We just love to freak out, don’t we?
If not about this, then about that…
If not about that, then about something…
When people don’t have problems, they’ll invent a reason to freak out.
In the grand scheme of things, there’s nothing really worth freaking out about.
Granted, we don’t live in the grand scheme of things…we live in the here and now.
And in the here and now, we have real shit going on (or at least shit that feels real at the time).
Of course, this is natural and nothing to be ashamed about.
Sometimes we get scared.
We worry about things.
We freak out.
And we panic.
Whether it’s about money, a relationship, or a public speech…people tend to freak out, making challenging situations even more challenging.
Obviously, it’s okay to freak out. But just know that there’s nothing that you’re going to do in this state that will actually be productive.
I mean, I personally enjoy watching my mind freak out because, for the most part, I’ve trained myself to be able to recognize it when it’s happening…and to not take it seriously.
But there are plenty of times when my mind is panicking that I just want it to shut up.
So what do I do?
Sure, it might seem easier said than done. But there are three simple steps you can take to diminish your tendency to freak out and panic. Build the habit through practicing these three steps:
Step #1 – Be Okay With the Panic
Instead of just forcing yourself to think positively, try just being okay with the state of panic. Realize that it is just an experience and that’s all. Allow yourself to feel it and observe it.
Think of it as a hot tub. Slide into the panic. At first it hurts…it burns a bit. But as you ease into it, relax and take a deep breath, you’ll find that the warmth is actually just pleasant.
Let the panic surround you. Tell yourself you’re safe. Continue to breathe and relax. You have nothing to lose anyway.
Step #2 – Don’t Be An Idiot
Too many idiots out there taking control of what would otherwise be a perfectly good human being.
How can you possibly convince yourself that the thing you’re panicking about is A) actually real, and B) is actually as bad as you think it’s going to be?
You don’t know. And it’s extremely pretentious and arrogant to pretend that you know how a particular outcome is going to affect you (or the world) in the long run.
Instead, take the Chinese farmer approach (click that and scroll down to read the story). Just tell yourself that you cannot possibly be sure whether or not something is a good or a bad thing.
Even the most seemingly devastating experiences can produce phenomenally magnificent results in your life or others’.
To let your panic consume you is a statement of conjecture at best. So don’t be an idiot and assume you know the meaning of the situation.
Step #3 – Just Do Your Best
No matter where your panic has you, remind yourself of what you can control. You can’t control the outcome. But you can control your own personal effort.
When the panic sets in, realize that it’s okay, don’t judge the panic as real or conclusive, and then just do the best that you can do to affect the outcome you think you want.
If you find that you have absolutely zero control over the outcome, then consider how you want to internalize it. How does this situation make you feel? How do you want it to make you feel? What do you want the outcome to be? How do you want to respond to the situation? What can you do to view this as a positive? What good can come from this? How will this event positively change your perspective?
Even the most tragic losses and failures have a reason. You might not see the reason. And if you could see the reason, you might not like it.
But these things are irrelevant. If you sit around whining, complaining, and cursing fate then you will have no chance on being able to use the situation for good.
So the only real thing that makes sense is to observe the situation, accept the situation, and do your best to get your life where you want it to be.
It’s really that simple. And if you don’t think so, then you haven’t fully accepted the pain.
There is a certain, secret magic in accepting something and moving forward in the best way that you can. Amazing things happen when you just do your best.
Just to recap: when you notice yourself freaking out, just relax with it…take some deep breaths and say to yourself, “Okay I’m freaking out.” No big deal. Then realize that your panic is likely ill-founded and that you have no way of knowing the true, ultimate outcome…just say to yourself, “Ok this could be bad or it could be good…I really have no idea.” Finally, just accept the fact that things are going to turn out however they’re going to turn out and that all you can do is just accept it and move on. Tell yourself, “Look, I don’t know what’s going to happen…but I do know that I’m going to give this my best shot and just keep doing the best I can.”
If you follow this simple process, you will be amazed at not only the strength and courage you have, but also the mysterious force that will help you as a result.
There’s a giant energy that I can’t comprehend, but it will be there for you if you just follow this simple process.
You can do it, comrade.