Working up the courage E

Many people make decisions to do something but procrastinate when it comes to carrying out those decisions. Why? Because many actions arouse anxiety, fear, or distress. If your choice of options makes you tremble, consider the following tips:

I Role-play and rehearsal: Using imagery in your mind, you can rehearse carrying out your solution. Or even better, rehearse it aloud by yourself or with a trusted friend. The more times you repeat your rehearsal, the more you're likely to feel prepared and calm.

i Self-talk: Think of some positive statements you can repeat to yourself as you carry out your plan. Consider writing them on a card to carry with you as a reminder. Positive statements may include:

• I can tolerate the discomfort; it won't last long.

• I worked hard to consider other alternatives; this is the best shot.

• I have the absolute right to carry this out.

^ Brief relaxation strategy: Not only is it quick and simple, but this technique helps calm acute anxiety. (See Chapter 13 for more information and practice with relaxation techniques.)

1. Take a slow, deep breath in through your nose.

2. Hold your breath for a few seconds.

3. Breathe out through your mouth very slowly.

4. As you breathe out, make a slight hissing sound.

5. Repeat ten times.

After you work through these recommendations, write down your personal emotional plan in Worksheet 12-11.

Worksheet 12-11 My Emotional Plan: E.

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