Perhaps you’ve noticed that when a new situation in life arises, you may alternate between fear and excitement of the same unknown future. Most often the fear is unfounded and excitement should prevail, yet our psyche seems to favor punishing us by hanging on to the fear.
Take a new job or career move. How often do we allow what should be an exciting new adventure (a positive career move) digress into a set of unfounded what-if questions: What if they find out that I can’t do the job? What if I don’t perform to the level the job demands? What if I’m not as qualified as I portray?
Yet, for all the gloom and doom this entails, we ought to be focusing on the equally positive outcomes.
We ought to ask questions like: What if the job is too easy and I am ready for the next level quickly? What if I exceed all expectations? What if everyone loves my work?
As children we learn to temper disappointments long before they occur and to prepare for negative outcomes (somehow it was supposed to prevent hurt…) and to face our fears. But seldom is it taught that one should be excited about positive outcomes – yet those are precisely what we want most.
I believe that when we feel fear in a new situation, all we really need to do is to turn it around into an opportunity where we can be excited, and watch the situation turn itself around in our minds!
For example, I’ve never moved out on my own yet I am in middle age! Having moved from my parents to my marriage and then having stayed in my house since, it is a scary (and exciting) proposition to think about having to move and find a small apartment. I was feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of having to clean out 4 bedrooms, an office, 3 bathrooms and a 4 car-garage all by myself and find a new place to live (who knows where?) – and I mentioned to a colleague that I was fearful of the process. His response was that it is an exciting new fresh start in my life – and never have I had the opportunity to make decisions for me alone. “How incredibly excited you must be” were his words.
That’s when I realized that Fear and Excitement are often two sides of the same coin. From now on, I prefer to nurture an outlook of excitement! How about you?
Have a great week,