Discovering the truth behind anxiety and worry, and set yourself free.
If your life is dominated by anxiety and worry fear has been telling you two things.
1. Terrible things are going to happen: You’re going to fail, people won’t like you, your loved ones are In Danger, you will lose your health.
2. You won’t be able to handle it: You’ll be overwhelmed, alone and unable to cope.
I’m writing this because I almost let fear take me over recently. I was diagnosed with a mass in the artery of my neck. It is very close to my carotid artery and is sitting on a bunch of nerves that control my voice box and my sight.
My first fear was that I could go blind or lose the ability to speak. Then to top it off I realized when the remove it, there is a chance they will nick my carotid artery and I could bleed to death.
Scary thoughts, I almost began to cry, but that would change anything.
I know I’ve trusted God on hard trials before. And he has never failed me yet.
In cognitive behavior therapy they call these predictions:
The likeliness estimates the probability that our fear will come true
Severity especially: how bad it will be if it actually happens.
I want to look more closely at each of these forecasts.
You probably know from experience that fear exaggerates the likelihood of bad things happening. Years ago I was diagnosed with cancer it weighed heavy on my mind, just a few years before my cousin died from the same type of cancer. Not to mention my cancer doctor told me I had 1 year to live. And I’d better start planning my funeral. I was scared already then he told me this. Yes I had a tremendous fear I was going to die.
It was a realization come to me. I saw a whole sequence of tragic events. The diagnosis, the hospital stay, my family holding bedside vigils and the devastating loss of my life.
Mark Twain supposedly said “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Studies show that about 9 outfoxed 10 worries are false alarms. So 90% of the time, your fear is lying to you about the bad things that will happen.
Interestingly enough I was diagnosed with a clean bladder and no sign of cancer in my body. I tell people God healed me, and I truly believe He did. How else would a woman who was given 1 year to live, have a clean cancer check with no signs the cancer was even there.
As with my mass, yes, there is a concern, but in all actuality, the surgeon will have steady hands or God will take me home. I already know where I’m going. And I’m positive that it’s not my time is still not up.
Sometimes the things we’re worried about actually happen. I once worried my son’s severe rash was a tell, tell sign he was allergic to something. And it actually happened. He was allergic to soy, and eggs and milk. He had to be fed goats milk as a baby.
So would about the severity- when what we’re afraid of materializes, is it as bad as we expect?
When you pay close attention to your fears, you’ll probably notice that the predicted outcome is always worse than bad. If your worried about getting sick on vacation, it’s going to be terrible. If your late for a meeting it will be awful. If you lose your job, life will be over. In one way or another you won’t be able to handle what you fear.
The issue is that our imagination doesn’t look far enough into the future. We stop at the point at which our fears come true. It’s as though we’ll meet a cliff, and the bad thing that might happen will be the end of the story.
My example about my son, I stopped at the point where he would be Scarred for life. Not realizing that he would grow out of these, or learn to cope with the rashes and know how to avoid the things he was allergic to.
What Is Fear?
Think about a time when one of your fears came true. You probably were unhappy about it, and then moved into problem-solving mode. With my son I stopped using eggs when I cooked, I bout him goats milk to put in his bottles. I ready the labels on everything. If it had soy we as a family didn’t eat it. It turned out to be a problem I could deal with.
If we keep looking at our fears, we would see ourselves handling what comes our way. No matter what happens, there will always be the next thing we need to do, until the end of life, at which there is nothing left to fear anyway. You’ve already handled countless problems to get to this point in your life and none of them were the end of the story. But, each one of them we’re tasks that needed to be attended to.
This is not to say that none of the problems you run into will be a big deal. Sometimes the bad thing that happens is a very, very big deal. But, it won’t be what your fear is telling you it will be. It will still be in your life. It will still be in your life, doing what you can respond to what has happened.
You’ll also have the love and the support of those who care about you, which your fear leaves out of the picture.