A brief excerpt from 'Unsubscribe from Anxiety
In all this study, though, there hasn’t been a single piece of evidence that proves or even suggests that anxiety and worry are something you have no choice about. You may have been born with brown eyes and curly hair, but short of wearing dark glasses and a hat, you’re pretty much stuck with them. But you weren’t born worrying. That’s something you picked up along the way and are fully capable of putting back down.
We noted earlier that there’s a general belief that you were born with two and only two fears – the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. Remember your carefree days as a child? You didn’t worry about a thing until your parents, teachers, coaches and the world around you convinced you that you should. From that point on, every worry, anxious moment or fear that you’ve experienced has been learned, adopted or conditioned from your experiences through the years.
It might be tempting to say that children are naïve and don’t understand the threats that the ‘real world’ imposes. But how often do we wish or seek guidance to be more childlike again? They don’t spend time thinking about all the terrible things that might happen, they live in the moment, take delight and joy in the smallest things and deal with life as it comes along.
Over the years you’ve become extremely good at dealing with life as it comes along – the proof is that, after all these years, you’re still alive. You have successfully dealt with every single threat or obstacle that the world has thrown at you. There isn’t a single thing that has defeated you.
You might object and say that you’ve taken your share of bumps and bruises, nasty collisions even. And still, here you are today – alive, breathing, thinking and wanting to become an even greater version of yourself by learning how to abandon this silly habit of worry. That’s proof enough of your ability to survive, prosper, grow and be victorious.
Take a moment to pat yourself on the back! When you think about all the threats, risks, hazards, perils and pressures that you’ve laid awake nights worrying about, not a single one has taken you down. In spite of all the mental and emotional energy you’ve invested in anxiety over all the terrible tragedies that you were concerned might befall you, there hasn’t been one that won. Sure, you may have been down on the mat occasionally. You may even have been close to throwing in the towel. But you didn’t. You’re still here, still reaching for the next prize.
That’s worth taking a moment – or an entire week! – to celebrate!
Now think about this: Since you’ve managed to get this far and achieve this much, all the while you were carrying this ridiculous, unneeded and extremely heavy burden of worry and anxiety, imagine how far you can go, the miracles you can achieve and the heights you can reach if you WEREN’T loaded down with worry! It staggers the imagination!
I’ve never met a single person who enjoys worrying and being anxious. Nor have I met anyone who has found it to be useful in solving a problem or accomplishing a goal. In fact absolutely no one feels more joyful, healthy, alive, energetic and better-performing as a result of worry or anxiety.
Worry and anxiety are mental habits. They result from years and years of being trained, conditioned and coached to fret about what might be coming. But to remain in worry mode, to allow anxiety to dominate your thoughts, is to give your power away to a future that is unlikely to even materialize. It’s to let others dictate who you should be, what you should do, how you should think and how you should live your life.
There is no joy in worry – worry contributes absolutely nothing to your life or to the world. So let’s just stop it. Let’s do something else, something more constructive instead.
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