How do you feel in unfamiliar situations?
A friend of mine has just started a new job. We were talking about what she thought it was going to be like, and how much preparation she needed to do before she started. She knew in her heart of hearts that once she got going, it would all be okay. It was the unknown that was unsettling her.
For many of us, new situations are challenging. We can build them up in our minds to be unmanageable, when the reality often is that what we fear is unlikely to come to pass. Our anxieties hold us back. If we are the sort of people who are nervous about the unknown, it can be hard to believe that everything will be alright. There can be a lot of “what if’s” running around our brains.
One thing is for sure – if we go into something believing we won’t be able to do it, the chances are that we will be right. If we don’t have faith in our abilities, we are likely to fall at the first hurdle.
It is not going to happen
A strategy for helping children with anxiety really comes into its own here. It is a traffic light system with three questions. The green light is, “It is not going to happen.” Amber: “It might happen.” And red, “It is going to happen.” The idea is that you work out which of the three categories you fear falls into, and then decide if it is something that you need to worry about or not.
We may dream that we are going to turn up for an important event in our pyjamas, or not wearing anything at all. In reality, someone would be bound to let us know that our outfit was unsuitable before we made the faux pas. This is not something to fret about.
It might happen
My little boy is worried that our house will catch fire in the night. Well, I guess there is always that possibility! This concern is on amber. We have worked out a fire plan and talked him through what he would need to do if the house catches fire. I also managed to set off the heat detector whilst grilling sausages, so he knows that the hideous noise really would wake up the whole household.
It is going to happen
This can be the frightening one. We start our new job the next day. We have to go. We might be well-qualified and ultra-prepared, but there are still unknowns that we are worrying about. Reminding ourselves that we CAN do it, even if it doesn’t feel like it, will help us to get through. Even though something may go wrong on the day, it is unlikely to be as bad as we fear.
If you have a faith, knowing that your God is always with you is powerful. Help is always on hand – when we remember to ask for strength, it will be provided.
What can you do to build your confidence?
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