How to win over our excessive paranoia

None of us have it all together; it’s a long journey of learning for all of us.

No matter how safe or positive a situation may be, people suffering from anxiety (like me) will always think about all the things that could go wrong or not according to plan. For example, this year was the first year my child had to take public transport to school. Even if all precautions were taken, I still burst into tears convinced that I would look her to human trafficking. The thoughts infest their mind and grow bigger and stronger, which may lead to a panic attack.

It’s easy to want to retreat to our safe places and never want to come out. I am tempted to do so on a daily basis. Comfort doesn’t hurt us. That’s the wonderful thing about it. The problem is that when we stay in our comfort zones, we don’t allow ourselves to grow.

“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.” ~Dan Millman

If we over protect our children, we are taking their ability to grow and develop new skills. Living in a bubble is surviving, not living. We only get one run at this, might as well experience it, instead of hiding and waiting for time to pass.

What can you do when you can’t help but to envision the worst case scenario?

  1. Push your boundaries in ways that are small but significant. Make your goals small at first. Then, gradually increase the stakes. These small victories will build your skills in a way that is manageable and sustainable. Small steps help keep excessive paranoia and anxiety at bay. It may sound silly, but I’ve always wanted to color my hair outside of the regular norm, but I was too scared to do so. I dyed my hair purple everything I was afraid of never happened and yes gonna do it again. Will never be afraid again.
  2. Identify an opportunity where your strengths are at play just as much as your fears. Do something that ignites your passion. Find or create a situation where your strengths are on display. Confidence will follow.
  3. Don’t give yourself the option of backing out. Make it as difficult as possible to cancel at the last minute. Keep your expectations realistic.
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