It was 11 years ago this month that I first heard the term “Y2K.” Remember that?
A gloom settled over the world, as we feared that mankind’s technological ability finally would do us in.
The problem had to do with computers and the habit of referring to dates by only the last two digits in a year. The theory was that the world would be hurtled into untold chaos when “99” became “00.”
How would a computer know it should be 2000 instead of 1900 or perhaps even 3000? What if computers didn’t agree and some reverted to 1900 while others took a fearless leap to, say, 2600?
The collective fear warned us that planes would fall from the sky, cars would sit idle, investments and food would disappear, and life as we knew it would come to a screeching halt.
Fear is a funny thing. Open yourself to it, and fear will find you. It’s a bleak medical diagnosis: company layoffs, a stack of bills, car trouble, a double-dip recession and failing housing market.
Whether you’re concerned about your health, your home, your ability to provide for your family or your retirement account, one thing is certain: Fear and uncertainty about the future come from every angle and wait around every corner. Here are some tools that will keep fear from overtaking your heart and mind:
ä Fear for the future easily can overwhelm us these days, but we can run it out of our lives through the simple act of remembering. The fears we had over Y2K now seem silly because nothing horrible happened. We moved seamlessly into a new millennium, while the opportunists who scared people into buying underground shelters, guns and freeze-dried food slunk away to await their next opportunity. Cars did not shut down; planes remained airborne; food supplies were not interrupted.
Have you ever been unemployed? Remembering how that worked out will help you face it in the future. Concentrating on lessons learned and experience gained will help you face your next challenge with confidence, not fear.
ä Another way to combat fear is to through faith. Faith is confidence in something you cannot see or fully understand. It is trusting in the power of God to work all things in your life for good. It is activating what you believe. When your faith is stronger than your fears, faith wins. Trusting what you know to be true is the way to face fear and doubt.
ä Your ability to control your thoughts is a powerful weapon against fear. Choose carefully what you read and the television shows you watch. Fill your mind with positive and wholesome information, and watch your fears slip away.
No matter how difficult the challenges may be for you today, you can choose to face them with fear or confidence. Choose wisely.
Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including “Debt-Proof Living.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723.