- Worry about not making enough money
- Worry about a conversation she knew she needed to have with a loved one
- Worry about not being able to stop certain unhealthy eating habits
- Worry that she would be stuck in her job forever.
With all these worries, she was so stressed, and she didn’t know what to do.
Rather than delving deep into each of these stressors she was feeling, I suggested we take a step back and look at the nature of worry.
One of the most popular quotes attributed to Mark Twain addresses worry head on.
Twain says, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
Funny, right? How could someone have troubles, but most of them never happened?
The answer is that many of the troubles people experience are mostly playing out in their minds.
You see, life is full of possibilities, both positive and negative. And you get to choose where to put your focus.
Depending on which end of the spectrum of possibilities you focus, you can feel inspired or you can feel defeated.
Worry focuses your attention on the worst side of possibilities. In other words, if something can go wrong, worry incessantly whispers in your ear, letting you think that it probably will go wrong.
And where worry goes, so does stress and anxious energy.
So what do you do if you find yourself worrying about something?
With my client, I asked her, “If you could experience this situation in the way that you’d ideally like to have it, what would happen?”
The question jarred her. “You mean there’s another way to look at this?” she asked me incredulously.
And so we looked at each situation to uncover other possibilities.
Instead of worry that her conversation with her loved one would go horribly, she imagined a conversation that was free flowing where each person felt deeply understood.
Instead of worry that she wouldn’t make enough money, she opened to the idea that she could bring in another stream of income. And that sparked in her a couple ideas of ways she could make extra money.
The more we explored possibilities that were positive, her face lit up and she felt more expansive.
She realized that she had unconsciously focused on the worst that might happen, which led her to feeling powerless.
Now, she recognized that she had the power to imagine a more spacious, uplifting possibility. In that expanded energy, the ideas came to her easily for what she could do to shift each of these situations.
This is not to say that all situations will end up as the ideal you imagine. What I am saying is that you get to choose the kind of energy you’d like to embody in the process.
Here is a spiritual truth: Energy is both creative and attractive. What is your energy creating, and what is your energy attracting?
If you’d like, you can apply this lesson in your own life with this week’s coaching assignment:
- Is there an area in your life where you might be carrying a worry?
Example: I'm worried that I'll never find my soulmate.
- As you think about this worry, see if you can look at it objectively. Is the worry focused on a negative possibility of what might happen?
Example: Now that I look at it, never is a long time. It does seem a little pessimistic to think that I'll never find someone.
- Now, if you can imagine a positive outcome for this situation, what might that look like?
Example: Well, I don't know if I'll find my soulmate, but I realize that thinking I won't has stopped me from even putting myself out there. I guess a positive outcome is finding someone I can enjoy spending time with. That seems better.
At the heart of this exercise is the recognition that you have the power to choose where you focus your thoughts and your energy.
As the spiritual saying illuminates, “Energy flows where attention goes.”
In other words, if the energy isn’t flowing for you, you can begin to change its course by simply shifting your attention.
Affirmation: Today I choose to give my attention and energy to the highest possibility, for my life and for the betterment of the world.
I’d love to hear how today’s post landed with you, and if you had any a-ha’s or insights. Please leave a comment below.