Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for Yesteryears (totally made that up) or, The Past

I often get stuck in my past. I drag it around with me everywhere I go and with every experience I have. Unfortunately, it's not just the good, fun memories I bring. What's at the forefront of all this I'm lugging around is the past hurts, the past disappointments, the past failures. They serve no purpose other than to make me worry about my today. The "what ifs" start playing over and over in my mind.

I've heard it said that as humans, we don't do anything unless there is a payoff for it. So I have to ask myself: What's the payoff for worrying? What's the payoff in seeing threats around every corner, trouble down every path? Because while it's happening I'm stressed, sad, fearful, and unfocused. And I hate it. I hate feeling those things. It's as if I'm on constant vigilance waiting for the other shoe to drop when in reality there may not be any shoe. What is it inside of me that is programmed to expect something bad rather than something good? Is it a bad habit? Is it something that was set in my neural pathways since I was little? Is it learned? Is there any reprogramming it?

I want to stop worrying. I want to feel more positive. I want to let go of my past and the fears about it repeating itself. My big question now is: How?


  1. The payoff for worry is that you don't have to make decisions. If you are worried about the outcome, you won't take the risk. You are programmed by all the experiences of your past, but all behavior is learned, so all behavior can be changed.

    One trick I have used is to interrupt the negative thought by either saying aloud, "NO!" in a firm voice, or by snapping a rubber band around my wrist. Both actions cause a interruption in the thought process and allow you the chance to redirect your thoughts. Decide how you WANT to think, then start thinking that way!

    Your todays and tomorrows don't have to be clouded by your yesterdays. You have the power to change that. :)

  2. Ornery's Wife, THANK YOU! I could never quite figure out what my payoff was for worry. This makes so much sense. I like the rubber band idea and saying "No" out loud to stop the negative thoughts and redirect. Thank you again! :)


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