I have this thing about worry. It’s a pointless exercise. And when I say ‘worry’ I don’t mean that kind of thing we generally associated with neurotic little women who wring their hands about everything (Although they do annoy me) No. I’m talking about that emotion where you focus on what you don’t want to have happen and even those people whose attention you hope to attract because they’re not giving you enough already etc etc.
Just stop it!
People who worry are generally distracting themselves from the task at hand by thinking about something that hasn’t yet and may in fact never happen! Much better to be reflective than worried. Much better to be focussed than distracted. Worried people are not prodcutive people. So here’s an interesting thing to practise…
Focus on you, what you’re doing right now in order to get what you want in the future. Tutoring young teachers in educational practice a little while ago, I found that before many of their practise lessons, these poor people would nearly make themselves sick thinking what if this goes wrong, what if the prac. doesn’t work, what if the kids are rude, what if they don’t pay attention, what if I forget what I want to say? OH MY GOODNESS ME! Imagine if they’d spend that panicked time, practising in their heads, what they actually WANTED to have happen! Imagine if they were running their script for the lesson through their heads instead of all those panicked thoughts! How much better prepared they would have been!
Being a bit of a horse lover, I have been known to jump my horses over various obstacles (creeks, fences, drums etc) and have found that when jumping, my horse and I always did better when I looked in the space over top of the jump. If I messed up and looked at the obstacle, we hit it every time. By the same token, people I know who’ve undertaken defensive driving lessons, say that when driving a car at high speed between markers, the trick is to look in the space between the markers. If you look at the markers, you hit them!
So how does this apply to relationships with friends, boyfriends and parents? Focus your energy on those things you can do! One little girl I know at the moment is obsessed with the fact that the boy she likes is dating her best friend. She’s angry, hurt, smiles when they fight and is actually quite nasty when she talks about them. She obsesses over how their relationship upsets her. In doing so, she makes herself the kind of person no guy would want to date! Do you see? She’s focussed on the obstacle (the happy couple) instead of the good space in between (the fact that she’s actually friendly with a lot of people, is seventeen and has the opportunity to meet a whole world of people without some guy cramping her style).
Think of your relationship with your parents (or if you’re a parent, think of your children). How often do you focus on what they don’t let you do, on what they won’t give you or how they restrict you? Imagine what would happen if you spent that time focussing on what you do have. Would you smile more? Would you be nicer to them? Wouldn’t they then be more inclined to give you a little more freedom/space/respect etc?
A year or so ago, I also did a presentation to a group of teen mums. I asked them each, what they were planning to do when their children started school. One girl’s response basically summarised all the others, “I haven’t thought that far ahead yet, I struggle with figuring out what I’m going to be doing at the end of the day!” I have to say, I can relate. I don’t, however, agree. Not thinking about the future won’t stop it from happening. It’s coming for you whether you like it or not. So why not design the future you want. Visualise it in your head. Figure out the small steps between here and there. Then take a step at a time. Don’t worry about the next step until the last one is completed (because that would be getting the cart before the horse).
So my tip for the day people, is to think outside th box! Step away from the obstacles and to set yourselves free from all that yukky stuff and STOP WORRYING!