We all pay the price of worry.
And we pay whether we’re aware of it or not. We’re sure we’re not telling you anything you don’t already know, but clearly, the price of worry is far too high. We need to stop borrowing future trouble to use up today.
The price of worry is — obviously — not financial, though it can certainly relate to financial circumstances. Instead, it has more to do with fear of a future event or problem — emotional, physical, personal — about which you’re feeling insecure, unhappy or intimidated.
You’re taking your fear about a future event and using it today to make yourself nuts. This means that the price of worry includes the loss of your ability to enjoy each moment in a continuous stream. Therefore, as long as your worrying continues, it’s an absolute barrier to your ability to operate from a state of intentional clarity and create ongoing peace.
This is a recipe for habitual and continuous disconnection and misery.
The price you pay also includes the expenditure of time in a way that guarantees you can’t possibly get any positive return on your investment. After all, if you could actually solve tomorrow’s problem today by worrying about it constantly, we’d say, “Hey — knock yourself out!” At least you’d be getting something out of the deal other than a headache and the loss of your moment-to-moment chances at joy. Even then, the payoff would have to be big enough to justify the time spent and the toll worrying takes on you.
If you’re a chronic worrier, we want to ask you a question: have you ever been in a position to tell yourself that you’re really glad you worried about a problem and spent all that time dithering because the worrying actually led to a big reward?
If so, you’re one in a million.
It’s much more likely that, after having worried for days or weeks about something that really was trivial in the grand scheme of life, you kicked yourself around the room for having worried needlessly because the outcome wasn’t nearly the catastrophe you’d anticipated.
But do you learn the lesson when that happens?
Not if you’re like most people.
In fact, you go right back to worrying pointlessly about things you can’t fix by doing that. Worse still, that whole kicking-yourself-around-the-room thing actually builds self-condemnation and a sense of defeat into your inner dialogue, in a way that’s virtually guaranteed to make things worse. The fears (big or small) that drive worrying can end up leading you into self-directed anger that serves no purpose and weakens your belief in your own capabilities. The worrying can also make you terribly sad, especially if the cycle of worry and negativity continues despite your logical awareness of the real situation.
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Remember what we told you about fear, anger and sadness as the major obstacles you face in your search for clarity and peace of mind?
As we said, the price of worry is very high indeed.
And we haven’t even touched on the possible psychosomatic effects that continual worry can produce. These might include everything from hypertension and acid reflux to anxiety disorders and blood pressure issues.
When chronic worriers ask for help because they’re feeling badly, the advice they get is simple enough: “Stop doing that.” It’s good advice — it just seems really hard to follow when you’ve got your head in a bucket of fertilizer.
In fact, it seems impossible. We know. We have, as they say, been there and done that.
We do have some suggestions that might help.
1. The first thing you have to do is make a key decision.
It’s like this. If you’ve become a chronic worrier, you’ve already made a surrender in your own mind to the large and small fears we all face these days. You’ve surrendered control over the decisions and actions on which you base your path in daily life. Instead of proactively plotting your course and enjoying the flow of the journey, you spend “now” being agitated about what might lie around the next bend in the river, and about your own presumed inability to deal with it effectively.
Worrying makes you a perennial victim of circumstance. It’s like passively complaining to yourself about your anticipated problems and uncertainties.
Stop that. Seize control.
You ARE in charge, and the things that lie ahead will come to you whether you worry about them or not. Instead of worrying, start seeing yourself as dealing successfully with all circumstances, in every moment
Decide: do you want to be the master of your fate and the captain of your soul, or do you want to waste all your moments of “now” building negative crap into your future moments?
2. Next, you have to start reworking the language of your inner dialogue.
This is necessary if you’re to reach a state of intentional clarity from which to act — and you MUST begin to see every moment as a chance to feel peace or joy.
3. Stop thinking in terms of moments of reward or trouble in linear time.
Neither happiness or sadness is an object or quantifiable thing. Each is a state of being that you choose or create. That’s the sort of proactivity we’re really talking about. But even when negative circumstance is thrust on you, despite your best efforts at remaining proactive, it’s your reaction — your way of dealing with it — that determines whether you’ll continue to feel ongoing joy, sadness or worry.
4. Remember that the moments you waste on unproductive thinking, self-defeating behavior, and negative emotion and language can’t be recaptured in this lifetime.
When they’re gone, they’re gone — you’re not getting them back.
5. In light of number 4 just above, you really need to learn to “pick your shots” in terms of future events that are causing you concern today.
Some things are worth your concern, but in those cases, “worry” should morph into “anticipatory consideration” that’s positive and self-affirming, and tied to a plan of action. That’s the only way you’ll get a return on your investment of time spent looking ahead to serious events you know are coming.
There are occasionally real things to worry about.
However, if it’s not life and death or critical illness for you or someone you care about, if you’re not being booted onto the street overnight, and if you have food, shelter and the basic necessities of life, your valid reasons for worrying about anything just shrunk dramatically in number. If you’ve been sweating things you really know are small stuff, then we’d respectfully suggest that you get your head out of your backside, and get real…fast.
We all worry about things that shouldn’t bother us as much as they do. The trick in learning to maintain your ongoing peace is to keep those things in perspective, to keep your inner dialogue clean, clear and positive, and see yourself as in control of your ongoing destiny.
That destiny, despite the way the word sounds, is the process of your life, not the destination.
Our best to you, always,
David & Kathryn