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Can Worry Over Losing My Job Make It Happen?

18 Jun

Question: 

Dear Belleruth,
I'm feeling anxious about the economy, worrying about losing my job, my health insurance, etc. etc.  I don't want to dwell on this, as I believe that my thoughts could manifest the very events I'm worrying about.
Any tools, affirmations, guided imagery to help with this?

Thanks,
Kathy

Answer:

Dear Kathy,
I’m so glad you asked this in the way that you did.  It gives me a chance to hopefully offer some reassurance and at the same time, rant and carry on about one of my favorite pet peeves. 

First off, let me say that I’m sorry you’re faced with these very real concerns. These are dicey times and no way am I minimizing this aspect of your question. A lot of really good, capable people are in this worrisome situation with you.

All we can do is try to control what we can – mobilizing this worry into beefing up job performance, trying to make yourself as indispensible to the boss as possible, keeping work relationships in good working order and building in as many alternative, just-in-case options as you can.  After doing everything possible (with your actions and your general demeanor) to create the best possible outcome, it’s up to the gods and the fates, and it’s best to just let it go. This is easier to do when you know you’ve done all you could. 

But as for this notion that if you worry, you’ll create the events you’re worrying about – well, that’s just not right… nor fair to yourself.  It’s hard enough to have the worries. To then be worried about your worries… well, that’s more worry than anyone needs.

That’s like so many people fearing that if they worry about getting cancer, they’ll get it - a level of child-like thinking, to assume we’re so powerful, that our momentary thoughts could transmute into concrete events in real time.  Maybe years and years, layers and layers of thoughts and resulting actions could – but a transient phase of worry?  I don’t think so.

So now we get to my pet peeve: what you’re describing is the negative mirror of the simplistic, insulting, new age notion being touted on TV and everywhere else lately, that we can wish/positive-think ourselves into love, money, success and happiness.  This is spiritual materialism!!  Do not be seduced by such drivel !!  It’s the road to magical thinking – the kind 2 year olds do (only for them, it’s developmentally appropriate). 

For instance, take the notion: “if I meditate and think good thoughts, I’ll be thin!”.  Really? How about instead:  if I meditate, I’ll be more centered and clear,  more connected to my inner self and the Universe as a whole.  This may shift my biochemistry in such a way that I could be less compulsive with my eating.  It may give me more energy, which I might want to channel into walking every day. This in turn might increase my muscle mass, which would beef up my metabolism… you see where I’m going with this…. If you want to be thin, positivity alone is unlikely to do it. There need to be resultant behaviors.

We are complex beings living complex lives.  A lot of things interact to create a reality.  That goes for worry, too.  Channel your worry into positive, functional behaviors, then let it go, if you can.  But please remember that a little worry never killed anybody.

In the meantime, our Affirmations, Self-Confidence imagery or the marvelous Mary Sise’s Thought Field Therapy exercises on DVD might be just the ticket to get you over the hump and redirect your mind from unnecessary, non-functional worry.

I hope this helps.  Go forth and good luck! 

All best,

Belleruth


 

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award