How to Do What You Dread
Find out ways to do necessary things that you dread.
There are some necessary things we have to do in life that we dread. Even though we dread doing them, we have to do them anyway. Dreading to do something makes the thing we have to do even more dreadful.
I learned long ago how to make the most dreadful things easy to get through. The guidelines listed below really work. Perhaps you can use them when you have to do what you dread.
Things Most People Dread
There are some things that most people dread. They include going to the dentist, going on a job interview, making a public speech or taking their vehicle to the auto mechanic. While those activities are different, the same principles work for all of them if you dread doing them.
You might dread going to the dentist especially if you fear you might need to have a root canal procedure. Some people really dread going on a job interview no matter how much they want the job. Others become anxious when they take their car to the auto mechanic because they think it will not pass inspection.
First Principle: Take Immediate Action
Fear, anxiety, and stress build when people put off those things they dread. Therefore, the first principle is to do immediately the thing you dread. The longer you put it off, the more you will dread it. It will constantly be on your mind. It is wise to take immediate action and get it over with. You will feel so much better when the activity is behind you.
Second Principle: Think Beyond the Activity
The second principle is to think beyond what you have to do. That means not focusing on the activity but begin to think of something delightful that that will occur after the dreadful thing is over. Choose a fun activity, a purchase something you like, or do something delightful after you leave the dentist or after your interview is over.
To make the second principle more effective, also try to feel the emotion that goes along with the pleasant thing you will engage in after the dreadful thing is over. For instance, think how relieved you will feel when the dentist says, "See you in a year."
Think and feel how glad you will be knowing that the job interview is over. Think beyond the interview to how happy you will be when the interviewer says, "You may start your new job on Monday." Feel the good feeling in advance.
While waiting for your car to be serviced, don't think about how much your car might cost to be repaired. Instead, think about treating yourself to a nice lunch or something wonderful after you leave. The point to this principle is to begin feeling good before the dreadful thing is over. If you focus on something pleasant, it will overpower the thing you dread.
Both Principles Work
It is best to use both of the two principles listed above. You will see the benefits of doing what you dread. My personal testimony is that I have been using those two principles for many years, and they work for me every single time.
While this article focuses on using the two principles on what people dread, the principles also work on other activities whether you dread doing them or not. I use the same principles on making decisions even if I don't really dread them.
I use the principles to determine whether I should go shopping on a particular day, go to a particular movie or hang out with friends. I think of how I will feel after the experience is over. My anticipated feelings after the encounter rather than before the activity usually dictate whether I will do something or not.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is to do what you have to do without putting it off. Then focus on the emotion you will feel after the experience is over. If you try these principle at least once, you will continue to use them over and over again because they really do work.