To worry is to pray for what you don’t want. Please don’t punch me in the face.

To worry is to pray for what you don’t want. Please don’t punch me in the face.

I am a world-class worry wart. Believe me, I know anxiety well. I’ve pitched my tent there and camped out with anxiety a lot in the past. I still do some, but if I catch myself worrying, I now say this to myself:

“To worry is to pray for what I don’t want.”

Now, please don’t punch me in the face. I’m not saying it’s your fault when something bad happens. Not at all.

What I’m saying is this:

Pretend you just woke up, and you stub your toe. In other words, your day starts out shitty. Then you notice the coffee has run out, and your day is getting worse, if that’s possible, and it’s not even 6:30 am yet.

Your thoughts are starting a downward spiral which you are getting sucked into fast – like a vortex of spinning energy you can’t stop. Here are your thoughts:

“Why does this always happen to me?”
“It’s gonna be a terrible day!”
“What if the meeting today is gonna suck?”
“I bet I won’t get through my to-do-list today.”

And woosh, down goes the energy, and wouldn’t you know it? The day IS terrible. The meeting DOES suck. You didn’t even scratch the surface of your to-do list.

And you feel terrible.

This downward spiral stuff happened to me the first week my three kids started school this September. I had been homeschooling them for their whole lives, and they all started public school at the same time. The first week was rough for two of my kids: they didn’t know anyone, the new environment and structure were foreign to them, they missed being home.

My mind went into overdrive: What if they never make friends? What if they never fit in? What if this was the biggest mistake we’ve ever made, and my kids will be scarred for life?

The deeper I hysterically pondered this, the more vivid the pictures in my head became. You know, when a thought suddenly turns into a big movie screen, with flashing colors, its own plot, and sound effects to boot.

Yeah, that.

And you notice your body is getting flooded with stress hormones, adrenaline, fear and dread, just as if the scenario in your head is actually HAPPENING for real?

Thoughts are incredibly powerful. I stopped myself and asked, “Is this really what I want for my kids? This techni-color picture of gloom and doom? Or do I want to see them happy, integrated and thriving? Yes, that!

So I dropped everything I was doing, sat down and visualized them like that: flourishing. Whenever fear crept up, I directed my thoughts to seeing my kids ecstatic and smiling.

Whatever the outcome, my body and mind felt much better visualizing the positive rather than seeing all the horror scenes in my mind.

And wouldn’t you know? After a week of adjusting, the middle kid started loving school and the social scene, the sports, band. And although it took longer for my third child, four weeks after starting school the other students in her second grade class are now fighting for her attention, wanting to be her best friend.

Phew.

Did my visualizing help? I’d like to think so. I do believe in the Law of Attraction, prayer, positivity. But even if that didn’t play a factor, it is true that I felt much more calm, relaxed and peaceful. I bet my mindset helped my kids, instead of dealing with a hysterical, worried, hovering mother.

Here are some ways to deal with anxiety:

 

  • Eat chocolate.  Just kidding.  Or not.  It actually helps me.
  • Breathe.  Seriously.  Oxygen does wonders for your mood.
  • Turn towards your inner child, the one that worries she’s not good enough, she’s not safe, she’s a burden to others.  If you don’t know how to do this, schedule a free coaching session with me.  It could change your life.
  • Notice your body sensations when you worry: tension, gripping, tightness, pain.  Send some love and breath there.
  • Then say to yourself: “I’m going to make a different choice here.  Right now, I’m kind of praying for what I don’t want to happen.  What do I want to happen instead?”
  • Visualize in full techni-color a new scenario: what would you like this to be?  Paint a picture in your mind.  What does it smell like, feel like, look like?  Stay there for a while.
  • Talk with a friend (or coach).  Make sure it’s someone who has earned the right to hear your story, someone you trust completely.
  • Be super-super-super kind, compassionate, gentle and sweet with yourself.  Beating yourself up on top of the anxiety doesn’t help.
  • Exercise.  I get on my bike and pump some endorphins out in the fresh air.  And then I go and eat some more chocolate.

What are the false beliefs you think are true, and how are they messing up your life?

I was raised in Germany, by a patriarchal father who believed in collective punishment. So whenever one of his four daughters did anything wrong, he ordered us to stand in a line from oldest to youngest, and made my mother hit us all with a wooden stick. Although my butt hurt after this discipline, what hurt even more was my spirit, because the truth was that I was the good one, the well-behaved one, the one who tried her darndest to never do anything wrong.

My father told us this form of discipline built character, but all it built in me was the belief that I was bad, and that I needed to be punished, no matter how hard I tried to be good.

And then, when my hormones kicked in at the age of 15 (I was a late bloomer), my goodness exploded in a puff of smoke and was replaced by fierce rebellion against my father’s unjust expectations. I was done being “good”. This got me kicked out of the house when I was 17, and I promptly moved in with my boyfriend and his family.

25 years later, I live in the United States and help women transform their lives as their life coach. I help them explore and evolve false beliefs that we all carry through life like the truth. We all make meaning from what happened to us when we were young, and since most of us didn’t have a sane, conscious, awake adult to explain what happened and that it wasn’t our fault, we walk through life looking through the lens of these false beliefs.

My false beliefs were “I’m bad”, “I’m not enough”, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not wanted”, and every now and then “I’m alone” and “I’m not safe” get thrown in there.

The interesting thing is that these false beliefs live in our bodies, and whenever we get triggered by something, we drop right back into the young child that made meaning about herself, about others, and about life. So instead of showing up in life as a wise adult, the little four-year-old or eight-year-old in us is running the show.

Let me give you an example:

If you have parents or caregivers that didn’t express love to you when you were little, and even abandoned you (either emotionally or physically), you will make that mean that deep down, at the core of your identity, you are not wanted.

There was no sane, loving adult who explained to you, “Honey, the reason your parents don’t pay attention to you is that they are trying very hard to make money to provide for you. The reason they don’t express their love is that they never learned how, since they grew up with parents who never showed their love.”

And you didn’t, as a little kid, exclaim, “Ahhh, that makes sense. Let’s see, who could I turn to for support with this?”

No, you retreated into yourself and believed that you are not wanted, that other people don’t care about you, and that life is a cold, cruel place. This belief created a set of mechanisms that still play out when you’re an adult. So now, you show up in life in a way that actually creates evidence that validates this identity – and mostly, these ways of being are unconscious.

For example, you may talk in a disagreeable, combative tone of voice, which makes people not want to be around you, which then reinforces your false belief of not being wanted.

Or you might be a little bit oblivious and clueless about how our behavior is affecting other people, which could be hurtful or inconvenient for them, which in turn makes them retreat and have you feel like you are not wanted.

See how this works?

You may often feel left out or rejected, try to be someone you think others want you to be instead of being your authentic self, make friends with people who don’t appreciate you, not make as much money as you would like to.

Other people might find you difficult to be with and get drained by your energy, feel rejected by you, feel talked to as opposed to spoken with when they are with you.

Heavy stuff, right?

But here’s the good news: You can make these false beliefs conscious, and you can learn tools to help the younger self in your body make a different meaning that’s more empowered and aligned with the deeper truth.

From there, you get access to power and stop victimization, and you can look at the ways you have been showing up towards yourself, others, and life, that have created the painful patterns in your life you want to change.

And then the real magic happens: when you are aligned with the deeper truth, you then can identify new ways of showing up, practice new skills and new capacities, and from there create new outcomes that are totally aligned with your intention.

I have completely transformed these old identities through the kind of coaching that I offer.  I teach powerful tools and practices to evolve these old stories, and I am so grateful that I found this work!

If you would like to explore how this plays out in your life, you can schedule a free discover session with me.  It’s on me, because I think every woman deserves to be mothered!

 

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