Anxiety & Leaps of Faith
In this episode, I talk about taking leaps of faith. Taking a leap of faith essentially means to act on something without being certain of the outcome. For example, when you ask someone on a date, you can’t be certain if they are going to say “Yes” until after you ask. Taking action is actually what produces a certain outcome. When it comes to anxiety recovery most of us strive to be certain before we take action. The problem is there is no way to be certain without taking action so we remain stuck. It’s a complete paradox! Taking leaps of faith is your path to achieve a life that is not controlled by fear and anxiety.
All right. Hey my friends and welcome to another episode of the restored mind show. My name's Matt Codde and I'm on this episode. I want to talk about the idea of taking a leap of faith. Now when it comes to, um, you know, working with people with OCD and anxiety and, you know, even in my own recovery process, um, one of the things that I learned is that the leap of faith is, is a necessary step to take in order to get better when it comes to facing, you know, really anything you're afraid of. Right? Cause I mean, in order, in order to have the ability to take a leap of faith, you, you inevitably you want to be certain about something that you can't be certain about. Right? So on a, on this episode, I want to talk about the idea, the idea of taking a leap of faith and what that means.
And so, um, you know, because at any point in our life or, and we've all, or at many points of her life, we've all taken leaps of faith, whether it's, you know, we approached, uh, a significant other or you know, someone we were interested in and we expressed our interest, right? We asked the person out or we asked for their number, right? That right there is an example of a leap of faith that we take, right? Because we don't know the outcome, right? And we have to act to see the outcome, right? And by definition, the leap of faith is you can't know what's going to happen, right? You have to take the step first and then see what happens after. And in most cases, you know, when it comes to anxiety and uncertainty, what did it, what happens is, is we want to be certain about what's going to happen, you know, and, and during this pandemic, I mean, they, you know, that's one of the reasons that I wanted to talk about this this week is we all want to be certain that as we prepare and people are starting to open up businesses, people are starting to open the doors.
We all, we all want to be certain that nothing bad is gonna happen. Things won't get worse. And we want that certainty before we, you know, take action. And the reality is, is that that's just, it's not possible, right? Like you, you will never know that. The only way to ever find that out is to buy is by taking action. Right? And, and I just, you know, I've been watching obviously, you know, some of these, you know, certain States are opening up more and certain businesses even in, um, where I'm from are opening up their doors. And, um, you know, and I understand that one for certainty because when you wrestle with OCD and anxiety that need for certainty is, or that craving, I'll call it for certainty, I wouldn't say I need a craving for certainty is very real, right? You want to be certain about whatever your feared situation is and, but, but it really is only by acting first that we can overcome those situations, right?
Because as long as we attempt to be about something, we're inevitably inevitably going to engage in behaviors that are going to reinforce the fear. So let's just take a simple example of flying on a plane and you can even use getting in a car and driving a car as an example. Right? But I'll use flying on a plane because it's something that most of us can relate to, I think. So I had a, um, a person that I worked with one time that was afraid of flying, right? It was, you know, pretty significant fear of flying and they had to fly for work. And so it was obviously causing a lot of distress because when they had to fly, it was like this, you know, multiple days in advance to the plane flight. We, you know, we're really disrupted by this fear, right? So, you know, they check the weather compulsively, right?
To make sure what the weather was going to be like, you know, and every aspect of the flight. And they would do things like, you know, having to wear certain articles of clothing cause they were lucky and having their routines before they got on the plane during the plane. Um, even it came down to like, you know, taking sedatives. So you know, for, for the flight, right? And the thing is, is every time we do those behaviors, right, in this situation, we think that we're controlling the end outcome, right? But at the end of the day, but how it has to happen is that we're, we're attempting to control the end outcome, right. Of the plane taking off and landing safely. And like I've explained before, anything we do in an attempt to control, right? The feared, the feared outcome, what happens is we reinforce the idea that that situation is dangerous in our minds, right?
And so with the plain example, they're there. Every time we get on a plane, there's a possibility, however small it might be, that that plane could crash, right? We all know that. And we choose to fly planes because it's way better than walking to wherever we want to go to or riding a horse or even driving. You know, it's like I can get from, you know, wherever California to the East coast in whatever it is, five, six hours, something like that. That's a much better than taking a horse that way. So I take that risk and I fly a plane and let's, and let's be honest, taking a horse or even a car has risk at home, right? Either way, I'm going, I'm taking risks, right? So we make calculated risks and decisions in life. And, um, you know, w when it comes to this idea of taking leaps of faith, what happens is we ha like, no matter what we do to try to control our outcome, eventually we're in a situation where we have to take, we have to get up and we have to walk on the plane and they have to shut the door and we have to sit in that seat and it has to take off.
And then at that point, you know, we just surrender control and all the things we do in advance to that, right. For the most part didn't actually help that the, the situation. Right. So if we look at the idea of the, um, the plane checking the weather in every state, what it's going to be like along the way. Yeah. I mean, I understand like the logic of it of I want to make sure there's not going to be any weather turbines, but even predicting the weather is, is a, it's not a certain science. Right. You know what I mean? It's like, it's just this thing we think we're doing to control something and then wearing certain lucky articles of clothing or saying a rosary five times before you get on or you know, having to, you know, take a shot of Jack Daniels before certain medication.
All those things communicate to our brain that flying is dangerous. And then we, we get on in the plane takes off and the plane lands. And what I'm suggesting is when, when we are looking at working with someone with an anxiety disorder, whether it's OCD, panic attacks, social anxiety, general anxiety, or even a specific phobia, like the fear of flying. What we do is we, we want to remove all the safety behaviors that that person does, right? Anything they do to attempt to control or manipulate situations, right? And what we do is we have them confront the feared situation. So in this case it's like, okay, don't do any of those behaviors. Get on the plane and then you have to sit on the plane, take off. And then when the plane lands, the person's brain is forced into this decision into the decision to say, Oh, was that actually dangerous and did any of those behaviors that I was doing actually keep me safe.
It's forced to challenge it, right? And the more we do that without engaging in those behaviors, then our brain starts to categorize the threat differently, right? Because our brain is learning continuously by what we're doing and the information it's receiving. And when it comes to overcoming fear and anxiety, there is this point where you have to take a leap of faith. You have to trust the process. You have to challenge, you have to, you have to take that step before, you know. Right? And if you do that again, more importantly, repetitively, right? So if someone's afraid of water, right, they have to, they have to step into the pool, right. You know, like, or if someone is afraid of, I mean, you know, just, just go through the list of stuff, right? And now many cases germs, right? Like I was, I was watching around and I'm watching people doing things that are totally not, not in line with what the CDC or any, any kind of health organizations are recommending.
I'm watching people drive their, their cars with like full on rubber suits on, you know, and, and it's like, yeah, so you're, you know, when you go in, you see the social distancing, all that stuff and I totally promote it, but I'm watching, you know, as I, as I'm just in my local community, I'm watching in many cases what, what could potentially be the longterm problems with anxiety, promote and continue. Because if we think about it like this, look, if you wear, if you wear gloves and mask and all this stuff while you just get in your car, right and drive when you're just alone, right. And you're just driving to and from the store, what you're teaching your brain is that when you get back home and you don't, let's say you don't get the Corona virus writer, that you know, whatever you're afraid of, you're teaching your brain that doing that actually kept you safe and you make this false connection that says, Oh, well I'm safe now.
And I wore all these rubber gloves and this huge mask and this huge suit. So that actually must have been what kept me safe. And the reality is is that most likely wasn't the case. And we make this false connection in the same way the person that checks the weather again and again and again for their flight and then takes the flight and then the flight lands safely. They make that connection, that checking the weather actually kept them safe. And that's not the case. Right. You know, and, and um, and our brain is just learning this stuff and when it comes to facing down fear and facing down anxiety, the thing, the thing that's so, so important is realizing that you have to take the leap first. And then, you know, challenge the end result to show your brain that it, it actually wasn't dangerous right now.
Now of course you need to do it with it, with sense and, and you know, and obviously safety in mind, right? Like when it comes to this pandemic, I'm not saying to go against the actual guidelines at all. Of course you should listen to them, right? And keep your yourself safe and do the things to keep yourself safe within reason. But when you're making up your own rules and doing things that actually don't have any evidence to suggest that they're helpful, your brain can learn that those are the things that are keeping you safe and will encourage you to keep doing them. Right. And so that's why it's important to have this balance and understanding of like, look, we all have to take risk every single day of her life. Every time we get in the car, we take a risk every time. You know, we, I mean, even just walking or, you know, going out for runs or, you know, we take risk or there's a risk involved with, with most things that we do in life to some degree.
And taking that leap of faith to take the risk and, and, and really kind of seeing what kind of risk it really is, right? Is, is just such a critical step of recovery. And, and again, if you're, if you wrestle with obesity or anxiety or panic attacks, things like that, a big part of the recovery process is taking those leaps. It's T it's doing something when you're uncertain and not waiting until you have certainty to do something. It's acting in spite of uncertainty. And, and, you know, I don't know how that looks for you. I mean, obviously it looks, it looks different for everyone, but as we, you know, begin to open the doors of the, uh, of the country and the States and businesses and, and, you know, hopefully really start, you know, getting people back on their feet back working again. You know, we're all gonna have to take leaps of faith at some point along this journey.
And you know, the, again, it's about finding that balance of not pushing the envelope too hard. You know, where you're doing irrational in even foolish things, but also like you can, yeah, there comes a point where you won't be certain and you're going to end. You can't wait to be certain to take every step, you know, you are going to have to make those decisions to take calculated risk in life. And especially when it comes to the recovery of things. I go city anxiety and panic and things like that where it's like you're going to have to take calculated risk and that's actually the taking the risk is what's going to get you better. So, um, I just wanted to talk about that idea of, of taking a leap of faith today and, and again, just asking yourself of like little leaps of faith, you can start taking in your day to day life. You know, what, what that means and, and, and challenging some of the things that you might be doing or, um, and, and to push yourself because again, it's all about your own internal growth and making sure that fear and anxiety are not controlling your life. And that's really what I'm talking about here when I'm talking about leaps of faith, right? It's like if you're, if you're wanting to date, right?
You can't just wait for someone to show up at your door to ask you to marry them, right? You have to take little leaps of faith to say, Hey, you know what? I'm going to put myself out there on whatever, you know, dating apps, or I'm going to meet people. I'm going to go to the gatherings. You know, stuff like that. You have to take those leaps before, you know, if you're ever going to meet anyone. And that's what enables you to overcome that and ultimately achieve the things you want to, you want to achieve. Right? So, um, just some food for thought and ideas. Um, you know, I hope you found this idea helpful and applicable to your own life. Um, again, if, if this is something you struggle with, with anxiety and OCD and panic, um, you know, we have a lot of resources on our [email protected], um, for you.
Um, also we really appreciate your support. So if you are listening or watching, please, uh, you know, like this subscribe, share, um, you know, we always appreciate, um, all, all the help we can get on across our social channels. So, um, until next week I just wanted to say, you know, I wish everyone's, um, wellness and safety and, and you know, and hope as we move through this time together and to just keep going strong, keep taking it one day at a time and then we will get through this together. And so, thank you guys and I hope you guys have a great week. See you soon.