Can your reaction to problems make them worse?
In the 80’s we were told “don’t worry, be happy.” And many folks believed that, and embraced the idea wholeheartedly. But were they doing themselves any good? Or were they just grasping at “air” as many of their business counterparts thought at the time?
Well if you were a devotee of the mindset one thing that you probably noticed is that if you were able to maintain your equilibrium while those around you. “Lost their minds,” you probably had better blood pressure readings from your doctor. One thing recent financial issues have proven is that the idea that stress negatively affects your health is NOT just a theory! But in the long term, as we look back with 10, 20 or more years experience. Was that a good idea or not?
Realistically, worrying about the results will not change them in the least, as Jesus reminded us ,” you can’t make a single hair upon your head either white or black…” so why worry about it? Well, O.K. maybe that’s not what he REALLY meant, but consider how close that is to the truth.
Folks who like to worry will immediately light up my comments section with, “But by worrying about something we can better prepare for it!” Really? What are you preparing for? In most cases it’s the worst case scenario, and the one way to guarantee those results is to do nothing but worry about the problem. Look back in the history of those pages of wisdom and you find two supporting statements that almost prove that. The first of course is that of “faith without works is dead.” The alternative of course is that “all things are accomplished through prayer.”
Most folks point and say, “SEE they are in direct conflict with each other, you and I of course no that’s not true, and for an in depth explanation, email me privately and I’ll explain it to you. Until then just believe me when I tell you that they are not only in agreement, but do in fact support each other.
But, on to worrying, I understand that worrying is part of being human, and I do believe that a certain amount of worrying is probably healthy. It allows you to release some negative or pent up emotions. Focusing on the worry however is a completely different matter. Now I understand that in today’s economy there are certain things which do deserve our attention, and when faced with the fact of living in the streets with two cats and a baby you might have started ‘worrying’ a little earlier! I get that we all want things to go well in our personal, professional and financial lives, but the fact of the matter is occasionally you get your stick too close to the campfire and your marshmallow falls off. These kinds of things can actually bring rise to authentic issues where a little worry and concern and possibly even some stress are needed to help deal with them. But then there is the other kind of worry.
What I’m referring to here is the ‘imagined worry’, this is the kind of concern that is triggered by what you think ‘might’ happen. Imagined worry is using your imagination to a negative end. Your creator has given you a tool that almost no other animal on the planet has access to, you have the ability to develop a mental scenario in your mind where you can run, or jump high or fly, and make it so real to yourself, that you may actually start to believe it (in some cases when its taken to the extreme even those folks are called delusional), I prefer to say that they are just “happy.” But when you take that tool and you twist it and stretch it, and tweak it so hard that it starts to create life like scenarios that are negative, you start down the path of possibly injuring yourself.
Many times, folks ask me why I’m so concerned with worry, especially other people’s worry, when traditionally I’m all about doing everything I can to help them get past whatever it is that’s brought them down and moving them towards the top of their success? Well the reality of the situation is that we ALL get caught up in it sometimes; the question is how much are we going to allow them to control our end results? Because if all we do is focus on what might happen then typically we are not spending nearly enough in moving in the direction of our success. I know this may seem hard to believe but some folks get SO caught up in the worry and confusion that they actually stop working on whatever it was that was going to move their life from failure to success.
Why? Because in all honesty it’s easier than trying to work through it. It’s the default of natural sciences to look for the path of least resistance, and humans are no exceptions. When faced with two choices, one involves “letting go” and allowing others to deal with it and you not having to do anything “but worry.” Or the alternative of physically standing up to your problems, facing them and trying to find a way to pore through them thee easy path appears to be ‘wait it out.’ But in the long term your hurting yourself more than anyone or anything else ever could Now combine that with the fact that if you spend all your time worrying about things that may never come to pass you’re starting to become one of those people that you had been trying to avoid.
In a sense you become “problem” conscience instead of solution oriented. As Stephen Covey proved year ago, you can either be proactive or reactive, and only one of those will allow you to prepare for what’s coming. By preparing you will find that in many cases you can head them off before they begin and allow you to “deal with the issues” before you.
There is perhaps no greater example of this than actual health issues that manifest themselves in small ways as ‘warning signs’ to the person involved. For example your Dr. tells you that possibly the reason you sot sleep well at night is because of all the fatty foods that you tend to eat before you go to bed. So instead of slowing down and examining what you are eating you start to worry and stress about what the tests will be showing, after all you took a “heart test”, will you be having a heart attack next? This kind of thinking only makes it harder to sleep regularly guaranteeing that the day of your tests you are tired and stressed more than ever. You sir have just created a self fulfilling prophecy of how your test results will be skewed to the negative because your not getting enough sleep.
In those cases there is almost nothing that you can do to try and prop these folks up; after all even if their test results come back clean doesn’t this just indicate that there is actually something else wrong, something so deeply hidden that the doctors couldn’t find it? And isn’t anything THAT bad bound to just lead to a horrific end? And they of course are far too young to have anything like that happen, and so the circle the issue and circle it and circle t, getting more and more negative all the time, while their issues seem to get worse and worse. Note I said that they ‘seem’ to get worse. After all, you have to understand that 95% of what folks worry about never comes about.
Think about THAT the next time something unexpected comes up. See for me its easy, will it kill me? If not why worry, and really in the long run, even if so, why worry? But really if whatever the issue is is not going to cause you or your family physical harm than how bad can it be? If the worse that can happen (for example) is you end up owing someone GOBS of money, and you don’t have it, then the worse that can happen is you work out a payment plan and give them a few dollars a week. The concept of ‘debtor’s prison’ expired long ago.
What you can do however is take this opportunity and use it as a springboard to make sure you NEVER get put into that particular situation again. If you find yourself short of money, draw up a budget then stick to it. You’re probably not going to change overnight, nor will you hit your goals every single time, but the one way to make sure that you don’t hit your goals is by not having any! So take the time, and it usually doesn’t take too much, especially if there are 2 of you, and sit down and map it out! Now you have a plan so that this particular issue shouldn’t rear its head anymore! Then, the next time you see anything even slightly resembling that issue you smack it with a shovel and say “Ha! I’ve got you beat. And I even have a way to make sure that you are completely disarmed!
So now you know you have a choice, either learn to deal with it, or, if you insist on sticking your head in the sand, pick a REALLY good and creative excuse, one that’s sure to keep your co workers happy, because you’re going to have to keep on using it over and over, for the rest of you life. Which is why I’ve said all along?” Pick one excuse, any excuse and stick with it!