The Three Most Powerful Words To Tell Yourself
Some of you are going through a hard time right now. For some of you, it feels like you’re almost always going through a hard time.
Some of you are scared. Some depressed, overwhelmed, stressed, sad, angry, anxious, and alone. And some of you feel like you just can’t fucking handle it anymore.
No matter what you feel, your situation, your background, upbringing, or whatever sort of endless shit storm of fears and problems you seem to be stuck in, there’s some good news.
And that’s that every single fear you and I have ever had, have, or will ever have, can be traced back to one single underlying fear.
That’s right, at the bottom of every single one of our fears, no matter what it is, lies one universal fear…
But before I reveal this grand fear, you need to better understand fear by taking a closer look at it. (Don’t worry, I’ll hold your hand, it’ll be ok)
It’s been said that if you really want to get to know yourself, you need to understand what you’re afraid of. While that is very true, there’s something that’s equally, if not more, important. And that is understanding fear itself and where all your fears comes from.
When we break down fears there are 2 things you’ll notice. 1. There are literally millions of different things people fear and variations of those fears. 2. Although there is a seemingly endless amount of fears people have, every single fear stems from one single underlying fear (which I’ll get to, I promise).
The endless number of fucking fears
There are fears of things that happen to you. Getting sick, hurt, aging, disasters, rejected, humiliated, becoming alone, losing friends or family, getting fired, failing, succeeding (yes actually becoming successful is a fear).
Then there are fears of things that we are trying to make happen. Breaking up with someone, giving a presentation, losing weight, quitting a job, moving to a new place, going to travel, driving, flying, asking someone out, applying for a new job.
Then there are the emotions behind those fears. Anxiety, anger, sadness, regret, confusion, uncertainty, love, empathy, overwhelmed etc.
So what scares or frightens you? Is there something you want to do, but afraid of the potential outcome? the failure, success, embarrassment, rejection that may result. Are you afraid of bad things happening to you? getting sick, fired, broken up with, divorced, hurt, or even your own inevitable death?
Maybe you want to ask someone out, but fear the rejection that may result. Maybe you want to make more friends, but afraid of people not liking or accepting you. Maybe you want to stop drinking, but you get nervous in social situations without alcohol to calm your nerves. Maybe you want to end a bad relationship, but fear being alone and getting back out there. Maybe you want to tell your boss to fuck off and follow a passion, but fear failing or what you’ll do next.
Maybe one of the above describes you, maybe multiple, maybe all, or maybe none. It actually doesn’t matter as much as you’d think and we’ll break down why
The root of all your fears
As I’ve alluded to multiple times, although there are so many different types of fears people have, whether it’s something that could happen, something that will happen, something to be done, rational or irrational fears, every single fear can be traced back to one single underlying fear.
I can’t handle it!
I know, that wasn’t exciting, sexy, and was very anti-clamatic. I’m sure you were hoping for some ground breaking, earth shattering fear or phrase. But let’s look at this and realize why this is actually not only true, but also awesome news.
Again, the underlying fear of all everything your afraid of is the fear that you can’t handle it.
Looking at the fears I listed earlier. You’re not actually saying I’m afraid of becoming humiliated, rejected, sick, aging, alone, failing, traveling, driving, quitting a job, asking someone out etc.
You’re saying: I can’t handle being humiliated, I can’t handle being rejected, I can’t handle being sick, I can’t handle aging, I can’t handle being alone etc.
You fear your inability to handle each of these situations.
You may being saying “I’m afraid to ask that person out because maybe they won’t like me and reject me.”
What you’re really saying is “I can’t handle the idea of getting rejected.”
Maybe you’re saying “I want to quit my job and pursue a passion, but I don’t know what will happen from there.
What you’re really saying is “I can’t handle the uncertainty of not knowing what will happen from this choice” or maybe “I can’t handle the idea of trying something that makes uncomfortable and then failing.”
Even seemingly protective and rational fears stem from the idea of not being able to handle something. For example, maybe you’re boyfriend or girlfriend is going on a skiing trip and you say something like “babe, please be careful”.
What you’re really saying is “I won’t be able to handle the thought of you getting hurt or something bad happening to you.”
I’m not saying any of these things said, done, or feared is necessarily wrong. Feeling a bit worried, concerned, and afraid of something bad happening to you or a loved one is completely natural. Fuck, it’s what makes us emotional humans!
But what I am saying is that all these worries, fears and anxieties come from the same root fear of not being able to handle something.
And now that we know that, now that we understand there is only one true root fear, we can get to the most important part.
The three most important words to tell yourself
Now imagine this. Imagine you could handle it. Imagine you could anything that is thrown your way.
Imagine any bad thing that could happen to you, anything you want to do, any shit storm you encounter, any emotions, anxieties, and fears you could handle. Imagine there was nothing you couldn’t handle. What would be left to fear? Nothing.
If you could trust yourself to handle anything, there is no longer a root fear. Without the root fear, there is, you guessed it, no fear.
Life will never be predictable and bad shit will always happen, but the question will always be, can you handle it?
With that, you may be able to now guess what the three most important words you can ever tell yourself are.
I’ll handle it.
Again, you may be a little let down right now, thinking I was going to tell you some profoundly deep, wise, and mind blowing thing you’ve never heard. However, I kind of did.
These three words are the most profound thing you can ever tell yourself for any situation that you’ll ever deal with.
Break up? I’ll handle it. Big presentation? I’ll handle it. Quit your job to pursue a passion? I’ll handle it. Get on a plane despite terrible fear or flying. I’ll handle it.
The difference between someone who seems confident, fearless, and does whatever they want, is not that they are some fearless super hero, but rather they trust themselves to handle it, to handle the situation. That’s it. They handle that situation, that fear. It can truly be that simple.
And you’re not any different. You had, have, and always will have the ability to handle any situation. It’s not a matter of trying to control a situation or outcome, but rather being able to handle anything that happens to you or you want to do.
I’ve already used this quote, but it bears repeating as it fits well with this idea. “I believe that 10% of life is what happens to you, and 90% is how you react to it.
How will you react? Will you handle it?
For anyone who has been through a serious anxiety attack like I have. Where the room feels like its closing in, your sweating, shaking, heart racing. What you’re usually telling yourself is “I can’t handle it!” So change the script.
I’ll handle it, I’ll handle it, I’ll handle it!
A couple months ago I shared my journal entries from the 41 hour period of my travels where I was sick, alone, depressed, angry, lost, confused, robbed, and scared out of my fucking mind. Appropriately titled 41 Hours of Perpetual hell.
A lot of you messaged me and commented on it. The #1 question I got over and over is “how the fuck did you handle that?” (Other questions involved “how’d you not flip a shit on that German woman, where’s Belgrade, and how the hell goes to Serbia in the first place…valid questions people).
Simply put. I just kept telling myself “I’ll handle it” over and over. It’s all I could do or say.
So, how will you react? Whatever shit gets thrown your way. “I’ll handle it.” Whatever anxiety and fear may be going through you. “I’ll handle it.” Whatever terrible thing just happened to you, got fired, broken up with, divorced, lost a loved one. “I’ll handle it.”
Shit, get fired up about! Bad shit happens? “Fuck this bullshit I’ll handle it.” Sick? “Fuck this illness, I’ll handle it!” Buggin out for no seemingly god damn good reason “Fuck these worries and anxieties, I’ll handle it!” (clearly I have a running theme here I prefer)
It doesn’t mean things will always be easy. Things will get thrown at you that sometimes seem like it’s just too much. Things will still be hard and suck at times, that much I can promise.
You may find yourself in situations that leave you feeling fucking shattered and hopeless. You may find yourself in situations where you have no idea what the fuck you are going to do next. You may get anxiety so seemingly crippling that it shakes your core. You may find yourself 4,500 miles away from home in soaking wet clothes outside in the cold, throwing up every 20 minutes, in a country where no one speaks english, lost, alone and scared out of your mind (okay hopefully no one else experiences that).
But if you can learn trust in yourself your ability to handle the situation, you’ll watch as the fear diminishes and you find yourself able to handle anything that comes your way.
No matter what. Repeat those three words. “I’ll handle it”
Because you will. You’re a fucking superhero in your own movie that is your life and no matter what shit storm comes your way, no matter what you want to do, you’ll handle it.
About Chris Leddy Chris is based out of New York City and has a passion for helping people overcome mental obstacles and improve their lifestyle. Most of his writing is primarily focus on improving mental health among men by helping them overcome anxieties, strengthen their mental state + beliefs, and improve their lifestyle. After ditching the rat race to travel the world alone, he returned, inspired to keep writing and working with people full time. He recently launched a selfimprovement website carefreerealities.com.