Overcome Anxiety in 7 Minutes: Mel Schwartz (Transcript)

Reality is not fixed, deterministic or predictable. Nothing is inert. It is a flowing, moving, bubbling sea of possibilities, infinite potentiality. And we too, can jump into that game plan and live our lives that way, once we can reframe our relationship with uncertainty.

Think about it. Embracing uncertainty allows you to start to navigate and craft your own life decisions. I used this concept with that woman who was stuck in that troubled marriage.

I asked her to close her eyes and imagine that she was standing by the bank of a river. I explained to her that the river, metaphorically, was going to resemble the flow of her life, the current of life, particularly the middle of the river where the current would get strong.

She closed her eyes, and I let a few seconds pass, and then I asked her what she saw. She said to me she sees herself in the middle of the river where the current is strong, but there’s a large rock – let’s call it a boulder – and she’s grabbed ahold of that boulder.

And I asked her why: “Why are you holding onto the boulder?”

She said, “Well, the river is bending to the right up ahead, and I need to know where it’s going to take me.”

Let’s presume that that’s going to be her life as a divorced or single woman. She needed to know.

I explained to her she needed to let go of that boulder and enter into the flow of life. And that once she did, she’d be free to navigate along the way, but she had to let go of that boulder.

How do we accomplish this? How do we have this shift of mind to allow us to make these changes in our lives?

First, we have to change our relationship with uncertainty. Typically what we fear, we resist. We go like this, we push it away. And when we do that, it emboldens it; it makes it greater. It makes us more anxious.

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Paradoxically, what we need to do is invite what we fear in. When you invite it in – in this case, invite uncertainty in – the fear starts to dissipate; it starts to retreat.

Think of it this way: If reality is uncertain, and we cling to seeking certainty, we’re going to dysfunction. We need to change our game plan of how we engage life.

Next, think about your relationship with your thoughts. If you still see your thoughts are seeking certainty, you need to notice those thoughts, try to release them.

Essentially, see the thought but don’t become the thought. If you don’t become that thought, you can release it. It’s the moment you have a thought, the thought summons up the accompanying emotion. They work in tandem.

So if you have a thought seeking certainty, you’re going to feel fearful, you’re going to feel anxious.

In the nanosecond between your thoughts, you exist in a state of pure potential. That’s the universal reality.

But if you keep having thoughts that are seeking certainty, garnering fear, you’re never going to transcend anxiety.

The most important relationship you will ever have in your life isn’t with your parents. It isn’t with your children. It’s not with your spouse.

The relationship that’s going to impact you far more than any other relationship you have ever had is with your thoughts. You need to learn to choose them with care. Turn your thoughts into your ally.

When you do that, you can begin to write the script of your own life.

Think of it this way: Uncertainty can be the wind in the sail of your life that generates your ability to move forward and experience your life without fear, without anxiety and with joy and the ability to be present.

Embrace uncertainty; it can be your best friend.

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Thank you.


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