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How to Worry Less: 90% of What You Fear Won’t Happen

How to Worry Less: 90% of What You Fear Won’t Happen

What if? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I’m wasting my time? Everyone will know I failed, and then everyone will hate me. Do any of these debilitating questions sound familiar to you? You’re not alone. Anxiety disorders [1] are on the rise, and unfortunately it’s our own fault. The way that we process information and expectations has taken a negative toll on our mentalities, filling up our heads with disastrous scenarios that will never play out.

Worrying is normal, but not if it’s keeping you up at night.

If nothing phased you at all, then that would be a totally different issue. But many of us torture ourselves with thoughts and scenarios that just aren’t in touch with reality.

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Example: You just started a new job as a waitress. You don’t fully know the menu, so you rang in some orders incorrectly. To make things worse, you broke a few plates, and now all of your coworkers are annoyed. After you go home that night, you consider never returning to avoid humiliation. But you need the job, so you go in anyway, bracing yourself for ridicule. Much to your surprise, everyone is pleasant and carrying on as if yesterday’s disasters never happened. No one is mad at you, and they certainly don’t hate you. Now that you know the protocol better, you’re less likely to make those mistakes again. So it’s all good.

My motto: prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. Notice how I didn’t say EXPECT the worst, because then you’re already setting a foundation for negativity. Overly enthusiastic optimism can be unrealistic and annoying, but you need to keep an open mind. Don’t worry about something unless it’s actually happening. Don’t concern yourself with what might be, because it hasn’t happened.

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You’re sabotaging yourself by worrying too much.

If you let your fears get the best of you, then it’s going to hold you back. You may pass up opportunities or act irrationally because of what could happen, or you have the wrong idea. Either way, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Let’s look at this from a romantic perspective. You may lose out on a great relationship because you’re too afraid of getting burned again. Or let’s say you’re already in the relationship, and you become paranoid because you jump to the worst case scenario if they don’t answer their phone for 5 minutes.

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People tend to expect disaster because they ignore the probability.

Here are a list of things that probably won’t happen even though you’re scared to death that it will:

Plane crash: Car crashes are way more common

I’ll be honest, when I let the reality sink in that I’m hovering thousands of miles above ground, it is a bit unsettling. I feel so exposed, vulnerable. My sister actually helped to console me on this by pointing out that anytime there is a plane crash, it makes national news. Why? Because it’s so uncommon. There are thousands of people who work to route the airways to ensure that there aren’t any collisions. How many car crashes make the paper? Unless there was a celebrity inside one of the vehicles, not many. That’s because they’re so common. So next time you get freaked out about flying just keep in mind that plane crashes are incredibly rare.

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Judgment: The truth is, no one really cares that much

This is a big one. We think that everyone is watching and taking note of our every move. The truth is, no one really cares that much. Not to be harsh, but the fact that you said something offbeat in a conversation three weeks ago is probably never going to come up again. In fact, at the time it may have been humiliating for you. But the people you were speaking to probably snickered, shrugged it off, and forgot about it entirely. So stop worrying. You are your own worst critic, and you’re only shining a spotlight on your own flaws.

Abandonment: By avoiding being abandoned, you probably push people away

Unfortunately this one is a bit deep-seeded and difficult to kick. Generally, if you’ve been abandoned or let down by someone you look up to and respect, it’s going to cause a huge blow to your ego and expectations of others. But you need to realize that not everyone is out to hurt you, and  . In both cases, you’re going to end up alone. So give people a chance to show you that they want to be in your lives. If they don’t, just let them go.

Reference

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Jenn Beach

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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