Fear is boring, think of something more interesting.
I was driving down the highway the other day, and I had all these ridiculous thoughts spiraling around. Oh no, what if I totally bomb? Am I a total failure in life? Have I missed the boat? Am I a complete wreck of a person? These thoughts just kept streaming, one fear to the next.
I finally reached a point where some part of me was actually bored with the fear-based chatter. This inner voice literally said, “Girl, you have got to find something more interesting to think about.” That kind of shocked me. My fears are literally making myself bored. Isn’t that kind of hilarious?!
Fear is completely, totally, and utterly boring. No matter how believable it may sound, it will keep you incredibly stifled, bored and tired if you let that serve as the dominant voice in your head. I’ve had moments in my own life where I felt like I was facing an unsurmountable problem, that seemed so big that I didn’t even want to live anymore. The horror of the pressure and the emotional pain seemed overwhelming. It is really a frustrating and painful cycle.
I finally learned some skills for how to deal with these fear moments to keep them from dominating my life. For one, when you start to spiral, you have to interrupt the momentum of the thoughts. STOP…….silence. But, what if … NO. STOP…. silence. Choose a more interesting thought. New topic. Turn on the radio to NPR, or start watching a movie or call a friend. Do whatever it takes to shift the momentum in a new direction.
The second piece to stopping the cycle is dealing with the emotion that accompanies the thought. You see, nothing is as simple as cartesian rules would have us believe. The mind is not separate from the emotions and the body - they all work together. So how about we get those systems working together, mind-body-spirit, in unison to create harmony rather than havoc? Sound nice? Well it is.
To deal with the emotional momentum, you have to find ways to shift how you feel about something. What? You want me to change how I feel about something? Yes, I do. Because it works. For example, if you are dealing with a breakup and you have been ruminating about this person for 6 months straight, it’s time to reset your thinking and your feeling patterns. If you have reached a place where you are tired of being tormented by the same damn repetitive thoughts, then start creating new habits to move the old ones out.
I’ve been dealing with this reprogramming process myself and it really works. Because I’ve decided to definitely forgive and let go of this person in my life and thoughts and feelings, whenever this person comes to mind I say this script: “Hello again. Thank you for everything you taught me, I’m a better person for it. I’m letting you go now. I wish you all the best.” This script works for me because first, it acknowledges that thought pattern that has surfaced. It resets the energy in a peaceful context and provides forward motion for where to go next. It helps me to connect with gratitude and optimism and gives me a sense of internal freedom, and it also sets the other person free from resentment.
After saying this script, it is critical to immediately shift the mind’s attention to something else. For me, music is incredibly effective. Even if I’m feeling a bit grumpy, I won’t always allow myself to indulge those dark thoughts and emotions because I know that if I want to stop a spiraling sequence I have to shift myself. I find music to be one of the fastest ways to redirect my mind and emotions in a more constructive way. I’ll find something that brings me to a neutral place of just feeling ok. If was to put on some kind of bouncy happy jazz that might be too much of an annoying stretch - it’s like super cheerful people first thing in the morning. Take a down a notch please! I literally have a couple playlists of just neutral, good, soulful music that makes me feel at peace. This totally works for me, and my hope is that it can help you too!
Movies can also be a fantastic escape from a thought spiral of doom. Seriously, your story is boring if you are spiraling. Just stop it. Choose something more interesting. Get lost in something else for a bit, then come back to your life. Chances are it will not feel so overwhelming. The key is always to interrupt the cycle.
Because if fear had it’s way, it would capture your full, complete attention and pull you into a storyline that is overwhelmingly important. Yet, really at the end of the day, it’s all just antics of the ego. This small, wounded self that tries to keep you small. But that is not who you are! You are a magnificent being, a soul inspired with the ability to create with the power of your thoughts and emotions! Are you going to allow this silly fear voice full of ridiculous questions and self-hatred to control your life? Seems like a dumb voice to listen to. In fact, it’s boring. That voice is exceedingly and hopelessly boring.
And because WE are Impactful People, we don’t let our lives stay small. We are here to change the world in real, big, meaningful ways. We don’t have time to live in boring, ego-driven storylines. That is bullshit. Life is meant to be a magnificent journey, so let’s choose something more interesting to think about, shall we?