Worry, Doubt & Fear – The ‘Big 3’ Roadblocks to Aging Healthfully
As I reflect on the aging process and its impact on the quality of life, I am reminded that what all of us will eventually face as we grow older, is the UNCERTAINTY of what is to come next in our lives as we lose our youth – and grow older. Some of us will be told that we have developed an illness such as cancer or a neurological disorder such as Alzheimer’s and our lives will be changed forever. While we fear what “might” happen we may be ‘creating’ the very thing that we fear and it will come to pass in our lives.
Others will be told that if they don’t change something in their lives there will be significant negative consequences that will eventually force them to choose a new path – or die. A lifetime of overindulging and consumption can spell trouble for even the “luckiest” among us and often by the time trouble arrives in the form of organ damage or disease such as diabetes, it is often too late to prevent the further erosion of physical health and well-being.
With the obesity crisis that we are currently facing, the effects of neglect and poor choices by so many will be with us for years to come. Worry, doubt and fear are often the “drivers” of these negative behaviors and when allowed to remain “in play” over the long term, they WILL cause the results that we ALL want to avoid.
“The thing that I feared the most has come upon me” is true in many ways. It is the negative emotions of worry, doubt and fear that can cause us to override our “common sense” and behave in ways that eventually WILL harm us in ways that could have been prevented in the first place. It is worth examining the impact that that these three emotions have on our potential to enjoy a life that is healthy, fulfilled and finally, happy.
The “BIG 3”
I have found myself in a state of “worry” many times throughout my life and worry is a common emotion we all share. It is grounded in a reality that is most likely not true and it plays a key role in the human experience. Worry is a fear that has no basis in fact – it is often “made up” in our subconscious minds and is rooted in the life we lived as children. What our parents worried about becomes “embedded” in our consciousness as we grow into adulthood. Over time the worries about family, money, health and so many other aspects of our lives, become a part of who we ARE and as a result, can hurt us in so many unexpected ways. Worry just “is” – it is never resolved by ignoring it – or pretending. We worry about taxes, becoming homeless, losing our jobs, getting divorced, losing a loved one and so much more. In many cases we don’t control our worries – they control us!
“Letting go” is the process of recognizing worry for what it is (nothing) and then allowing it to pass from our experience without any further thought. The question that might help us deal with worry most is: “What is the WORST thing that can happen if this “thing I am worried about” were to come true?” Very often “letting go” of worry can save your life from unnecessary pain and suffering and bring you a better understanding of how powerful you really are! Quiet time in meditation letting particular worries surface can often help us face the something that is “behind “ a particular thought or feeling allowing us the freedom to finally release it and move forward positively and with a new attitude.
FEAR –”false evidence appearing real” – is the most common reason for us to NOT decide an issue in our lives. “Putting off until tomorrow” – or procrastination – is very often a signal that fear is controlling some aspect of our lives. Clients who came to me with little experience in fitness – and unresolved issues such as a lifetime of over eating and weight gain – were often in a state of fear (unconsciously of course) at the prospect of the changes that would be required of them in order to successfully meet their new goals. When fear strikes us it is often in response to something that we “makeup” and in so doing create a “cascade” of events that may confirm our worst suspicions. The mind is the most powerful instrument in nature and in turn creates our reality based upon our beliefs and perceptions of our life.
There is no difference between a “real or imagined experience” – they are BOTH considered “real” by the subconscious mind. The truth is that “as we think – and believe, so goes our life”. Living in fear can become a habit and create health issues where there were none. An example would be that your mother or father died of cancer so you too WILL get cancer – and die. This fear of being a cancer “patient in waiting” is REAL if you BELIEVE that it is TRUE for you. My father died of cancer but that does NOT mean I will too! Living free of fear is a GOOD thing – and yet it IS a natural part of life that MUST be recognized when appropriate and finally released when it is understood and acknowledged for what it is – false evidence appearing real. Fear must never be the reason we make choices in life. Arriving at a new understanding of ourselves because we are ALWAYS more than the sum of our fears is a worthy goal to strive for everyday of our lives!
For years I doubted myself and my innate gifts and talents and took on responsibilities I was ill suited to perform. The doubts I harbored never allowed me to “trust myself” and became a part of my everyday experience in life. Doubts always “creep in” to our consciousness – especially if we have failed or been denied something in life. We can always see doubt for what it is but sometimes it can be very challenging to “rid ourselves” of the habits created by doubting our power, talent, or capabilities. Because we doubt ourselves during periods of our life, we can begin to believe that we are “less than” and don’t deserve to be healthy, happy, prosperous, or fit! This is just not true!
Doubting ourselves is NEVER a good thing and to believe we “don’t measure up” in certain circumstances can lead to emotional “scarring” that becomes permanent in our thought processes. Trying something new such as starting a fitness program that achieves results is a way to overcome doubt. Believing in ourselves is the greatest challenge we all face in life. I thought about this idea today at great length and I have concluded that in my OWN life, doubt has ruled my decisions for a great many years. This has caused me so much unnecessary pain and discomfort over the years and I now recognize when it is “creeping back” into my consciousness because I now “ACT in SPITE of my DOUBTS or FEARS” and it always turns out well for me. These articles on healthy aging are an example of me overcoming my own worries, doubts and fears leading me to believe in myself even more strongly than ever before.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to our health, worry, doubt and fear can be destructive physically, psychologically, emotionally, and even spiritually. It is TOTALLY wrong for our lives to be ruled by worry, doubt and fear because in the majority of instances they are “made up” by US! Creating something from nothing is a waste of energy and if we are diligent and careful in our thinking and in “our choosing” these three “amigos of negativity” need not rule our lives. It is our responsibility then to “guard our thoughts” and responses to life’s circumstances and NOT overreact because of any one of them. We build confidence and faith in ourselves “one STEP at a time and one DAY at a time”!
It is in our thoughts and feelings that we can “channel” our energy toward the positive and by helping – and “being there” – for others and people that we love, we lighten the burden of whatever may be troubling us. Being PROACTIVE and RESPONSIVE to life’s challenges beats being REACTIVE and FEARFUL anytime! Consider your past fears, worries and doubts and KNOW that they were “teaching you – about YOU”. They were not your enemies but “guides to your brighter and happier future”. Live THAT reality EVERYDAY and you will accomplish great things in your life and in the process help others do the same!