It's human nature to worry, but did you know that a research project at Penn State University found that 91% of what people worry about never actually happens? In other words, most of your fears never come true.
However, that still leaves 9% of worries that do come true but, fortunately, the same research revealed that on these occasions 70% of people found they handled the situation better than they had expected and/or they learned something valuable from what happened. In other words, their fear had been worse than the actual situation.
Always remember that, like you, everyone worries and experiences fear - but most of those fears never materialise! When they do they will rarely be as bad as you imagined, you ll handle them better than you expected and you ll often learn something useful along the way.
There's no single magic bullet that will overcome your worries and fears and stop them from ruining your life but here are three strategies that may help.
Embrace your fear. The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung believed that "What you resist not only persists but will grow in size." The more you shy away from your worries and fears the more they will grow and come to dominate your life. But once you acknowledge and accept them for what they really are they will shrink and lose their hold on you.
Reframe your fear. Many people are habitual 'catastrophisers', always assuming the worst will happen. If you find yourself thinking like this remember that 91% of fears never come true, start thinking about the BEST possible outcome, and then focus your imagination on exploring that scenario.
Develop your courage. Just like any skill, courage starts small and becomes bigger and stronger the more you use it. Practice removing worry from your life one fear at a time and, each time you do, your courage will grow.
When it comes down to it we don't have much control over the good and bad things that happen to us. But two things we can control are our mind-set and our response to circumstances. Facing up to your fears is a sure way of overcoming them so why not start right now? Acknowledge a fear that's worrying you, embrace it, reframe it and overcome it with your new-found courage. Gradually remove your fears one by one and you'll be free to enjoy life again.