It’s another one of those paradoxical mindset tricks that sometimes the things that we’re dreading, the things that we’re really concerned about, that we hope don’t happen, just that feeling about them, that dread can in a way magnify them, so that we make them bigger and more likely to affect us in a strange way. Keeping it front and centre, looking for it around every corner, we can magnify our fears into monsters.
Now, one way to get around this is, of course, simply to not think about those things.
But that’s certainly easier said than done, to just not think about the pink elephant, as the saying goes. If you try specifically to not think about a specific thing, it’s very difficult to not think about that thing. So an alternative way to switch things around is to, in a way, invite what you fear in.
This is one of those tricks for the toolbox, and it may not be a tool for all occasions. It seems like this kind of inviting things we’re afraid of is not something to do for everything. But it seems like there’s a paradoxical power to it, by kind of taking on the attitude that “I’m OK with this thing. I am OK with this difficulty coming my way.” Rather than trying to always move around it, like it’s this big space that we have to kind of move around, and we have to avoid, adjust our course so that we avoid this fear, it’s instead going straight through and saying “Fine. OK. I accept this. No problem.” A more neutral way to look at it is not specifically inviting the fear, but more being indifferent, being neutral towards it.
In other words, “If it happens, so be it. I’m not going to let it rule my life and let it govern all my decisions. I will make the decisions that I feel are best, and if the thing I fear happens, then it happens, and I’ll live with it, or not.” It could be in reference to a specific fear, a specific thing that’s kind of running through your mind that you keep worrying about unhelpfully.
But it could also be just a general feeling of difficulty, of trouble, of problems, challenges, and just an attitude of “I invite these challenges in. I invite this trouble. I invite this difficulty. It’s OK. I’m ready for it.” It’s like an attitude of “I want things to be more difficult.” You know, it seems like it’s so common to look at anything that’s difficult in our lives, to see it as kind of a curse, a bad luck, a misfortune.
“Why did this have to happen to me? Why do I have to deal with this? Oh no, another problem to add to my list. Here it comes.” By wanting to avoid difficulty and trouble, even though, of course, it’s perfectly natural and understandable to want to avoid difficulty in trouble, and yet, having that approach puts us automatically in a bad mindset.
As soon as the difficulty hits, it’s immediately like “Oh, I’d really rather not be dealing with this.
That’s the first reaction. Of course we can adjust and we do what we need to do to take care of the problem. But the first reaction when the problem hits can so easily be “Oh, that’s so unfortunate. Why do I have to deal with this?” So that can throw us off base, if we’re planning our day and going through life with the expectation that there are not going to be any surprise problems thrown in our way.
But imagine, instead, expecting the worst and being ready to deal with the worst at all times.
Again, it’s easy to take this too far and go into kind of a disaster mentality where everything is at the extreme all the time.
But it seems like there’s something powerful about being ready to deal with disaster, being ready to face serious problems, being ready for unpleasant surprises.
For one thing, if these surprises happen, if surprise problems hit us, then we are already ready, and it’s like “Wow, OK, this is what I am ready for. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Here we go. This is part of life. This is dealing with problems. That’s what I’m here for. I’m ready to go.” And then, on the other hand, if no surprise problems happen, if it ends up being only a bunch of little problems, then that suddenly seems like an easy day.
Any kind of normal day is going to seem a little bit easier if you are ready and anticipating a much more seriously challenging day.
And perhaps it can even bring a little bit of extra intensity to the day, with a mentality of being ready to deal with serious problems.
Just banishing this thought of “I hope I can just squeak through the day and avoid any issues.
I hope nothing comes up.” Now, I can see how this could also backfire, with just kind of a “emergency all the time” mentality, and just getting burned out on the state of alertness.
But I’m gonna play with this idea of an alternative approach to being ready for things to go bad, and just accepting that life is full of challenges, this is part of being alive, and I can’t wait for another day full of challenges.
So I’d be curious to hear if you’ve tried this approach, and how it’s going for you.
#embracechallenge #noeasyway #readymindset