Get Rid Of Your Fears Through Procrastination
A trick to never worry again.
Fears and worries are inevitable, and many times we realize that it's not when we have to do what we fear that is scary, but the anticipation of it. Although it's cliché, let's take the example of giving a presentation. Whenever you have to give a presentation in front of a crowd, throughout the whole days or weeks leading up to it, you have an uneasy stomach and your mind gets muddled whenever you think about it.
There is an interesting story on YouTube about Will Smith going skydiving with his friends. Him and his friends set a date on which they would go skydiving. At first he doesn't think much of it, but then when he is alone, he realizes how big a decision he has made. (He is going to literally jump out of an airplane). Throughout the next few days and nights, Will cannot help but worry about this. There are a lot of things which could turn wrong while skydiving. On the day before they go skydiving, he said he couldn't enjoy the time with his family, or even his breakfast and lunch. But when he jumped out of the plane the following day, he realized that his fear was nonsense all along. He felt the most blissful experience of his life that day.
That's the thing. A lot of times overthinking about those fears brings more discomfort than actually experiencing them. Is there a way to remove the worries of anticipation whenever we have to do something scary? Yes there are many techniques, but today I will share my own trick with you. I call it "procrastinating your worries."
We procrastinate whenever there is an overwhelming task ahead, and we feel like we can't finish it. Although these tasks may not be scary, they may have a consequence if we fail to get it done. So we ignore it until the last moment, when we have no choice but to face it. It's like we postpone that task for our future selves. As if we tell ourselves subconsciously:
"It's none of my business. It's you who has to do it."
And in my technique to get rid of worries when there is a scary task ahead, you have to do the same. Don't fret over that task, just leave it for your future self. We feel like there would be harsh consequences in doing what we fear. For example, while giving presentations, you might feel like you would screw up, and people would judge you. So that judgment — the thought that your presentation could go wrong — will have you sweating hours and days before the actual presentation. Don't sweat over it. Even if there is a potential consequence, let your future self handle it.
Will Smith was afraid because he thought his parachute wouldn't work, and he would fall to his death. But he had taken the decision to skydive; he had to face the consequences anyway. He could have ignored his worries and let his future self handle it. Now, I am not telling you to take risky decisions without mulling it over, and then completely forgetting about it until the last moment. What I am saying is that, once you have decided to do something — which seems scary — you shouldn't let the worries ruin your days leading up to it. Whatever consequences you have to face — which sometimes isn't that big as you imagine — you will face it while doing that thing, so let your future self take care of it.
If you have made a decision to apply for a job that you like, but you think you don't deserve, you might worry about the consequences days and weeks before the interview. Of course there will be worries. What if you didn't get the job? What if your dreams never actualized, and you lived your life as a failure? You might imagine yourself sitting during the interview and see yourself doing everything wrong. Just the thought of it makes your heart beat faster. What can you do in those situations, in order to get rid of the worries? Just prepare for the interview, and do everything you can do to maximize your chances of getting the job. Leave the consequences to your future self who will be giving the interview.
By worrying about the consequences of an action before you take that action, you will not only ruin your days leading up to it, but you will also waste energy imagining things which haven't even happened yet. It's like sweating about how spicy a pepper is, without even taking a bite. You won't taste the spice, the future YOU, who takes the bite will.