Posts tagged with ‘emotion’

02 feb

Let Go of Worry

MikeRobbinsNewHow often do you catch yourself worrying?

When I was a kid my mom used to say to me, “95% of what you worry about never happens.” I think 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 prone to worrying. 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 – about the future, about my body, about how things will turn out, about what people think about me, about money, about the well-being of my loved ones, about the state of the world, and much more.

However, no matter how much we worry, it never really helps. And, as we look deeper at what worrying actually 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 simply preparing to be upset or angry – assuming something won’t work out in the future.

Worry not only creates stress, it has an impact (usually negative) on what we create and manifest, and on our experience of life in general. Worry is 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 daily 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 to us and those around us.

Worry is always a sign that there are some deeper feelings or 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 you can do when you get worried. These simple ideas can help you move through your worry in a positive way:

1. When you notice yourself worrying; stop, check in with yourself, and take a few slow deep breaths (all the way down to your belly)

2. Ask yourself, what’s underneath my worry? (i.e. why am I really worried and what am I really feeling?)

3. Face, feel, and express these underlying emotions – get support from others in this process if you need it.

4. Once you have felt and expressed these emotions, choose how you want to feel and what you want to create, instead of playing the role of the victim.

5. Appreciate yourself for the courage it takes to be honest and to deal with the challenging situations or emotions you’re experiencing.

6. Focus on the good stuff in your life (i.e. be grateful for what you have, who you are, and what you’re going through)

7. Be of service to others – generously put your attention on those around you who can benefit from your help. It will be a great gift to them and to you. Service can allow you to shift your attention from your worry to what you have to give, which is a true win-win for everyone involved.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

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Posted by Mike Robbins on February 2nd, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , ,

13 nov

Worry Never Works

mike_robbinsI was talking to a friend of mine last week and she said, “If worrying worked, I’d weigh 115 pounds and be a millionaire by now.” I laughed out loud – appreciating her humor and insight.

Worrying, which is something I’ve spent and wasted a lot of time and energy on throughout my life, never seems to work, does it? Worry is actually detrimental to our health, well-being, and our ability to manifest both the things and feelings we truly want in life. When we worry, we’re simply preparing to be upset in the future – assuming that something “bad” will happen.

I’ve recently become even more aware of my own obsession with worry and have realized for me, as is true for many of us, it has simply become a habituated and unconscious behavior. At some level, I find myself justifying my own worrying – thinking that it proves I really care, helps keep me focused, or allows me to stay on top of things in a responsible way. While this all makes sense, on a deeper level I’ve realized that worrying is just my erroneous attempt to control the uncontrollable – life.

Given that we all know, at least to some degree, that worrying doesn’t really work and actually makes things worse – why do we do it?

First of all, we’ve been trained to worry – by our parents, teachers, friends, family members, co-workers, the media, our culture, and more. From the time we were kids and to this day, we’re taught (directly and indirectly) that we’re supposed to worry about lots of things – crime, illness, money, our children, being taken advantage of, pollution, and so much more. While some may argue that there are many things we should be concerned and aware about, “worrying” about any of these things doesn’t make them better or help us address them in a specific way.

Second of all, we’re not usually encouraged or even all that good at acknowledging, addressing, and expressing our real emotions. Worry is often a suppressed form of fear, anger, shame, or other emotions we find difficult to deal with. Because worrying is much more socially acceptable than expressing our authentic fear (or anger, guilt, helplessness, shame, sadness, etc.), we tend to actively worry about things all the time. Our inability to express our real emotions, which is usually the source, is what keeps worry in place.

Finally, we worry that if we stop worrying, something really bad will happen. As ironic and odd as it may seem, we continue to worry somehow thinking we are protecting ourselves. In actuality when we worry we’re just setting ourselves up for more stress and fear.

Here are a few things you can do to let go of worry and live with a deeper sense of peace and freedom:

1) Notice what you worry about – Like most aspects of life and growth, the first step is authentic awareness. When we become conscious about our own habits, thoughts, and patterns as it relates to worrying, we can start to make some healthy choices and changes. As you notice your own tendency to worry, have compassion with yourself and see if you’re willing to let it go.

2) Identify and express your real emotions – The root cause of all worry is an emotion or set of emotions. If we can identify how we really feel (scared, angry, sad, ashamed, helpless, etc.) and we’re willing to express our emotions with passion and authenticity, we will move through the emotion and release its energy, thus transforming it and letting go of our worry.

3) Take conscious and courageous action – Worry often renders us inactive; stuck in a state of negative thinking or fear based reactions. Taking conscious and courageous actions in the face of our fear and worry can be one of the most empowering things for us to do. This is not about frantic, random, erroneous activity (just for the sake of doing something), this is about us taking deliberate action as a way of moving through our fear in a direct and confident way.

There’s nothing wrong with us for worrying – it is part of being human, especially in our world today. We don’t need to judge ourselves for it, but it is important for us to acknowledge our worry when it shows up, as it can be quite detrimental to our success, well-being, and fulfillment in life. When we remember that worrying never works and we’re willing to dive deeper into what is really going on within us, we can transform our worry and use it as a catalyst for positive change.

Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com

Posted by Mike Robbins on November 13th, 2009 in Family, Global/Social Change, Health, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , ,