From Zero to Catastrophe in Thirty Seconds
September 25, 2012 • comment(s)
“Worry is using your imagination to create what you don’t want.” Abraham-Hicks
From the time we were born we’ve had an imagination. As a child we used our imagination to become a princess, an astronaut, a rock star, or to turn a playground into a castle, a spaceship or a concert stage. There was no limit to what we could imagine ourselves having, doing or being.
Some adults were amused by our playacting, while others attempted to bring us “back down to earth” by sharing their opinions of the real word and the realities of life. “You’re not talented enough to be a rock star, it’s unrealistic for you to dream about being an astronaut, and princesses no longer exist.” (Tell that to Kate Middleton).
We would probably continue in our play ignoring what the adults said.
Fast forward a few years and we’re in middle school, or junior high as they called it where I came from. We still held some dreams intact, but we had begin used our imagination for WORRY. Everyone worried, our parents, our teachers, our coaches, it was necessary to be successful. We HAD to worry about assignments, reports, test scores, grades and about what everyone else thought about us.
We began using our imagination to focus on all that could possible go wrong: What if I fail the test.? What if I get a pimple the day of my date? What if no one at school likes me?
And, not only did we ask ourselves the questions, but we also created elaborate scenarios in our mind, complete with detailed dialogue about the worse that could happen in any given situation.
We went from zero to catastrophe in 30 seconds.
We still do.
Except now the stakes are higher. What if I lose my job? What if I can’t pay my rent or mortgage? What if my spouse wants a divorce? What if my business fails? What if the government stops sending me my social security check? What if I get sick? What if a hurricane comes?
That’s using our imagination to create what we don’t want.
Mark Twain said “I am a very old man and have suffered a great many misfortunes, most of which never happened.” He was talking about using our imaginations to predict the worse for ourselves and others and of the suffering we go through because of this. He was also saying that the suffering he went through was needless. It was all in his imagination.
He was right. We suffer needlessly when we worry about things that have not occurred and may never occur in our lives. We fill our days with the habit of worry.
I call worry a habit because it can be stopped, if we want to stop it. Stopping the worry habit is very simple. I can attest to that. But, it’s not easy. It takes practice, it takes focus and it takes self-control. It takes controlling your mind and focusing it AWAY from the habit of looking for the possible problems or worst possible outcome and turning it TOWARDS the possible solutions or the best possible outcome.
Worry is destructive; because it takes away the creative energy we can be using to improve our life and replaces it with stress. And we all know what stress does to you.
Are you ready to break the worry habit?
1. Pick any subject of your choice. Then think of all the possible things that could go WRONG and what the worst possible outcome could be. How do you feel after that thought pattern? Probably pretty lousy.
Pick the same subject and brainstorm all the possible things that could go right and what the BEST outcome could be. Now, how do you feel? Much better, I hope.
2. Commit to one week of turning your thoughts away from worry and the worst possible outcome to possibilities and the best possible outcome. Every time you begin to worry about something STOP and make a mental list or write a list of all the good possibilities or options. Then take note of how much better you feel.
3. If you’re pleased with the results after doing this for a week, commit to do the same for 30 days.
4. Be aware of any of the good results you get in your life and write them all in a small notebook.
5. Now, make a commitment to yourself to break the worry habit for good.
Mari is a relationship coach, personal growth coach, speaker and writer based out of South Florida. After coaching herself through the pain of divorce, the struggles of being a single mom and the challenges of beginning to date again she became a Certified Professional Coach. Her passion is working with people one-on-one giving them the support, encouragement and accountability necessary to bring love and fulfillment into their lives. Read more from Mari on her site.