I was listening to a podcast the other day (I start many sentences with this phrase), in which Ellen Hendriksen named the two lies of anxiety:
The worst case scenario is definitely going to happen.
You can’t handle it anyway.
In other words, that thing you worry about, the worst, is inevitable.
And when it happens, you won’t be able to cope. You’re not tough enough, capable, smart, or strong enough to handle it.
The problem with these lies? They keep us from doing (scary) things that are important.
When we believe these lies, we keep our lives small.
What if you believed, that no matter what happened, you could handle it? You could do your best and that would be enough?
You would probably take more action toward things that are important.
You would avoid less.
Or maybe you would just relax a little more.
Here are a couple of things to do to silence the lies of anxiety:
You can gather evidence to dispute the lies.
You can take yourself through the worst-case scenario.
I’ll give you an example.
I have a fear that when my husband is gone overnight, someone will break into my house and do terrible things to my kids an me. Not fun to think about, right? It makes it hard to sleep, which makes it hard to do anything else.
Years ago, my brilliant life coach helped me with this. Now she could have just helped me gather evidence as to why this worst case scenario was very unlikely to happen (where we live, dog, lights, statistics, living through many nights…), which was helpful. This calmed my mind but my mind could still argue the possibility.
So my coach also walked me through the worst case scenario. . Where would someone break in, where would I be, where would the kids and dog be, how would I get to them and get out…so I ended up with a plan. I felt empowered. This coaching session was many years ago and I still think about it because it was so powerful.
The worst was unlikely to happen. But even if the worst happened (and I am not denying that the worst would be awful), I could handle it.
I saw through the lies of anxiety.
I sleep much better these days. I hope you do too.
Would you like to talk about how to let go of the lies? I have a special coaching day this Tuesday, October 16th.