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Why is it so hard to stop worrying?

Typically, we worry when we feel threatened, unsafe, or challenged by life circumstances. Essentially, worry is an anticipation of future chaos—chaos that may or may not actually occur. Since no one can know the future, worry is based on a projection of insecurity–what-if thinking. In this Self-Coaching episode, I discuss the importance of differentiating between emotional, insecurity-driven thinking (a.k.a. neurotic thinking) and rational, factual, mature thinking.

Worry gives the illusion that you’re doing something about your vulnerability. And when you’re feeling out of control and vulnerable, this illusion convinces you that you’re not helpless. Unfortunately, the more you worry to feel less vulnerable, the more unsafe, stressed and insecure you feel. So, why do we do it? Because without a foundation of self-trust, worrying is the only game in town—we try to compensate for our lack of self-trust by reading the tea leaves of an uncertain future. Rather than feeling completely helpless, worrying makes us feel that at least we’re doing something! And this is what keeps us hooked into a neurotic habit of unchecked worrying.

When challenged and feeling vulnerable, it’s okay to be concerned with the facts, but NOT the emotional fictions perpetrated by insecurity. Fictions that we can’t handle what’s coming around the next corner.

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