility for what you will do if the worst happens. You can realize that these horrific situations are more manageable than you imagined. AND you can also see that many of the things you imagine never, ever happen!
Our negative fears view life through a narrow lens and eliminate creative options and solutions. This game can help to expand your viewpoint and invite you to see things from a fresher perspective.
Here’s how to play:
Make a list of the specific fears that occupy your thoughts and might keep you up at night. After each “what if?” write down what you would do if your worse fears actually came true. Describe in detail what would happen and what you could do about it. Consider your options, resources, support, people….
After you’ve done that exercise, consider the opposite position
Make a list of all the best scenarios you can imagine. In other words, “what if everything you ever desired, dreamed about, yearned for…. happened.”
- What would you do?
- Would you be able to receive all this good with open arms?
- Who would you become?
I recommend journaling your feelings and observations. Reflect on what you learned about yourself that can become your growing edge.
And remember that in every moment, you do not walk alone. The Divine is always with you as your life partner in creating a joy-filled abundant life!
Have a great day