How many times have we heard or read the phrases “we are living in uncertain times” or “in these troubled times” since the pandemic started?
These phrases may sound clichée, but truer words have never been said. At least, not about the pandemic and our current, individual situations. I know those two phrases are meant to offer support, concern, and even comfort. But most of the time, they fill me with stress, anxiety, and fear.
And I’m not the only one. A lot of us struggle with fear, anxiety, and heightened stress, especially because of COVID-19.
Now, more than ever, people live each day fearing the future, both immediate and far-off. There’s nothing unusual about fearing the future, though. It’s normal, What’s bad is letting our fears and uncertainties trap us and keep us from moving forward.
So, how exactly do we keep our fears from holding us back? How do we move forward in spite of our anxieties?
Identify the Source of Your Fears
Acknowledging your worries and identifying your fears is the first step to overcoming them.
Like any problem-solving challenge, you first need to identify and define the problem.
In this case, what is it that you fear?
What is the source of your fears? (Remember, your fears are occurring in our minds from thoughts you are having.)
What thoughts are consuming you and making you unable to think of your future confidently?
Even if someone says they simply fear the unknown, that fear stems from something else. One person’s fear of the future might stem from their lack of employment, while someone else might fear being alone forever.
It pays to be as specific as you can. Putting your thoughts and emotions into writing is a great help in learning what drives your fears and anxieties. Of course, also talking with a coach is ideal.
Reflect on Your Fears
Sometimes, you need to reflect on your fears. Just because you know why you feel that way doesn’t mean you need to immediately take action. If you take action willy-nilly in an attempt to resist your fears, it can lead to destructive behaviors.
Reflecting on your feelings can help ground you and help you understand yourself. You may know the source of your fears, but what brought it on? What was the root cause?
I recommend trying to look at your problems from the perspective of someone else. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it easier to solve other people’s problems than my own!
Trying to look at your problems from other people’s points of view helps you stay objective. Distancing yourself from your problems and worries can help clear your mind and help you find better ways to take action. Most importantly, it can help you find the strength to move forward. If you want to know more about how to self-reflect you can read the blog, I wrote on the subject here.
Use Your Fears as a Guide
When you know and understand what fuels your fears, anxieties, and uncertainties, you can start to reframe them.
Instead of trying to suppress feelings of fear, it’s better to lean into them. This way, you can turn them around and use them to move forward.
Yes, fearing uncertainty can potentially cripple you — but it can also guide you. You can use your fears productively and even learn from them. By embracing your fears, you can start doing something about them.
For example, I’ve been feeling fearful and uncertain about my health because of the pandemic. Thoughts of “What if I get sick?” have filled my mind. To keep moving forward, I used my fear to be proactive about my health. I exercised, I take vitamins, I made sure I had a balanced diet, and I observed proper safety precautions when going out.
It might seem like little things, but often, it’s the small actions that help us build momentum and confidence to fully face our fears.
Have a Support System
Yes, it sounds clichée (again) but having moral support really does matter. There are times when we can’t help but feel overwhelmed by our worries, anxieties, and everything happening in our lives. Having someone we trust and can confide in can lighten our mental and emotional burden immensely.
Fearing the future and the uncertainties that come with it can feel like we’re slowly sinking. Having a good support system is akin to having a solid foundation or foothold. A support system can be made up of our friends, loved ones, and a coach, you can trust and feel safe with.
When we have people, we can turn to for advice, bounce ideas off of, or just vent and unload our feelings to, we feel less alone and less uncertain. Additionally, being able to talk about our fears helps us externalize them and deal with them.
Create Essential Goals
Having goals will help motivate you to continue moving forward, despite any misgivings or anxieties about your future. Creating goals will push you even when you feel overwhelmed by your fear.
When you have goals, the fear of not trying can help keep fears of failure and the unknown at bay. Visualizing your goals and planning ahead not only helps you us move forward but also helps you maintain a better mindset.
Feel the Fear, but Face It Anyway
We may not know what our world will look like in the next year (or five), but fearing uncertainty will prevent us from living in the present. And in doing so, our fears of the far-off unknown will shape and direct what becomes of our future.
We may not know what the future holds for us, but we do know Who holds our future. When our fears feel too much, holding onto our faith can calm and anchor us. Whenever I feel anxious about the future, I am reminded of the teachings in Matthew 6:26-34.
If God can provide and care for the birds, why would we doubt that He would not do the same for us? As the Bible says, “Are you not of more value than they?” Our God knows what we need and He will provide for us, as long as we trust and keep faith in Him.
Are you ready to overcome your fears and live your best life yet? I’d like to invite you to a free 20-minute call to discuss what’s stopping you from chasing after your dreams.
Whatever your fears are, I can help you turn your life around. Schedule your free session now to free yourself from your crippling fears.
See you soon,
P.S. If you found value in this blog why not forward it to a friend? Many of our family members and friends are struggling with fear and I would love the opportunity to help as many people as I can learn the skills of mastering their fears.
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