What do you worry about?
When I ask this in my workshops, the answers are universal:
- I worry about decisions I made or am about to make.
- I worry about what others think or don’t think about me.
- I worry if I’m doing the right thing or the wrong thing.
- I worry about failing.
- I worry about succeeding.
- I worry about the top line.
- I worry about the bottom line.
- I worry about money.
- I worry about my health.
- I worry about my kids.
- I worry about whether I’m good enough.
- I worry about what could go wrong.
- I worry about things I don’t have control over.
What’s wrong with worry? Again, the answers are universal:
- I can’t concentrate.
- It doesn’t do any good.
- It makes me stressed.
- It affects my health.
- I lose sleep.
- I get sick to my stomach.
- I waste a lot of time and energy.
When worry thoughts occupy our minds, we let worry determine our future. Besides adversely affecting our health and relationships, worry keeps us focused on what we don’t want, what we don’t like, and what we fear—which is not inspiring.
When we worry, our brains are actually in a state of “fight, flight or freeze,” and we are incapable of determining what we truly want or being receptive to creative ideas on what to do next.
Does worry serve a purpose?
Some say, Yes! Worry motivates me to make a change. For example: If I didn’t worry about sales, I wouldn’t do anything about sales and wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.
I want to be clear here—a worry thought in and of itself does not motivate any one to make a change. Nor does it cause us to create what we are worrying about.
A thought is just a thought. What matters are the thoughts I choose to hold because I am—I create—what I think about most of the time.
If I choose to hold a thought of worry about sales, then I create a life and reality of worry about sales.
If instead, I observe the initial worry thought, pause, wonder about who I am and what I truly wish to create, choose to create it, and then create it, then I create sales.
If I choose to hold thoughts of worry about the health of my father, then I create a reality of me worrying about my father. If I pause, and wonder who I am and what I truly wish to create, then I could discover that the essence of my worry thought is loving my father. When I choose to create loving my father, then I receive all kinds of ideas on how I can create loving my father and I create loving my father.
So yes – the initial worry thought serves a purpose. It serves as a grand awareness of who I am, what matters to me, and what I truly wish to create.
And in that moment I have a choice. I can re-act my worry thought or I can create. It is up to me. It is always up to me.
How to Transform Worry
What I think is a matter of choice. So when I worry, I always have the choice to pause, and choose thoughts that deactivate “fight, flight and freeze” worry thoughts and move me in a direction that serves my purpose.
Pause. Breathe. Wonder. Choose. Create.
The next time you catch yourself worrying, try this:
- Pause. Take a deep breath, exhaling as much as you can.
- Name your worry thoughts to separate the true you and what you truly want from your worry thoughts. For example, “There go my worry thoughts,” or “Here come my scared-out-of-my-mind thoughts!”
- Wonder. Ask yourself questions that bring about wonder and possibility:
- How can I make a difference in this moment?
- What can I create in this moment?
- What can I think, say or do right now for the greater good?” (The greater good can be the example you are setting, the culture you want to create, the development of your staff, the relationship you want to strengthen or the short- and long-term well being of your client or your practice. When you ask the question, an answer of vision and purpose comes to you.)
- How can I demonstrate love in this moment?
- What could I create?
- If I could change the situation, what could it look like?
- How can I be prepared?
- If something has gone wrong, what can I create from it? How can I stay on course? How can I change the course?
- How can I be of highest and best service to my clients, suppliers, staff, colleagues, investors, me?
Even in the most difficult times, we can turn worry into wonder and reclaim our peace of mind. We ignite our creativity and ideas on how to handle or transcend difficulty shine through. We discover what inspires us and seize the opportunity to create the next version of our highest vision of ourselves.
How could you turn worry into wonder?
Latest posts by Mary J. Lore (see all)
- What’s Your “I Have a Dream” Speech? - February 5, 2014
- Is Your Practice a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love? - September 18, 2013
- Why Worry? Using Worry to Your Advantage - August 28, 2013
- Living and Leading with Intention - August 14, 2013
Last modified: November 6, 2013