Even though avoiding situations we fear gives us temporary relief, in the long term, it keeps us ‘stuck’ in the vicious Anxiety cycle. The more we avoid, the more we confirm our fears are ‘real’. But are they?
If we never test out our negative predictions (‘If I go on that date, she will see just how ridiculous I am. She’ll never call me again, so what’s the point in going?’) then we never find out if the worst-case scenario is true.
By giving ourselves the opportunity to be curious about the outcome (‘yes, I know I’m expecting this, but what if it goes better than I think?’), we may find that our thinking wasn’t exactly correct, and learn from it.