How often do you find yourself worrying these days?
When I was a kid my mom used to say to me, "95% of what we worry about never happens." She recognized that I was the "worrying type" and was trying to help ease my mind. Although this rarely worked, I appreciated her sentiment and know now that she was right.
For as long as I can remember, I've been a bit of a worrier. I continue to work on this, let it go, forgive myself for it, and choose different ways of being in the face of my fear. And, I still catch myself worrying more than I'd like to admit -- about money, about the future, about how things will turn out, about what people think about me, about the well-being of my loved ones, about the state of the world and economy (especially right now), and much more.
However, no matter how much we worry, it never helps. And, as we look deeper at what worrying really is -- a set-up for failure, a negative attractor, and a denial or avoidance of feeling our true feelings -- we see that it can have a damaging impact on our lives, our work, and our relationships. When we worry, we're really getting ourselves ready to be upset or angry -- assuming something will not work out in the future.
Our worrying not only creates stress, it has an impact (usually negatively) on what we create and manifest, and on our experience of life in general. Worry is really a superficial emotion. It's clearly something that many of us are all familiar with, can share with others in a way that will garner sympathy, empathy, or even pity, and is easy for us to go through day to day life experiencing. However, underneath our worry are usually deeper emotions like shame, fear, guilt, hurt, or anger, many of which are more difficult for us to feel and express.
If we're able to tell the truth and face our deeper feelings, we won't have to waste our time and energy worrying. We can then deal with the root of the issue, not the superficial impact of it (which is what worry usually is)."
There's nothing wrong with feeling scared, angry, hurt, and even "worried," in and of itself. These emotions, like love, gratitude, excitement, joy, and others are very important to our human experience. Emotions that are felt deeply and expressed appropriately give us power (regardless of what they are). Emotions that are not felt deeply, that are denied or avoided, and are not effectively expressed, can be damaging.
Worry is always a sign that there are some deeper feelings and issues for us to address. It's often a good reminder for us to get more real, take better care of ourselves, and pay attention.
Below is a list of some things we can do when we get worried (which many of us are these days, especially given the state of the economy and the world, among other things.):
1. Ask ourselves, what's underneath my worry (i.e. why am I really worried and what am I really feeling)?
2. Face, feel, and express these underlying emotions- get support from others in this process if we need it.
3. Once we have felt and expressed these emotions, choose how we want to feel and what we want to create, instead of feeling like a victim.
4. Appreciate ourselves for the courage it takes to be honest and to deal with the challenging situations or emotions we're experiencing.
5. Focus on the good stuff in our lives (i.e. be grateful for what we have, who we are, and what we're going through)
Mike Robbins is a motivational keynote speaker, consultant, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Hardcover, Wiley) and the forthcoming book Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Hardcover, Wiley, April 13, 2009). More info - www.BeYourselfBook.com
Follow Mike Robbins on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mikedrobbins