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Most of us experience anxiety at some point in our lives, but we'd probably all agree that it's an icky feeling we'd rather not have.
The thing is, as long as we're stuck on the surface telling ourselves over and over again merely to stop worrying, nothing can happen. We try to ignore our stress over these feelings, which can leave us feeling angry and worried all over again.
As with all negative emotions, the journey to healing begins by acknowledging and accepting that we we have these emotions in the first place. You can't overcome worry unless you're willing to stare it in the face.
A few days ago, I was listening to Brian Tracy’s “Psychology of Achievement” and the one key point that stood out to me from all of his amazing messages was this: Worry is the negative version of goal-setting.
When we worry, we visualize the worst possible outcome for all kinds of situations in our lives. Now, if you believe in the law of attraction (and how could you not?!), this is an absolutely and utterly destructive thing to do and the complete opposite of any good goal-setting exercise.
Personally, this felt revolutionary because I've been teaching goal-setting and manifestation techniques for a while now, but I hadn’t quite made this direct, clear, and simple connection between worry and goal-setting.
The good news is that thinking about worry in this new and curious way allows us to take specific actions to counter it.
The next time you have a worrying thought — for example, “I think my boss hates me.” — catch yourself and take a moment to understand what just happened, namely, that you visualized your boss disliking you.
Then reframe this scenario and ask yourself, "Would I ever set my goal to be working somewhere my boss hates me?” Of course not! However, you have to realize that this is the energy you just sent into the universe, and it's therefore also the energy you're attracting into your life.
Next, counter-visualize with all of your intention what you want your goal to be. In this specific scenario it would be something along the lines of, “I have a great relationship with my boss.” Then spend a few minutes imagining how you two are getting along well, exchanging nice and encouraging words, and delivering projects that knock everyone's socks off.
In the comments I would love to hear from you. How have you tried dealing with worry in the past? Has it worked? How can you consciously turn worrying thoughts around so that they are, in fact, supportive of your goals? How can you become curious about your worries and create an environment that's open, receptive, and friendly enough for genuine shifts to happen?