Worry happens when we project a negative future and doubt our ability to handle it.
Our brains evolved to spot danger in the environment, so none of us can be faulted for worrying about what’s to come, especially when we’re running on auto-pilot.
Worry becomes a familiar companion. It even feels necessary sometimes. “If I don’t worry, I will be caught off guard.”
But truthfully, when we worry, we are more likely to get stuck in a thought loop, complain, lose sleep, physically deplete ourselves, and end up taking the edge off with a drink, than to harness our worried energy and prepare meaningfully for what’s to come.
Next time you notice yourself stuck in an endless worry loop, remember that you’re questioning your ability to handle what may happen. Instead of spinning out in worst-case scenarios, perceived unfairness, etc., how can you use your imagination instead?
Can you imagine a less dire outcome?
Can you imagine how you want to show up (think, feel, act) if your worst-case scenario does happen? If not, can you imagine how someone you admire would handle it?
Worry may be familiar and oddly comforting, but if you’re finding yourself mired down in the spin instead of the solution, it’s not serving you. Redirect your imagination to building up your capability instead.
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