How often have you heard someone say that expression; "I'm worried to death about you." Well the truth is that worrying can and does not only shorten our lives but seriously impacts on the quality of those lives. I want to ask the questions today - Why do we worry? and Do we have to worry?
Before I start though, I need to put a rider on this blog. I really do wish these thoughts and ideas were mine, simply because they are so good and resonate with truth, but I'm afraid I can't take the credit for what I'm imparting to you today. That credit must got to the man whose writings and ideas I am rapidly becoming addicted to: Andy Shaw.
I am of British heritage and maybe that's why Andy's style of speaking and writing resonated with me. He was much more straightforward and to the point than many of the American self-help guru's. He doesn't mind stepping on your feelings, or hurting your ego and he actually wants you to get annoyed with him - to put it in the British vernacular Andy calls a "spade; a f***ing shovel". Brits will certainly know what I mean by that. I won't say too much more about Andy except to suggest that anyone interested really should check out his website at http://www.abugfreemind.com/ you won't be sorry you did. As I said, the wisdom I am about to impart is down to him - and all credit to him for it.
So, in addressing worry, the first thing we need to look at is: What do we worry about?
We worry from the little things about being late; to the big things like will I be attacked or will I find someone to share my life with? Or will I make enough money to live and pay my bills next week? Or will I ever be rich? You name it, we worry about it!
Worrying is a disease of the mind; it is like cancer, if you don’t remove it then it will kill you. Cancer kills you by growing and eventually crushes an organ into failure from the weight of its own growth. Well worrying works in the same way towards your health and it works in the same way to affecting the certain riches or the success you desire.
So there is a nutshell is the things we human beings worry about - EVERYTHING! We are, as Lewis Thomas points out - the worrying animal. So, next we need to address; what is the actual point of worrying?
“We will have to deal with what we worry about at the time we have to deal with it, so what is the point in worrying about it?”
All that extra time, energy, negativity, concern, anxiety…you name it. And for what? What is the payoff? What do we get for having chosen to worry about it? We get all the extra bad feeling for no benefit at all…
So why on earth do we do it? it seems that there really is only one "pay-off" for us in worrying - acceptance by others. If you think about it; you may need your friends’ acceptance and you have found that by sharing what you are worried about; people start to feel sorry for you and accept you.
So, the question we need to look at is if worrying is so bad for us and so pointless to our existence, how can we stop it? For some of us worrying is a way of life - almost an art form. We all know people who revel in their worries - We've all heard the expression; "Ah, she's only happy when she's worrying about things."
We need to ask ourselves a very simple question. Am I worrying constructively or am I worrying out of fear: Fear of loss, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of what may not be in the future, fear of an event that is coming up?
I'm not suggesting for a second that you don't give thought to these things that are facing you or coming up in your life, and decide how best to handle them, but I AM suggesting that you need not worry about them.
When you worry, you are actually unconscious, as you are living in the future, not in the present. You cannot create the solution to your problem in the future; you can only create it in the present. Worrying takes you out of the only place from where you can fix the problem and puts you into a state of mind which sucks your creative problem solving energy away.
The real danger is that worrying about being caught out or unprepared is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problem is that we attract what we are trying to avoid and we end up living a self fulfilling prophecy – what we think about becomes our reality. We get caught out because we worried about it, that then reinforces the future need to worry more deeply AND this is pure insanity. Worrying is insane!
The media has convinced us to spend endless time worrying about our ow powerlessness to influence our world. They constantly bombard us with negative views of the world because they know that is what our worrying minds want to see. Worrying sells - media has known this forever. As an aside, the past week of my total media ban has made me very much more aware of this fact. I am no longer assailed on all sides by negativity and what a difference that has made to my daily life.
The truth is we are incredibly powerful individuals and we do have control over our lives. The only two things we cannot control are: that one day we will die; and that we must live every day of our lives until that day. We have choice over everything that happens in our lives. If you accept the simple principle that what happens outside of your life is not in your control - it just is, then you have absolute power.
Whatever happens will actually be the best for you. You may not like to hear that and you may not agree with it but it doesn't change the fact it is true, and if you sat down and really looked for the benefits from every bad situation, then you would find them. Remember, we are what we think, so if you think you are powerless then you are and if you think you are powerful then you are. One choice takes you toward your desires and one drags you away from them. The choice is yours!
I do realize that some of this you don't want to hear, but if you are serious about not worrying, not making yourself sick and not shortening your life, then you will consider it and investigate it further.
If you are looking for acceptance from your father, mother, partner, friends, or acquaintances, why are you doing it? Just love yourself; don’t ‘try’ to make others give you what you think you want. They can only give you what you allow them to and they can only take from you that which you allow them; others have no power over you unless you give it to them.
If you love yourself, you don't need to seek acceptance, validation or love from others. You can't control other people's thoughts, so don't try - just be the person you need to be and you will obtain their acceptance, validation and love.
BUT what if they don't accept me as I am? Frankly put (but as nicely as possible) - who cares? If they don’t, then they are not worthy of your consideration. The only person in this world you can control is you. And most people do a very bad job of it!
If you are looking for others’ acceptance, then ask yourself why you seek it? Are you being selfish? If you ‘want’ acceptance, then I accept you right now for exactly who you are, exactly what you have achieved to this point in your life and exactly all of the bad things you have done. And if that is all bad, then so what? The past is the past, it is not your future and it is definitely not your now. Don’t let your current position in life or your life's actions to this point be your judgement of what your future life will look like.
GET OVER YOURSELF!
If we are faced with a big decision and we know that mistakes are an essential part of life, then whatever result happens from our decision means that we will move forward in the right way. So where is the need to worry about making a mistake? That is not to suggest that you don't due all the necessary "due diligence" and consideration necessary in making a big decision - investigating all the options, but you shouldn't worry about making a mistake. Most important of all is that every mistake teaches us something important about life and about ourselves.
Famous restaurateur, Heston Blumenthal once said; "I learnt more from my one restaurant that failed than I did from all the ones that succeeded." Mistakes are a good thing! They have much to teach us - so worrying about making them is just plain insanity.
There is a wonderful quote that goes something like this: "If you ‘want’ to increase your rate of success, double your rate of failures. Mistakes are your best friends; learn to love them, learn to use them." This is incredibly powerful stuff indeed!
Worrying about something = This is what I'm asking to happen.
Instead of worrying, why not, when you feel you are doing so, stop and relax. Observe your ego's desire to worry. Observe this nutter, this demon, as it seeks to destroy what you have created. Not because it wants to - it is just purely ignorant and afraid of the future so it seeks to keep you where you are.
Ask yourself as you're reading this: "What do I have to worry about right now?" As for your problems, you are either dealing with them or accepting them, so there is no need to worry at all.
He will challenge you - he will annoy you and occasionally he will even p**s you off; but trust me, it's worth it. He has a way of living and thinking that is well worth emulating. He can't change the world, but he can change the world, one mind at a time.
Finally I want to end with a few simple thoughts:
WORRYING IS PURE INSANITY - LET'S ALL GET SANE!
DON'T WORRY - BE HAPPY!
Who in their right mind wants to waste this short time we have on earth by worrying. Enjoy life and go for your dreams.
NEVER ACCEPT MEDIOCRITY - IF YOU AIM FOR THE STARS YOU MAY REACH HEAVEN!