5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Best Instead of The Worst

I stood there in the washroom, looking at my reflection in the mirror, sweating, shaking, judging myself and contemplating losing it all.

 

At this point my stress filled life had tipped over the edge into new territory.

 

Anxiety.

 

People often ask what’s the difference. My answer is usually that stress is event based or situational whereas anxiety is random and shows up at the worst times. Stress can be used as a motivator and can be positive. Anxiety leaves us with an emotional hangover that makes us feel tired and weak.

 

As I stood in front of that mirror, my mind was racing.

 

  • What if I get fired?
  • What will people think?
  • Will my family still love me?
  • How will I ever get another job?
  • Will I have to sell our house?
  • Will I go crazy?

 

It’s called catastrophizing. I don’t use that word too often though, as it’s hard to pronounce.

 

But once my switch was set to worst-case scenario thinking, it was like a virus I couldn’t shake.

 

Each day I’d worry constantly about the “what ifs.”

 

It was all consuming and extremely tiring.

 

My brain felt like a computer running every program simultaneously, without ever coming to a conclusion. I was low on RAM.

 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Having now come out the other side of these dark times I realized that so much time was wasted on spinning my mental wheels.

 

The things I was worrying about the whole time didn’t come true. If I could bottle all the energy I wasted worrying I’d be able to power a small city for a year.

 

I had my first panic attack during a presentation, so that was something I worried about even as my life improved in many other ways.

 

If I had to give a speech I’d revert to my old patterns.

 

“What if I can’t get my words out?”

“What if people didn’t like my talk?”

“What if I collapsed on stage?”

 

This ruined the experience for me each time, as I was never able to be present. I’d worry, show up, do a good job, be relived that I hadn’t fucked it up, get lots of praise from the audience and usually have a brief moment of euphoria.

 

But then the next speaking engagement would come and I’d go back to worrying and what ifing.

 

So, I’m coming from the future to give you this message.

 

You CAN choose to have a different experience.

 

Here are 5 ways to prepare for the best:

 

1.Be Okay With Things Not Being Perfect

 

Waiting till everything is perfect is a surefire way to do nothing. Expect hiccups, expect challenges, expect to FEEL different. As things happen you can roll with the punches and be flexible while still enjoying the process.

 

I gave a talk recently and several people in the audience told me their favorite part was my message that, “everyone struggles.”

 

We are human and imperfection connects us. We are drawn to vulnerability, we are drawn to authenticity.  It turns out perfection is actually going to make us less successful, who knew.

 

2. Picture the Ultimate Outcome in Your Mind

 

“Well, that’s just wishful thinking.”

 

Ever heard that before? In many ways we’re cultured to keep our feet on the ground and be realistic.

 

I say fuck that. Dream, think big, and move towards that. There are way more people in the world playing and thinking small than those that think big.

 

Think past the current task at hand. Worrying focuses our mind on an event, but what happens when that goes sideways?

 

Practice the opposite. Let’s say you’re going for a job interview. Consider what it will feel like to get offered the job, what will you say? What would your first day at work be like? Do you see yourself working there for more than 5 years? This allows us to put a single event in its place and create valuable context.

 

Picture your desired outcome, feel it, experience it. Then as things begin to go right for you it will all feel like part of a beautiful plan.

 

3. Feeling is Living

 

I still get nervous, but now I like it.

 

It confirms that I care.

 

I’m engaged in the task at hand and my body is preparing to support me.

 

A phrase that someone told me once and has stuck with me is, “Turn nervous energy into performance energy”. This can apply to anything in our lives.

 

The world is crying out for people to show emotion, to connect, to care.

 

So when you feel, realize that it’s an important barometer of significance. In the end energy is energy, what you CHOOSE to do it with it is up to you.

 

4. Realize That You are Going to Die

 

I appreciate that may not sound like an upbeat point, but bear with me.

 

We care so much about what other people think. We discuss and meticulously consider all of the variables and potential outcomes of either taking action or doing nothing.

 

I love this point because it really puts things into perspective, creating a freeing feeling that allows us to take action without as much concern for judgment or the downside.

 

Consider this, do you know who your great great grandparents are? Most people don’t.

 

So go ahead and put yourself out there. We know those who are okay with failing will also make the most ground.

 

It also means that in a couple of hundred years no one’s going to remember the time I drank so much that I jumped off a boat in the Caribbean into a harbor full of sharks and realized that the steps to the boat hadn’t been lowered into the water. Drunk, swimming with sharks, treading water indefinitely = not ideal.

 

5. Realize That You Get to Create Your Reality

 

After years of being on the hamster wheel, going through the motions, and thinking everything was okay. I now see that it wasn’t. I was just settling.

 

I didn’t know what was possible in my life. I was wearing blinders that kept me going the same direction never allowing me to enjoy the view.

 

When I took those blinders off I was able to get a view of what was possible in my life. I finally woke up to the possibilities.

 

I realized that I actually get to choose how I live my life. I get to create my reality.

 

Some days it’s hard. Some days people judge me and some days I flat out fail. But I believe in the process and know that I constantly experience the life I’m creating.

 

I now know that if I want more out of my life it’s up to me to be bold, to be courageous, and to simply step up.

 

So next time you start worry about something, choose to prepare for the best and use the energy for growth and expansion.

More By Tim Collins:

10 Simple Ways to Be More Selfish [And How it Helps You Avoid Anxiety]

4 Ways to Get More By Having Less: How to Downsize for Simplicity

Tim JP Collins

Tim JP Collins is The Breakthrough Anxiety Coach and supports people suffering with anxiety, stress and panic attacks.  Tim’s approach isn’t just about coping, it’s about moving past anxiety and fear to live the life you were destined for.

Tim worked in the corporate world as a Vice President of Sales for 15 years, so is well versed in the business space.  He ultimately decided that wasn’t for him and was drawn towards supporting others, to live anxiety and stress free while going big in their lives.

Tim has also spent time in Entrepreneurial and Real Estate fields, starting a business with his wife in 2007, in their spare time, which went on to be brand name in the infant market and was acquired in 2015.

Tim is the creator & host of “The Anxiety Podcast”​ Each week Tim interviews people that have stories that you will be able to relate to. The interviews are raw, real and vulnerable and people share what’s really going on for them.

Tim believes that the more out of alignment we are in our lives, the more Anxiety & Stress will show up.  So he really looks at the bigger picture when working with clients.

Connect with Tim on the Web, The Anxiety Podcast, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram

Or, if you’re feeling a little old fashion you can just email him: [email protected]

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