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I’m Afraid You’re Doing It All Wrong

Woman sitting on a sofa

Worry and fear are like two people in a toxic relationship. They live together, work together, thrive off one another and amplify each other’s weaknesses. When one is let in the other soon follows. When one seeks to wreak havoc, its counterpart embraces the challenge and follows suit. When one is lost on a destructive path, instead of trying to reverse the cycle one serves as a catalyst for the other – making the situation spiral even further out of control. When you entertain fear you beckon in worry; and vice versa. And when you worry you soon find more things to be afraid of. I’m afraid that courting fear and worry can be a very costly endeavor, and it can rob you in ways that you never saw coming.


It is easy to roll your eyes when you’ve heard too many mantras and cute quotes on the power of positive thinking, but if you look at the flipside you may become more of an optimist. Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm; a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety of someone; the likelihood of something unwelcome happening.” Worry is defined as “feeling or cause to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems; the state of being anxious and troubled over actual or potential problems.” If you have not had your morning cup of coffee they might sound interchangeable – for the purposes of our study they pretty much are!


Looking at their definitions it becomes easy to see why they get along like a house on fire. They are both rooted in speculative negatives and have a lot of words and motives in common. They are concerned with occurrences that have not yet occurred or occurrences which one cannot control. Their concerns are fixated on the worst cases of “what if.” What if something goes wrong? What if everything goes wrong? What if plans fail? What if I fail? What if things take a turn for the worse? What if she leaves me? What if he breaks my heart? What if I do not get the job I am applying for? What if I fall sick? What if I never achieve my dreams? And on and on it goes with worry flirting with fear and fear spinning worry around on the dance floor. Worry and fear work well together, too well together and they have no business working with you.


This brings us to our fundamental premise: you cannot afford to worry, and you cannot afford to entertain fear. If you wish to split hairs and decide which would be a less costly endeavor please be reminded that these two love each other, they are in a toxic relationship rooted in destruction and detraction and no one can break them up. Therefore do not worry – because not only is it a waste of time, but you are meditating on the negative and essentially calling it in. You are also getting a two for the price of one, because as you spend time with worry fear is not far behind. Therefore also, do not be afraid – because then your decision making process is rooted in fear and such a faulty foundation cannot produce a good strong structure. And best believe worry will creep up the scaffolding, wreak havoc on the walls and integrate itself into every part of your building process that began with just you and fear.


We really must be mindful of worry and fear and strive to keep both of them at bay. We can only hold one thought at a time and our thoughts are usually a good indication of our mood and our mindsets. Therefore we must often do checks to determine what we are thinking, what we are thinking about what we are thinking about, what we are feeling, what the root of the decision we are about to take is, and who we are entertaining. If worry and/or fear are round for a cup of tea, it is usually the scene for a self-sabotaging pity party that will add no positives to the rest of our interactions, encounters, plans or actions. After all, as a (wo)man thinketh so (s)he is. This means whatever we are thinking about, envisioning and concerning ourselves with will likely ultimately come to be.


We cannot meditate on what we do not want to happen and expect by some means or another we are not drawing it closer towards ourselves. What we focus on grows and when we focus on what worries, scares, paralyzes, stresses and scares us it grows. So even if you do not consider yourself to be positive and happy and hale and hearty, you better come over to this light school of thought because the alternative two-for-the-price-of-one special on worry and fear will do you no good.


After all, if something bad is going to happen, especially if it is out of your control what is the sense experiencing the occurrence twice. You might as well focus your time and energy on what you want to occur and then if you are disappointed you will only have to deal with the disappointment once. There are religious, philosophical and scientific passages, quotes, studies and instances that prove the ‘law of attraction.’ You may or may not believe in it, but is it worth risking wasting your time dwelling on the negative?


You are better off taking the limits off your thinking and dwelling on your heart’s desires. If the negative comes to pass instead, at least you had good thoughts and a lighter mood while experiencing those good thoughts. If the positive which you thought about comes to pass, then you know what formula to keep applying. My advice: focus on your dreams and desires, if what you focus on becomes your reality, then you will have a smoother ride to your destination and be blessed twice upon arrival.

Zeni St. John

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