If you’re worried that something that may (or may not) happen in the future right now… you’re not alone. Whether it’s the anticipation of a future event that may be upsetting, or the fear that a “good” event won’t turn out as you expect, the mind’s ability to try and play out the future is incredible. Trust me, not only have I been there, but it’s a feeling with which I (like pretty much everyone else) grapple with consistently.
Recently, however, I’ve found that I’ve become much less worrisome about the future, mostly thanks to two ideas that I keep at the back of my mind. I’d like to share those with you today.
Idea 1: Why put yourself through misery twice?
Whenever my future seems to hold an event or circumstance that has the potential to be upsetting, I try to keep this idea in mind. Here’s the way I think about it: if something painful is going to happen to you in the future, it will happen. Especially if it’s something you can’t control, why put yourself through suffering NOW by worrying about it? Remembering this makes me realize that I often put myself through misery twice, once by worrying about a future event and once during the event itself. Through understanding this, I have come to worry less about potentially upsetting events, whether it’s moving to a new place where I know nobody, waiting for exam results, or even going through security at airports. And the ironic thing is that the actual event is often far less painful than I’d imagined it to be – so if I didn’t worry about it, I’d suffer 0 times! The next time you catch yourself worrying about a future event, I encourage you to say to yourself: “Whatever comes will come. Till then, I’m not going to suffer in the present for my future.”
Idea 2: Nobody can predict the future.
A simple but understated fact – nobody can predict the future! No matter how certain you are that something will or won’t happen, it’s impossible to be 100% sure. Everything (people, circumstances, the weather) is constantly changing, so although you can be relatively certain of a future event, it will almost never turn out exactly the way you expect. In fact, in my experience, life has a way of throwing out unexpected gifts and lucky happenstances at the most random of times. With this in mind, whether I’m trying to create a certain outcome in the future or avoid one, I do my best to control what I can, and then simply let the future come to me, keeping an optimistic viewpoint. Knowing that the future is not completely in your hands can be frightening, but it can also be liberating.
I’d like to leave you with this video from Will Smith that has inspired my thoughts on worrying about the future – in typical Will Smith fashion, it’s as entertaining as it is powerful. Thanks for reading and see y’all on the next post!