My favorite remedy for the what-if disease is what I call the horribilization remedy. My rules for horribilization are as follows: First have a fearful thought such as, I have to give a speech in front of all those people. I know I’m going to bomb. We usually obsess over that thought until we’re ready to pass out. To horribilize you have to go even deeper. You think of what-ifs until the very worst thing happens - death. You horriblize to the death conclusion like this, What if I give such a bad speech that everyone thinks I’m stupid and they tell my boss and he fires me and then I can’t buy groceries, starve and die? I guarantee that taking a fearful thought to the death conclusion will always make you laugh at yourself. Besides that, I believe life after death is going to be great so dying isn’t actually all that bad.
When my friend was going through treatment for breast cancer I asked her how she was doing.
"I'm doing fine," she said. "This treatment is awful but I figure if it doesn't work and I die, I'll be able to be with Pete (her husband who had died unexpectedly at an early age) and if I live I'll be able to be stay here with my children and grandchildren for a few more years. Either way, I trust that what ever happens is in God's hands, that I'm loved and everything will work our for the best."
A little natural fear is normal; without it we wouldn’t need courage. On the other hand, paralyzing fear is and always will be a fatal disease of the heart for it signals the end of faith. Fear and negativity take up so much room in our heart there is no space for anything else.
I used to have preconceived ideas about how events and people in my life were supposed to turn out. I always worried that things wouldn't work out the way I wanted. Yet life always has a way of teaching us that we are not in charge. The only control we have is how we respond to the the things that happen to us.
Now I choose to wake up, think positive thoughts, do my best that day, learn from what happens then leave the rest in God’s hands. It is amazing how much better I feel.
“Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong.”(D&C 121: 45)