How to Overcome Fear of the Future
To overcome fear of the future, you need a game plan, and not just any one will do.
You need a game plan personalized for your life.
You’re the one fearing the future, and the fears that you have are unique to your experience, your body, and your relationships.
Remember, mental health is a multifaceted thing and there are commonalities in how we all experience it, but the connecting points extend from who you are as a unique being.
1 - That’s step one–realizing what your unique flavor of future fear is.
How does it taste? What does it feel like? Are there themes that come up, time and time again, in your life?
These are your targets, your starting points.
And hey, you may not always be able to identify what it is that is making you feel so anxious. That’s OK, and it’s perfectly normal.
As long as you start the process with intention, you’ll be alright.
2 - Next up in this game plan is the actual planning part.
Now, this is where you need to be careful.
Planning can quickly turn into rumination, which can quickly turn into serious, emotional drainage.
A good plan for tackling the future, at least in my experience, is a rough outline.
It’s a set of bullet points, either written down or typed on the computer, of the basic issue/problem that you’re worrying about.
Map out the structure of the problem.
What is it exactly that’s bothering you?
What might you do if scenario one happens? What might you do about scenario two?
Keep it simple–and focus only on what you can control.
Your brain wants to trick you. It wants to convince you that the world is ending and that you’ll need to prepare for thousands of scenarios.
But you’re not your ancestors. You’re the Modern You.
Believe it or not, these two steps are enough for most people. The more I’ve done this, the more I’ve realized I don’t need to get really detailed about my future fear. Just expressing it out loud and writing it down has been enough.
3 - But you might need one more step, and the final step is taking action.
Action is the antidote.
Future fear literally can’t exist if you’re moving and taking action.
The world changes as you act.
When you’re in motion, acting and being, there’s no time or space to have countless thoughts about the future.
And it doesn’t necessarily need to be action preventing a disastrous future outcome. The odd thing is that your emotions change when you’re in motion, period.
Try it out.
Go for a run. Do a few push-ups. And then do a mental / physical / emotional reading of how you feel compared to minutes before. It’s almost magical the changes that can occur in a short amount of time.
Fear of the future does not need to control your life.
If it is controlling your life right now, be gentle with yourself.
Even though it may seem like you’ve wasted enough time already fearing the future, you don’t have to view it that way.
Consider it a past course in wisdom-gathering.
Because you’ve been there, you have the information you need to go somewhere else.
Think of your ancestors roaming, on foot, across rough terrain.
Think about how scared they must have been.
They gave you the tools you need. It’s the world that has changed.
Now all you need to do is use ancient tools to adapt to this modern world.