One of fear’s greatest tools is the idea of “random chance”. In a world where random chance exists, ANYTHING can happen at ANYTIME — and that’s a scary prospect. In a random world, something horrible could happen in the next five minutes — or twenty horrible things could happen in a single day — who knows — that’s randomness for ya. In a world ruled by randomness, everything you create could collapse at anytime: relationships, careers, long-term goals, plans, projects. In a random-chance-based world, investing in anything, even in your own life, just doesn’t make much sense.
Lucky for you, the world isn’t random. Phew! Random-chance is merely a belief system. It’s great if you want to add some intensity to your life but sucks if you’re already having a hard time. So for you, random-chance is not a thing anymore. Say bye-bye! Now let’s see your new way of thinking in action:
Me: Why are you here?
Me: Um. Okay, let’s try that again.
You: In this location or why was I born?
Me: Any of it.
Me: Try again.
You: My life is a gift given to me in order to experience existence and I am lovingly led along a personal path through this wondrous world, observing all the delightful dramas and captivating comedies that unfold before me.
Me: Hm, good job.
If you want to defeat fear, you have to defuse one of its most powerful weapons. And in order to defuse random-chance, you’ll have to go the opposite direction and think in terms of a benevolent well-designed world. You are no longer a helpless hairless-ape struggling for survival on a giant rock hurtling around an even bigger fireball — no, that idea is too intense for you. You must now think of yourself as a rider on a world-class amusement-park attraction, sitting in a nice little car being pulled along an exciting journey known as “your life”. You’re well taken care of and everything will be okay.
I know what you’re thinking… “But Rich, is that true??” Honestly, it doesn’t matter — you can believe it earnestly or simply use it as a mental trick to disrupt fear-based thoughts when they surface. The point is, that you’re replacing any instances of random-chance-based reasoning with a more comforting form of reasoning. Here’s an example:
You: I think I’ll start a business.
Fear: Are you nuts! That won’t work out! Anything could happen! You’re a fool for even thinking it!
You: Huh, yeah that does sound stupid, how could I ever be successful in these turbulent times. Wait a second! That’s fear talking! This world isn’t random, I have a path that I want to pursue and I know it’s my purpose to follow it. Besides, I’m here to enjoy myself and this is what I want to do!
Anytime fear offers up random-chance as a reason not to do something, you must short-circuit it by offering a more pleasant alternative. Another example:
You: I should go for a bike ride and enjoy the outdoors.
Fear: Yeah, if you like dying! Or you could simply get injured in one of a hundred different ways!
You: Ha, there’s those fearful little thoughts again. You know what, I haven’t died yet, so something sure seems to be looking out for me. And what a nice day it is, perfect for biking, perhaps it’s a day designed just for me. I’m going out and I’m going to have a great time.
Your homework for today is to identify instances where you’re utilizing the concept of random-chance. Once found, develop some alternative explanations that paint the world as a safe place that’s lovingly looking out for you. Also, think about how little you actually do to ensure your own survival — appreciate the fact that you’ve been alive all this time despite the potential for accidents, disease, and disaster. Contemplate the idea that maybe, just maybe the world has been on your side, helping you along the entire time.