The Trap of False Hope

And How to Escape Anxiety & Panic

Anxiety comes in many shapes and flavors. And as such, it gets described in a lot of different ways.

What’s fascinating though, and particularly dysfunctional, is when people confuse anxiety with hope. For example…

“I should get out and meet people, but I’ll find someone when the time is right.”

“He doesn’t treat me well, but things will be better after we’re married.”

“My job is so boring, but if I hang in there it’ll get better.”

“I’m not ready to move out yet; I’ll see how I feel next year.”

“I don’t feel like going to that event. Maybe I’ll go to the next one.”

Does any of that kind of thinking sound familiar?

Just say it—“I’m scared!”

If you’re suffering from anxiety or panic, it’s important to stop dressing it up as hope or optimism.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in positive thinking. I believe in dreams. I believe in prayer. And I believe in hope. But I don’t believe that any of that will help you if you can’t acknowledge your fear. If you’re not honest about the problem, how can you even begin to find a solution?

So how do you know if you’re being truly optimistic or if you’re disguising anxiety in hopeful terms? There’s a litmus test. It’s avoidance.

Let me give you an example of avoidance.

I did some 1-on-1 coaching with Sam, a gifted attorney who worked for the same law firm for 25 years. Sam was a dedicated employee who worked nights, weekends, and was highly respected by his peers. Nonetheless, Sam’s boss treated him like an entry level employee and consistently promoted others ahead of him. Sam got competing offers from other good firms, but he declined telling himself, “I have job security. I’ll leave when the time is right.”

It was obvious that the time would never be right. Or, more accurately, the right time was NOW. Sam should have left years ago. Why didn’t he? False hope, indeed! And the fear of a new work environment paralyzed him.

If you have a pattern of avoiding something, then it doesn’t matter if you’re thinking or talking about it in wishful terms, you’re scared. And that fear is probably impeding upon your success and happiness.

It’s time to be honest with yourself. What are your fears? Say them out loud. Write them down. Don’t deceive yourself by couching them in optimism. It’s not helpful. The first step to freedom from fear is to say “I’m scared of __________.”

Once you finish the above sentence, once you acknowledge that your life is being hampered by fear, now you can take steps and do something about it.

One step you might want to take is to join Dr. Dan’s Anxiety Plan. There I’ll teach you how to overcome your fears. What I teach in the program is exactly what I used to free myself from the grip of anxiety and free Sam from the fear that was holding him back from the career advancement he deserved. Dr. Dan’s Anxiety Plan has helped thousands of others too.

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Did you say it? Go ahead, it’ll help you. “I’m scared of __________.”

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Greensboro, NC

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