By: Stan Popovich
As an author of a managing fear book, I had my share of dealing with my fearful and negative thought in my professional career and personal life.
The first thing I learned was to replace my negative thoughts with positive statements. For example, I would have a difficult time in getting ready to take my exams in college. I would get all kinds of negative thoughts telling me that I would fail and that I would not pass. These thoughts would get the best of me before I even took my exams.
I decided to talk back to those thoughts using positive reinforcement. I would tell myself to take it one exam at a time and that it would not be the end of the world if I did not pass. I gave myself positive encouragement by replacing my negative thoughts with positive statements. I did this for every exam and it worked most of the time.
I struggled with anxiety and fear for over 20 years. I looked back at some of those anxious times and I learned that my fearful thoughts made my fears and worries even worse. The negative thoughts I experiences at the time were completely exaggerated and made things even worse. I now make it a habit to focus on the facts of my current situation instead of focusing on my negative and fearful thoughts. The negative thoughts still come, however I now try to focus on the facts and the reality of the situation. This has helped me in reducing my worries and fears.
There were times that I tried to stop my fearful thoughts from coming. This only made it worse. The more I tried to stop the thoughts from coming, the faster the thoughts would come. I learned that instead of stopping these negative thoughts from coming, I would just get into the habit of not dwelling on them.
I would occasionally get these negative and fearful thoughts regarding my job. I would get these “What If This Happened” or “What If that happened” kind of thoughts.
I realized that it wasn’t the thoughts that bothered me, but instead it was the fear behind those thoughts. I theorized that if you take away the fear behind these negative thoughts, then those negative thoughts lose their power and become much easier to manage. I now make it a habit to determine why I am afraid and how I can manage the fear behind these thoughts. I find that managing the fear behind the thoughts make my negative thinking easier to manage.
It is not always easy in dealing with your fearful and negative thoughts, however I had a lot of practice and hopefully some of these techniques I mentioned can be of some help. It is also very important that you seek the services of a professional to learn effective ways to deal with your fearful thoughts.