When Life Gets Scary
by Wendy Keller
Do you ever get scared? Scared that MORE bad things will happen? That someone you love will do something stupid? That YOU will do something stupid?
We pretend to be brave, but most people experience some secret fears:
- Will I be able to pay the bills?
- What if I never get out of debt?
- What if my partner cheats on me?
- What if the baby isn’t healthy when it’s born?
- What if I die a terrible death?
- What if I get a painful disease?
- What if that terrible thing happens to me or someone I love?
You know, we ALL get terrified by life sometimes. Things that happen, things that might, things that did and things that don’t.
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of them never happened.” — Mark Twain
So what do you DO if life’s got you running scared? Scream your head off and run for cover! Then, from under your bed, try these tips:
1. Totally Give In to what you’re feeling. Write down in detail EXACTLY what you’re afraid of happening/what has happened. Then think about whether or not you could handle this. Has anyone else in the history of the planet ever survived such a thing? Yes? That means you can, too. You’re not stronger nor weaker than anyone else. Once you decide that this awful thing could be survivable, you are prepared to handle it calmly and rationally. Now take whatever actions are necessary to prevent it from happening.
2. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” You know that old thing about “Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real?” Nice thought, but kind of hard to apply when you’re really freaking out about how you’ll pay next month’s mortgage, right? Fake yourself out. Write down 25 things you could do – however outrageous (but legal) to prevent whatever you’re afraid of from happening. Like “Plant land mines all over my front yard” (is that legal?) or “Start an online business today to earn some extra cash” (that surely is!) Pick out the top five and give ’em a whirl.
3. Slap yourself upside the head! That’s what I most often do when I’m freaking out about something. I say aloud, “Wendy! Pay attention! Being a chicken with its head cut off will get you nowhere. Let’s calm down, face facts, and get logical.” Sometimes, Wendy listens to me… : )
4. Get help. Ask someone who has an unbiased point of view to give you some feedback. “What would YOU do in this situation?” Or “What DID you do in this situation?” Make sure you pick someone who doesn’t have the exact same problem. In fact, the ideal person is someone who OVERCAME the exact same problem successfully.
5. Take a long hot shower. Really. It will calm down your nerve endings! The minute you get out, come up with the top three things you could do to get out of this mess RIGHT NOW and then START TAKING ACTION immediately. If the shower doesn’t work, try this: when you go to bed at night, tell yourself, “Self, I need a solution to this problem. I’m feeling scared and I don’t yet know what to do. When I wake up, I need a clear plan, a good solution, and for the right people, ideas and opportunities to fall into my lap.” Sleep soundly. I’m surprised that in a day or two, I usually see solutions that were invisible when I began being scared.
These are not the only ways to manage fear, but they sure will help. I believe it’s more important to realize you are not a helpless victim, you are not a fly caught in a spider web, and that even if bad things happened before, it doesn’t mean they will again. You CAN protect yourself. You CAN deal with the fear. You CAN get through this. Look for escape hatches, solutions and open windows. They’re all around you.
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5 thoughts on “Do YOU Ever Get Scared of Life? Now What?”
Thank you. This past year & a half, has by far, been the most difficult for me. Today I received more depressing news. It just feels like a snowball that doesn’t stop. My positives are, children & parents alive who love me unconditionally. That is why I put on a smile & pretend to be strong everyday. Someday……
All the damn time Wendy…..all the time… Namely and no im not afraid to blurt it out over the internet, they are as follows :
1, Fear of relapse into alcoholism, its with me daily ….the solution, is simple, meeting sevice work and talking to those who have been there are struggling just as I am ..
2. Will i ever escape the downward spiral of debt……..honestly i dont know , all i can do is try…..
3. Disease or death im not afraid of, been there, done that………dying aint so bad Ive been revived 3 times after a near fatal car accident.. Disease …well goes with the territory..its life you just got to dral as best you can.
4. Paying all my bills is a monthly battle, im self employed and the current economic climate is not exactly conducive to favourable working conditions, all i can do is do my nest and hope and PRAY all works come month end…
Lastly Wendy once again, great blog, thank you ever so much.
I was thinking about two of my closest girlfriends a few days ago. Both women are much older than me, and both have 20+ years of sobriety. I went to two Al-Anon meetings (because of a relative with an addiction) so I’m loosely familiar with the model. But what I LOVE and RESPECT about these two women is that they don’t judge ANYONE. Not themselves nor anyone else whether or not they meet or exceed their own or anyone else’s expectations. In fact, Phyllis and Silver are two of the most grounded, compassionate, humble women in my entire world. I believe that self-acceptance and self-love are at the root of the healing that appears to take place with the AA program.
As for the other things, as a fellow entrepreneur my heart goes out to you. All I can say is what I think about daily: how much scarier the world must be for employee-minded people who depend on someone else to provide the ideas that turn their work into profit. We are among the lucky ones. I consider it part of our sacred duty to restore the world economy, which means we not only have a duty to survive ourselves but to apply our gift to finding ways to need to hire others. I believe 100% that if you had the courage to begin a company, you have the intelligence to make it profitable in this or any economy.
A great post Wendy – I realised a little while ago that we use the same amount of energy fearing that something will happen as we do when we have faith for the good things. It does make it easier when we have techniques to move away from our fears.
The more and more I read your post the more and more I am convinced I was drawn to your name for a reason Thanks for these GREAT tips. Strange how the universe works sometimes 🙂
You have no ide how many lives you have helped and that is a gift that keeps on giving 🙂