Stop Making Your Biggest Fears Come True

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Verywell / Julie Bang

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Every Friday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, shares the “Friday Fix”—a short episode featuring a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 212

Sometimes, we inadvertently increase the chances that our biggest fears might come true.

That’s not to say it’s your fault if something bad happens to you. Bad things happen to us through no fault of our own much of the time.

But sometimes, our fear of something causes us to react in a way that increases the chances that our fear might come true.

Take overprotective parents, for example. Most of them hover over their children because they don’t want them to get hurt–physically or emotionally. So, they prevent their kids from making mistakes, getting rejected, or taking risks. Consequently, their kids don’t gain the skills to solve problems, cope with pain, or manage their emotions. This can cause them to become more susceptible to being hurt later in life. 

But that’s not the only way this scenario plays out. From dating the exact type of person you said you wanted to avoid the financial mess that you swore you’d never get into, there are plenty of other ways in which our efforts sometimes backfire. 

In this episode, I explain the four reasons we sometimes accidentally make our biggest fears come true, how to recognize when you’re doing it, and what to do about it.

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Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.