Two Questions to ease anxiety and uncertainty: An athlete success story.
When I received this text from my client, I did a happy dance and was so thrilled for her! She was struggling with an injury and tryouts for her college soccer team were fast approaching. Recovering from an injury requires time and patience and very often causes self-doubt, tension, and fear. Particularly when there is a high-level goal to be achieved.
This is when the focus is placed heavily on what the player can control. We created a list of all the things that she could do within her injury, to gain strength, heal, and stay mentally motivated. The concept is when the mind is left to wander predominantly on the negatives and deficits of a challenge or setback, this is where the mind will develop stories that lead to more distressful feelings.
When we resist an uncomfortable experience that we don’t like, we tend to push against it creating secondary pain in the process. There is something to be said about working along with the experience rather than fighting it.
“What we resist, persists.”
Fear and uncertainty can ignite the fight, flight, or freeze response of our nervous system we then begin to feel a loss of control. Taking back control by guiding the mind to focus on particular tasks and alternate perspectives, will bring back stability and agency to what is happening at the moment.
There are two short questions that help to guide our thoughts, feelings, and how to move forward in these fearful moments.
- What can I control, right now?
- What can I let Be?
The first question has us answer with specific actionable steps to take that are realistic at the moment.
The second question excuses us from the need to try to control all that is out of our hands. There is so much that is bigger than us, and a timeline that expands beyond our knowledge and awareness.
Letting be and letting go is essential to taking back control of the reality of our situation. Surrender opens the floodgates for allowing solutions and clarity of thought in, and the release of intense energy and feelings out!
So keep these two questions in your pocket. Use them when you feel overwhelmed, uncertain, or can’t sleep at night. Even better, write your answers down with pen and paper.
Enjoy greater ease as a result!