Worry is waiting for a Decision January 29, 2015
When one worries are they engaged in careful thought? Are they attempting to find a conclusion or resolution through worry? That might be the intention but in actuality most often worry is postponing a decision. Worrying does not utilize the skills of consideration thus does not allow for careful thought leading to conclusion or resolution. Though when a worried individual is asked why they worry, usually the answer will be connected to the idea of desiring a resolution to a problem. This is why worry is waiting for a decision.
Let us review a few definitions:
- The definition of worry is a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.
- The definition of a problem is a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome by way of decision and/or action.
- The definition of decision is a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.
- The definition of consideration is careful thought, typically over a period of time.
Learning how to deal with worry is about allowing oneself the capacity to hold negative feelings, acknowledging them, and let them ride out… In so doing they are proactively allowing for flexibility and opening themselves to a well-considered decision or judgment of a situation, circumstance, or what have you… Space, distance, and time are implied when taking consideration; worry does not allow for this. There’s no time for anything but fear of the unwanted or unknown. Worry can be exhausting and psychologically damaging. It can waste time and interfere with productivity which further affects one’s mood and behaviors negatively. Worry can fuel low self-esteem through continued lack of decisive action. Over the long-term, worry can eat away at the soul like a cancer literally causing dis-ease.
Worry is a learned behavior to a certain degree. It can also come as a symptom of depression and anxiety. We may have observed others worrying when we were young and we have likely reinforced worry through our own emotional system. You see worry can have an initial purpose, signaling the need for a decision to a problem. However, it is up to the worrier to decide the length of terms they give for its useful motivation and then work it toward their advantage. Worry can be replaced by consideration with practice and skill. Many people worry in an effort to keep their world from falling apart, or so they think. Worry as a concept of problem solving is more like being on a tread mill (same feeling under our feet, same sight and sound) while consideration is like running outdoors (different feelings under our feet, different sights and sounds). That said, which is more open, flexible, and inspiring to outcomes— worry or consideration? If one knows how to walk and run, they also know that it took practice and skill to learn to do both. Just as worry was learned and reinforced into a habit so too can consideration be learned and reinforced into a habit.
How does one shut down worry and replace it with consideration? By asking themselves a question: “Is my worrying motivating me to make a decision?” The answer most likely will be: “No, it is not.” Thus one would want to move swiftly toward consideration of outcomes both negative and positive. Then acknowledge these possible outcomes and their accompanying feelings…With acknowledgement of our feelings we can release the power they hold over us and allow for an air of acceptance. Then we can decide if there is a need for immediate or tentative action and make a planned decision.
Allow yourself a break from the treadmill of worry and allow for more information to arrive from the space, distance and time that comes from consideration. It may not be that the unwanted or unknown doesn’t happen but consideration allows for flexibility, acknowledgement and acceptance. While decisions allow for learning and self-esteem building. Worry does nothing truly productive but signal a problem then hold you captive and perpetuate low self-esteem. The next time you catch yourself worrying about something, remember that worry is waiting for a decision and you can make the switch to consideration instead.