Sunday, June 4, 2017



Don't Worry Until There's Something to Worry About...

Anticipatory Anxiety is the anxiety we experience in anticipation of exposure to the things we think are going to bring us pain or suffering. For example, if you are claustrophobic and you worry about taking an elevator later in the day... that is Anticipation Anxiety. Another example might be if you have a fear of contamination and you worry about having to use a public toilet... that is Anticipation Anxiety. Similarly, if you have a fear of public speaking and you worry that your anxiety will ruin your next presentation... that is yet another example of Anticipation Anxiety. 

In other words, Anticipation Anxiety is the fears that pop up when we play the “waiting game”. It is a direct result of over-thinking.

Anticipation Anxiety plays an enormous role in causing us to avoid our sources of anxiety so much that we often fail to enjoy the things we love or experience something new because of it. It pushes us to stay away from our phobias, worries, and obsessions. It is extremely powerful and difficult to eject.

Anticipatory Anxiety is entirely paradoxical. Any attempt to avoid it makes it stronger. We want to avoid it in order to reduce anxiety, but the truth is that Anticipatory Anxiety generates additional anxiety. It becomes so dominant that we just attract more of what we fear.

It's a lie...

Anticipatory Anxiety is not a true predictor of how much anxiety we will feel in the actual situation. The fact is that 95% of the time, Anticipation Anxiety is far greater than the anxiety we experience when we actually make contact with what frightens us.

This is an insult to our common sense, but it is true nonetheless. Here is another example: 

Suppose you are afraid of flying. Despite these fears, you schedule yourself to fly in a week. When you think about the flight, you think about plane crashes, decompression, hijackings, and death anxiety soars. You think to yourself, “Here I am a week before the flight and just thinking about the flight in the comfort of my living room brings my anxiety up. If I am that anxious just thinking about the flight, imagine how freaked out I am going to be when I am actually on the airplane. I have to cancel that flight.”

But Anticipation Anxiety gets it all wrong… it is a lie. The truth is, we encounter the majority of our anxiety before we even attempt our desires. If you can stay in the situation past that surge of anxiety, you will remain relatively comfortable for the remainder of the time. Most times, we will have experienced 80% or more of all our anxiety by the time we actually work up the courage to try. If you can start to build momentum toward your desire, you will see that most of the Anticipation Anxiety will have largely passed, and then you can enjoy the fruits of your desire.

One of the biggest problems with Anticipation Anxiety is that it increases our indecision. Anticipation Anxiety generally becomes more pervasive as we get closer to an actual event. We find it harder to just “put off” thinking about it. The anxiety we feel often makes us wobble in our determination to pursue the goal.

So how do we deal with Anticipation Anxiety? Here are some tips…

  1. Label your Anticipation Anxiety as just that--Anticipation anxiety. It is real anxiety, but it is different from the anxiety you will experience when you make contact with your fears. Remind yourself that Anticipation anxiety has a life of its own, and can remain a potent problem even after you have otherwise conquered your fear. 
  2. Remember that Anticipation Anxiety is not an accurate indicator of how anxious you will be when you are actually achieving your goal. Stay with the fact that 95% of the time your Anticipation Anxiety will be much greater than the anxiety you experience when you are in the situation.
  3. Try to turn your Anticipation Anxiety into a learning experience about the power of your mind to affect your feelings. Realize that while Anticipation Anxiety is real anxiety, it a type of anxiety that is 100% generated by images in your mind. There are no physical or behavioral triggers to this anxiety. It is independent of external causes. You will usually think of worse case scenarios when anticipating how terrifying your future experience will be; these scenarios have nothing to do with the reality of your circumstances.
  4. Understand that this anxiety bluffs you into believing that you won’t be able to handle your fear in the upcoming situation. This anxiety is a lie. Once you gain confidence that you can handle the anxiety that arises there, you will be able to treat Anticipation Anxiety for what it is—a lie that has nothing to do with the fears you are anticipating.
  5. When you feel this anxiety come on, or when you catch yourself experiencing Anticipation Anxiety, repeat this mantra for 3 to 5 minutes… “What I’m feeling is a lie, what I fear is a lie… I’m not gonna listen cause I know it’s a lie!”

Mindful Awareness and Meditations that keep us in the Now are also very effective in the case of Anticipatory Anxiety. And always remember... "I'm not gonna listen cause I know it's a lie"

Stay Zen!

Joe Vulgamore CHT is is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Holistic Healer. He is author of the Best-selling book "Alignment- Law of Attraction and the Seven Universal Laws" and "Powerful Powerful You - Understanding Your Power". For almost 30 years, Joe has helped thousands of people from over 14 countries, across 5 continents, to make life-transformations through one-to-one coaching, books, and workshops.

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