Don’t Get Caught In The Worry Loop
Do you often get caught in a worry loop?
When something happens (or often, hasn’t even happened yet!) and your immediate reaction is to catastrophise and think of all the worst case scenarios that could possibly happen….before they actually have.
Then, you plummet into a ‘woe is me, everything’s awful, this is 100% the end of the world’ kind of zone which, let’s be honest, doesn’t help anyone!
Sound familiar? That’s the worry loop. Urgh!
This used to be me on a daily basis ha!
SO, let that be a testament to the fact that it can change for YOU.
It’s often just a few simple tweaks to the way you look at and think about things, catching yourself before you descend into the loop and getting into the habit of thinking in a way that is going to be much more helpful for you.
We can also often use these common thought processes to make this a judgement about ourselves.
‘I’m such a worrier’. ‘I ALWAYS overthink.’ ‘why do things ALWAYS go wrong for me?’
We beat ourselves up and stay in that victim mode far longer than necessary and make it a part of our identity.
Here’s the thing.
Worry is NOT something that is ingrained in you as a person. It’s not WHO you are, even though it may really feel that way!
You have a HABIT of worrying.
It’s the go to defence mode that keeps you safe.
It’s what I used to do. I thought that if I worried about things it would in some way change the outcome. I would be prepared for the worst case scenario if and when it happened. But what was really happening was I was already living my life as if it had! Pain for absolutely no reason.
The reason I’m talking about this today is it’s something that has been coming up a lot for my clients recently. Worrying about putting themselves out there and thinking about all the negative ‘what if’s’ that may happen, and not focusing on the positive potential of what may happen when you do something. It’s easily done!
It’s also something that I used to really struggle with and things that have happened, personally, recently have really highlighted how big the shift has been for me and what that’s meant for my life.
I really used to let worry, overthinking and anxiety overtake my life. I would worry constantly about the ‘what ifs’ that hadn’t happened yet.
When something DID happen I would go into victim mode and I’d literally want to hibernate and dwell in my own little self made misery pit. Life wasn’t life for me unless SOMETHING was going wrong. It was my default mode.
When you start to do the work on yourself you start to see these habitual patterns in all their glory. It can be hard to look at, often hilarious to look at with a sprinkling of ‘what on earth was I thinking’ thrown in…but always enlightening and ALWAYS making so much sense.
I’m always saying that awareness is the first key to change but you get to have that on the other side of the change too.
Those special moments when you realise how far you’ve come and how something that felt so all consuming at the time, is just not an issue at all anymore.
The thing that’s really highlighted this for me this year is the fact that 2019 has NOT been the best year for health in my family.
Both my parents were diagnosed with cancer within a few months of each other. Dad was recovering from a big op and then mum got diagnosed.
Now, they are both on the mend and we have always been a family of ‘if something’s not right, go get it checked.’ We are incredibly lucky which is a point I will come back to later.
Then I recently had my own scare.
In the back of my head I was like…come on the likelihood of it being a triple whammy is so so small. But, I really noticed how I took it in my stride.
The time waiting, the appointments, the invasive tests, the potential outcomes and what that could mean, whereas before it would have absolutely crippled me mentally.
I know I wouldn’t have been able to think about anything else when I was in the head space I was in previously. For it to be both my parents and then thinking about the potential it could be me too. I could have let those ‘what if’s’ consume me as I would have done previously but I was very matter of fact about it.
Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it. There’s no point worrying until we have the facts. It just didn’t feel like a big deal at all, it seemed more of a big deal to the people that knew it was going on than it felt to me.
These thoughts CAN consume you…I get it!
Something that happens (or you’re worried about happening) in one area of your life can affect everything else!
As a side note, I’m also absolutely fine, thank you very much for asking ha! Lifestyle change and a little operation and I will be right as rain! So I’m VERY glad I didn’t waste all that precious time worrying, not taking action ‘just in case’ or preparing for the worst.
We all could have chosen to focus on the big scary word and the treatments and all the other stuff but it just brought us together as a family. We looked after each other. Which is why I say we are lucky.
We chose to look at what was in our control and what was out of it. To look at the positives in the situation.
It’s made us take our health more seriously. Not take things for granted. To be grateful ALL the time, even when things don’t look or feel great.
SURE there were FFS ‘moments’, that’s completely normal and understandable when the proverbial hits the fan, but it was the conscious choice to not let it affect other things, and to ask ourselves better questions.
So what’s my message here.
How you choose to respond to things really is your choice. You may have habitual thinking patterns working against you right now but you’re the one in control here, not external circumstances.
Remember that, it’s powerful.
It’s very easy to, but you don’t have to go into panic mode and focus on all the negatives, you can choose to look for the positives, they’re always there if you choose to look.
It’s about resilience, problem solving, knowing you can’t plan your first reaction but you can always choose your second.
Looking at something and going, right, not ideal but what can I do here to improve things? Whatever it is. Whether it’s an issue in your business, your health, your relationships, the same rules apply.
It’s about catching yourself before you head into the worry loop and being able to use gratitude as the antidote to worrying.
It’s about perspective. Perspective is Huuuuuuuuuuge when it comes to blasting away worry. Is it REALLY the end of the world? Probably not!
When you’re caught in a worry loop and you’re making something MEAN something else. ‘This might happen and that would mean X would happen.’ really catch yourself in those thoughts and ask if it’s really true. What else could happen that’s not negative? What’s a potential positive?
It’s about asking yourself who is this worrying helping, who is it harming?
It’s knowing to catch yourself in those loops and your best and quickest routes out, do you have a coach or mentor or best bud who can shift your perspective easily until it becomes a habit?
Life can throw us some serious curve balls from time to time but it’s up to you how you want to handle it and what else in your life you let it affect.
It won’t be easy at first, you’re creating new neural pathways and changing habits you may have had for most of your life.
But know it can be done, and there WILL be a day in the not too distant future where something happens that previously would have hugely affected you, and you take a step back and notice you’re cool as a cucumber.
I wish you many of those moments, because if you do the work, they’re coming my friend!
If you know that now is the time to start changing things for yourself and want to explore this further, have any questions or want some accountability to make sure you’re doing the things you need to then please book in a free discovery call so we can see what needs to happen to get you from where you’re at right now, to the successful business owner you know you can be!!
P.S – Last question…Are you sick of self sabotaging and procrastinating on getting your business going? Would you like to learn some practical strategies to stop you procrastinating WHEN it happens so you can FINALLY get the things you NEED to do DONE? Download my FREE guide below and I’ll show you 5 simple strategies to stop procrastination in its tracks!
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Fran Excell, mindset coach for self sabotaging female entrepreneurs at www.franexcell.com