In my work with stress coaching clients, I find that doubts, fears, worries and anxiety often begin with a trigger thought that begins with the words, “What if”?
What if I fail?
What if people don’t like my idea?
What if I’m not good enough?
What if….. What if….. What if….!
It can put your mind into a tumble dryer of persistent worrying. Research shows that just three minutes of this type of thinking creates a stress response in our bodies – and why wouldn’t it? Our bodies assume there is a looming threat and that we are soon going to need to fight or flee. This stress response isn’t “bad” or “dangerous”, it is there to help us respond better. Our job is to take action quickly so that the stress response can do its job and not sit in us for hours a day – not so healthy 🙂
So how do we turn worry into confidence?
Firstly ask yourself what you are getting out of worrying. Dig deep here. If you look at it there will probably be some belief driving your worry such as:
“I need to worry so I’ll be prepared”
(Does it actually prepare you? Could you find a more healthy way to be prepared?)
“I feel more in control somehow if I worry”
(Can you actually control the outcome by worrying or are you potentially making the outcome worse for yourself by doing so?)
“If I just worry about it long enough, I’ll find a solution”
(Worries do not contain solutions. Asking yourself “What is my situation?” and “What are my options”? is the way out of worry).
Whatever “reason” you have for worrying, know this – worrying gets you nowhere.
So once you realise that, you just have to stop. Easy, right?
Well, here’s where people run into trouble. They have another belief that “I can’t stop worrying”. Luckily that isn’t true either, and my job is to show them that they can.
Low self trust and anxiety is often felt because of the stories that you tell yourself, the memories that you focus on to prove your insecurities right. Next time you find yourself upset about something, take a step back and you may find that it is an insecurity driving it all, an insecurity looking for validation, looking to project itself onto the current situation.
Learning to recognise this sabotaging mind chatter and changing the wording to build confidence begins by recognising the language you are using with yourself, catching it out and then consciously choosing to reframe it. Consciously re-writing the fears into positive statements can drive a new sense of motivation and determination that allows for happiness and success.
The mind learns and rewires through repetition so keep at it!
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