Firstly, catch your worry. Wait patiently, like a cat waiting for a mouse to appear from a hole, and when the words, the sentence, or the phrase that is haunting you appears, gently cast a net of curiosity around it. Once you have settled with it, ask yourself the following questions:-
1. If I have believed this statement to be true, then what would be the fundamental story that it grew out of?
(For instance, “I’ll never get out of debt”, “I always have problems with people I am nice to”. “If I keep quiet, things will be O.K.”.)
2. Imagine the statement is a flower – well – a pernicious weed really – and that you are looking for its roots. You are seeking to understand why you continue to hold this belief and give it energy. It could be that you were trained this way by your family: it could be you have friends who agree with you that this is the way life is. Just stay curious as to how this particular ‘weed’ got into the garden of YOUR mind.
3. The worry may also have a safety message for you. It may be trying to say: – “I don’t want you to get hurt”. “I need to protect you”. “The world is dangerous”. Consider this and be grateful that whoever planted these thoughts also wanted you to be safe.
4. Now, take a big old look around the world and ask yourself,
“Is it really, really true, 100% of the time, for everyone on the planet?”.
5. OK. The answer is “no”. That means that you have options. It means you can choose to adopt some new, more helpful beliefs.
6. Choose something much more powerful. Find words that make you feel strong. It may feel very weird. It may feel “false”. But look, you’re experimenting and you’re doing it for the best, so stay with the discomfort.
7. When your worries appear, just talk to them. Remind them they are not the whole truth. Thank them for taking care of you. Move on and repeat your new belief ten times. Don’t get involved in a drama over it: you are simply growing in a new direction and you just need to have time to see how it feels.