Sometimes we freeze up when we’re scared or when things are uncertain.
There’s a counseling technique called flooding. It’s usually administered to treat severe phobias. You take something you’re extremely afraid of and with the help of a counselor, you are slowly acclimated to that thing that scares you. Over time you become less and less afraid until you stop being afraid all together.
For example if you were deathly afraid of mice, then a counselor trained in flooding and treating phobias, would prepare you to spend time with a mouse in session. In the next session that time may increase from a few minutes to five minutes, then from five minutes to fifteen. By the end of the counseling, you should be able to see a mouse or be close to a mouse without feeling as if you are going to die.
The biological reasoning behind this is that our bodies are not built to sustain long periods of anxiety. Eventually, your anxiety level has to come down. It’s impossible to be that tense for an extended period of time. And once your anxiety level comes down and your fear begins to ease, then your phobia slowly goes away. You learn how to manage your fear.
I know that when I’m faced with a huge decision or a situation that is uncertain, my anxiety level goes up.
Unfortunately, I’m at a stage in life where almost all of my huge decisions could be life-changing. So how do I deal with it? And better yet, how should other people in similar situations deal with it? How does this apply to your life?
You can’t shut down. You have to learn how to manage your fears as if you were in a session and your counselor were using the flooding technique. You have to “go there,” and imagine what your life would look like in the worst case scenario. If you make the wrong choice, what will happen? If you don’t make a choice at all, what will happen?
Don’t run from your fears and don’t leave your uncertainty where it is where it will surely fester and grow and become a bigger problem for you over time.
When you stop running, when you stop shutting down, and when you stop letting anxiety paralyze you to the point that you can’t make a decision at all, then you can move outside of your comfort zone and overcome your fears. And that always leads to growth. Personal growth. The kind of personal growth that you can be proud of.