Elementary, my dear friend

Know-how Sharing, Leadership / Mentorship, Training, Women in Business

By Loredana Popasav, Transformative Coach, Mentor, Humanist, Diversity & Inclusion specialist

This article is a continuation of this one.

There is an old Irish joke, that goes something like this….“There are only two things to worry about, either you are healthy or you are sick. If you are healthy, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you are sick there are only two things to worry about, either you will get well or you will die. If you get well, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you die there are only two things to worry about, either you will go to heaven or to hell. If you go to heaven, then there is nothing to worry about. And if you to go hell, you’ll be so darn busy shaking hands with your friends you won’t have time to worry.”

I heard about worries a lot and I experienced myself many levels of worrying. Being worried can be paralysing, numbing, or even terrifying, but despite this, worrying always seems justified.

However… what if we challenge that? What if there is another way of looking at it?

A different perspective – worry is created by thought

We have thousands of thoughts going through our mind every day. A thought comes and then it goes, to be replaced by another thought that comes and goes. It is in the very nature of thought to be transient. It is also in the nature of thought to be creative. Everything is created from thought – every experience, every feeling, very joy and every fear. Every second of our life is experienced through the amazing gift of thought. 

If we simplify and look at our experiences as thought itself created, worries are thoughts. Fearful thoughts of course, but still thoughts, or a collection of fearful thoughts about an unwanted scenario.

There is a quote from the American writer Mark Twain which says “I have spent all my life worrying about things that never happened”. Well so have I (and so has most of the world population). I often ask my clients who share their worries with me if they can remember all the worries they had in a previous year. Most of them can remember some, but none of them can remember all of them. Then, I ask how many of them have materialised. They do admit that very few actually did happen and sometimes none of them. Did they have unwanted experiences, of course they did, but not necessarily the ones they feared. 

In the same time, joy is also a thought, or a collection of good thoughts. We have probably as many joyful, hopeful or even neutral thoughts in a day as worrisome thoughts. Yet, we don’t seem to remember them, or ponder about them as much. Might it be because they aren’t scary? Or is it just that we consider we need to be worried instead of joyful to be an adult (as children chose joyful more often)? So, what if we look at worries as thoughts only created. In the million to one possibility that all hell breaks loose and suddenly they come true (which, in fact, hardly ever happens), we still figure our way through it to the best of our abilities. So, all the worries and the anxiety they create is for nothing.  

Instead of a conclusion

Most of the people have experienced a drive on the motorway, or at least on a national road. Each of these roads has signs on the right-hand side of it (or left if you drive through the UK). Sometimes these signs say to reduce the speed to a certain limit, sometimes they warn about a curve in the road, or a hazard. Their job is to warn drivers to adapt to the road conditions and requirements, so no one gets hurt on the road. The signs are neither the curve, nor the hazard, the traffic jam or the roadblock.

One day it dawned on me – what if worries are like the warning signs on the motorway, telling us to slow down, take a curve gently, stay on course, be calm and focus. What if, worrisome thoughts are not a prophecy about the future, but just a warning from our system which tells us we are not in the good place in our minds, or in our thinking? 

What if worries tell us to change our thoughts instead of trying to change our lives?

About the author: 

Loredana Popasav is the owner of The Simplified Mind, a coaching company, where alongside her colleagues, works with private clients, clients in business and sports arenas, women organisations and NGOs by bringing pioneering approaches to mindset transformation. She is the co-organizer of the Understanding Human Mind International conference, co-founder of The Human Potential Academy, an international NGO dedicated to promote mental health and the human potential, an entrepreneur, a farmer, a teacher and a humanist. She also has over 20 years of experience in the marcomm industry, working on projects of media development, account management and new business, one of the most important positions being New Business Director at Publicis Romania.

Loredana is an experienced Associate Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Negotiation, Budgeting, Mathematical Modeling, and Coaching. Strong community and social services professional with a Practitioner focused in 3 Principles from One Thought Institute.