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How To Turn Anxiety Into Your Greatest Strength (One Simple Technique)
"anxiety is what happens when problem solvers decide that solving problems is stupid"
If you consider yourself an anxious person: the number of anxious thoughts you have per day likely ranges in the hundreds.
From small things like: "what if my dog has to go to the bathroom after I fall asleep?" or "did I remember to lock the front door?" or "what if my new neighbors need something but I don’t hear them because I have my headphones in?"
To big things like: "what if I get corona virus?” or "what if I get laid off?" or "What if I run out of money?"or “what if the whole economy collapses?"
But the problem with worry is not actually that we ask too many "what if” questions. The problem is that we stop at “what if”.
"What if" is the first stage of planning. And you feel anxious because you're completely neglecting the part where you actually plan the plan and then solve the problem.
What would happen if you went on your computer, opened up a bunch of applications, and then instead of using them you just continued to open up more applications?
You'd max it out, bog it down, eventually crash it, all the while getting nothing done. Sound familiar?
To use a computer effectively you must open the app (or a few, if your processor can handle it), do the work, complete it, and then close the app.
Instead of saying "what if" over and over and wasting all your energy worrying about whether it will happen: Notice that “what if” question and then answer it.
"What if my dog has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night?"
Well then I'll get up and take him. Oh well.
"What if I don't wake up and he goes in the house"?
Then I'll clean it up in the morning. Oh well. It takes 5 minutes.
"What if he goes on the rug?"
Then I'lll wash it.
"What if it doesn't wash out?"
Then I'll buy a new one. It cost $20 on Amazon. It’s old and I could use a new one any way.
Worrying is just ineffective planning. Worriers are just planners who, for whatever reason, have concluded that planning is stupid.
But planning is useful. Planning is awesome. Planning is a pre requisite to a better future.
Treat your worrying like you would a conversation with someone you care about.
When a friend or loved one expresses worry abut something do you just ignore their concerns? Do you just say "get over it, it will be fine"? If you ever have, you know how much that doesn't work. So why are you doing this to yourself?
If you can habitualize this thought process of actually addressing the concern, it will not only cut your anxiety in half, but it will actually make you extremely valuable and wealthy.
You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of problems you solve.
- Elon Musk
How? Well, If you started coming up with solutions to all these "what ifs", what would happen? You'd start to become really good at solving problems. The more "what if's" you have the more problems you can solve. You know what the world needs? Problem solvers. you know who makes the most money? The best problem solvers. You know who the best problem solvers are? The ones with the most experience. You know who the ones with the most experience are? People like you, whose brains see an infinite list of problems, who then learn start spending every day practicing solving them.
In reality, you are way cooler that the average "non worrier". You are just using yourself wrong.
The difference between the average person and the hyper successful people who make all the impact and all the money is directly correlated to how many “what if” questions they’ve answered.
And given your expertise "what if" asking: if you can become even mediocre at solving them, you can greatly exceed the the average person.
So stop trying to shoo away your what ifs. start trying to solve them.
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