The Battle in the Mind (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 211)
“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”
— Karl Augustus Menninger
One of the greatest battles you will ever fight is with your mental self. When we think of all the worst case scenarios that we could encounter in life, more than half of them are dreamed up in our minds. Much of life is a battle in the mind between the good forces that work for us and the bad forces that are obviously working against us.
One way to overcome worry and combat fear is to understand that most of your rational fears will probably never come to pass. Even if your fears are rooted in reality, more often than not, they are a minor possibility, not a major one. Meaning they are very less likely to happen. Most of the legitimate situations we think we will have to face don’t come close to our reality at any point in our lives.
We are told to think about and plan for the future, not to worry about it or fear it. When we start to worry, we create fears that were never there before. We psyche ourselves into thinking there are no possibilities instead of choosing to believe there are. All the future holds is opportunities and possibilities. It is how we choose to think about the future that tends to ruin us in the present.
Most failure, embarrassment, betrayal, hardship, heartbreak, suffering, and disease we think lie ahead of us will never happen to us at all. Yet we allow these “what-ifs” and “might-bes” hold us back and prevent us from realizing our dreams. Death is about the only certain thing that is bound to happen to all of us. Since we know it is inevitable and out of our control, we should not worry about it or fear it.
Tragedies in life are usually sudden and unavoidable. We don’t set out to get in a car accident on our way to work. Normally, we intend on succeeding at what we choose to pursue, getting to where we want to go, and having fun when vacations are in the plans. Coming to grips with the fact that most negative things we worry about are never going to happen will help us find peace and learn to relax.
Spending less time on our fears leaves more time to actually take new chances. It opens us up to pursue different opportunities with no regard to whether we will fail or succeed. Free yourself to focus on what is in your power to control. Without the pressure that something bad is around the corner, you’ll experience life in a more holistic, meaningful, and vibrant way.
“I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.”
— William Allen White