Over anticipating what might happen makes us forget that we live in now. That “now” creates our future. We get busy with preparing numerous scenarios for potential dangers that eventually occur only in our heads. What a great waste of time while we could constructively build a safe tomorrow focusing on today.
Every day we try to predict as many things as possible. It’s normal. Our ancestors were doing it since this world exists. It might be that without anticipating the things they would not survive and we would never see the light of this life. They had to anticipate the weather in order to know when to sow the seed and when to harvest. They had to anticipate a war or an invasion from neighboring villages in order to get prepared and defend themselves against enemies. They had to observe the environment to learn how to protect themselves from unexpected events.
All that stems from a feeling of insecurity, instinct for survival and willingness to ensure the peaceful life conditions. Isn’t different today? We do our best to control as far as we’re concerned. We read newspapers, listen to the radio or watch TV news to be well informed what’s going on in the world and to get prepared in case something bad is likely to happen. We talk to people around to sense their moods and to get prepared in case someone wants to hurt us. We observe our health to react faster in case we experience any kind of worrisome symptoms.
It’s a wise approach and we couldn’t do any better in order to secure ourselves and our loved ones against unwanted harm. Especially, in these tough times of Corona-virus, anticipating and getting prepared are pretty much our assets. It’s indispensable to take care of the right prevention, to stay vigilant and to adapt to all security measures. Even me, a person who doesn’t master the rules of effective self-organization and doesn’t easily succumb to a mass hysteria, I managed to change my approach. I stay at home whenever I can, I don’t get in touch with people whenever possible to avoid it, I shop online, I wash my hand, I keep the distance and I don’t take any potential risk that could harm me or my family.
However, as human beings, we wouldn’t be us if we didn’t over interpret and over exaggerate all we do. Except for such critical situations like the epidemic when over anticipation is even advisable, in regular life routine over anticipation hardly ever becomes a factor that drives a positive change. We rather embrace quite a negative attitude when thinking about what could happen. Anticipating turns into assuming.
- If I do this, then he certainly doesn’t…
- I can’t do this because then, she will…
- There’s too much risk in trying it…
- I’m not sure I would be able to…
- They won’t agree so easily to…
On the top of that, the more we’ve been hurt in the past, the more we won’t accept the idea that something good could arise and brighten up our reality. Giving prime importance to a negative anticipation steals an opportunity to embrace positive occurrences that are, after all, so strongly desired. But this is not the only reason why we should stop over anticipating the future. Read about 5 other risks which accompany over anticipation.
1. Over Anticipation Creates Limits
Over anticipation leads to a strong dependence on a limited number of options. Since we’re not able to foresee all that can take place, we’re not able to let other options come into our life either. Let’s be honest: anticipation is based on our past experiences, not on the objective wisdom.
When we anticipate too much, we tend to create a future based on our understanding of things. We think that we know what’s happening and that our judgment is correct. This is because we check everything, we keep ourselves updated, we have an opinion on each topic.
Nevertheless this way, we close the door to experiencing a new dimension of life which is beyond our imagination. We deprive ourselves of a chance to get something better than we think we may get. Life is something much bigger and much mysterious that it appears to be.
Think deeply: are you in a position to take the best decision in matters that are beyond your understanding and your wisdom?
2. Over Anticipation Pull Us Away From Our Destiny
Whereas, we suppose that drawing precisely our future helps us to dodge random incidents, designing the future too extensively often divert us from our true destiny. Our assessment of the situation might have nothing to do with who we’re meant to be and what we’re meant to do with our life. Sometimes, we chase something we were not intended for.
This is because we try to follow other people and live a life they do. Or we try to follow certain schemas that sound promising. Or we simply have no idea what to do with our life and this uncertainty kills us.
In some cases, basically, we get stubborn insisting that our plan is better. We want to have the last word, not because we’re right, but because we can’t stand the idea that something is out of our control. We can’t imagine that we could give in our life to a coincidence.
Given that life produces incessantly unique and extraordinary cases, this is just a matter of getting open to what is offered to us. When you stop being resistant, life slips such solutions and circumstances that you could never invent or design on your own.
3. Over Anticipation Doesn’t Let Things Happen
We’re used to believing that everything requires to be meticulously planned. Starting from our holidays, going through meetings and ending up on choosing a new pot. We’re used to believing that everything has to be chosen and decided personally. Everything has to be overseen. Everything has to be exactly how we want it to be. Meanwhile, we find ourselves surprised that some people get the same things effortlessly.
It’s worth noticing that certain things require no intervention from our side. They simply require time and space. They require our patience. They require our trust. Envisioning the future too far make us miss the things which seem unreachable, but which are perfectly reachable when letting them happen.
Sometimes, saying “whatever” pays off. Drop a thorough control of things that don’t matter. From time to time rely on good fortune. Expect the best. Feel a relief that not everything requires to be planned in painstaking detail.
4. Over Anticipation Increases Anxiety
Over anticipating every single step is exhausting from a long-term perspective. Staying vigilant, alert and cautious all the time consume much of your energy. It’s a source of permanent stress. It’s a source of anxiety as no anticipation gives us a guarantee of success.
A lot of people want to have influence on everything that goes on in their life even when it comes to unimportant and insignificant matters. This is how not only you waste your time, but also you harm your mental well-being. Being endlessly preoccupied for minor issues can quickly get you into depressive states.
There’s always a risk which has to be considered and accepted. Those who attempt to over anticipate their future fall into a circle of fear. What if… sticks around as a never ending curse. You regard your fate as something unsteady, threatening, changing, sneaky. You feel like you need to be constantly ready to fight. Otherwise, you’ll be lost.
Even if your inner voice commands you to curl up, try to trust that life is good and wants what’s best for you.
5. Over Anticipation Prevents Us From Starting
How many times have we tried to start something, but over anticipating possible issues discouraged us from taking the first step? It stopped us before we set our life in motion. Over anticipation brings hesitation which more often than not disarms even the best fighter.
So many plans, dreams and ideas got stuck because we put on our doubts instead of giving ourselves a chance. We’ve been already looking at the final outcome instead of focusing on what’s to be done at first place, here and now. So many great achievements died before their time came as they were not given any confidence.
Allow yourself to have an imperfect plan for your undertaking. It’s better to start and fail than to never make a single move and regret. This is how we learn and start over stronger.
How to anticipate less?
Look forward without anticipation if you feel like it blocks you. Let your life unfold. Let your life surprise you. Let your life give you a gift. Trust your life. Not everything requires a plan. Sometimes, life has a much better plan than you could have ever come up with. As someone told me smartly: Look for progress, not perfection.
Do you find yourself over anticipate your future?
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