“I have had many worries in my life most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
Have you noticed a huge amount of stress is the stress we create between our ears with our imagination – worrying about doomsday scenarios when we are safe and warm in bed at night? When there is real immediate danger (a car coming at us at 100km/h, we don’t have the luxury of worrying we act at once). We mostly worry when safe. Paradoxical but true!
Worrying may give the mind the illusory impression of being in “control” and solving problems, while in reality it is compounding problems with cooked up stories of how things would go wrong.
Such mind-made problems often lack solution precisely because they are made up and illusory – how would you solve a problem that does not exist (but only in your head)? And yet most of us fail to see this mind-habit perhaps because we are not ‘Home’ (present, aware, awake, mindful, attentive …), instead we have chosen to be ‘comfortably numbed’ and fully distracted and infused with the mind-made dramas.
The challenge is, since most of our worries don’t come true, the mind may erroneously conclude “well, i solved the problems through worrying and that is why they did not materialize, let me worry a whole lot more”. Fantastic confusion.
Mind needs a conscious presence at the helm to guide it. Otherwise, we become a slave to a mind that makes a great servant but an awful master as the saying goes, and in the process we end up paying a heavy toll. For example, a leader’s high level of worry and fear can lead to increased levels of stress hormone (cortisol and adrenalin) that can hijack her/him to want to ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. What’s more, since emotions are contagious (the open-loop nature of limbic or emotional center), the leader’s worry and fear will transmits signals that can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular functions, sleep rhythms, even immune functions, inside the body of their team – compromising everyone’s performance and well-being.
– What is the energetic cost of how I show up when reacting out of worry and fear? To myself? To others?
– How much of what I am afraid of has ever actually happened?
Kamran is an International Coach Federation (ICF) accredited experienced Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He focuses on executive coaching and leadership development coaching assignments. He leads a highly engaging and practical Workshop Series on EQ & Self-Reflective Practices for professionals in Dubai, UAE.