Worry Is Negative Goal Setting By Ross CraftGoal setting is usually, or maybe I should say, always aboutpositive outcomes we would like to see in the future. While mostpeople do not realize it, we use the same mental processes in anegative way when we worry which moves us toward a negativegoal.This article discusses the mental processes used to worry andhow you can use the same mental processes in a positive way.Consider this; when you first start to worry you do not attempt toconvince yourself that the outcome will be something you do notwant. Instead, you begin gradually. You usually begin with a‘suppose“. You say mentally to yourself “Just suppose such andsuch a thing happens”. You repeat this idea over and over toyourself a few times. You play with it. Next comes the idea of“possibility“. “Well, after all“, you say, “such a thing is possible“.“It could happen”. Next, comes mental imagery. You begin topicture to yourself all the various negative possibilities. You playthese imaginative pictures over and over to yourself adding smalldetails and refinements. As the pictures become more and morereal to you, appropriate feelings begin to be felt, just as if theimagined outcome had already happened. And this is the wayfears and anxiety develop.How to cultivate faith and courageFaith and courage are developed in exactly the same way, onlythe goals for different. We usually worry about things that arenot under our control so; if youre going to spend time in worry,
why not worry constructively? Began by outlining and imaginingto yourself the most desirable outcome possible. You could bethinking about a relationship, business problem, making a sale,getting a raise, being a parent etc. etc. Begin with your“suppose“. “Suppose the best possible outcome did actuallycome about?” Next, remind yourself that, after all, “this couldhappen”. Not that it will happen, at this stage, but only that itcould. Remind yourself, that after all such a good and desirableoutcome “is possible”.You can mentally accept and digest these gradual doses ofoptimism and faith. After having thoughts of the “desired endresults” as a definite “possibility“, begin to imagine what thedesirable outcome “would be like”. Go over these mental picturesand picture details and refinements. Play them over and over toyourself. As your mental images become more detailed, as theyare repeated over and over again, you will find that once more“appropriate feelings “are beginning to be felt, just as if thefavorable outcomes had already happened. This time the“appropriate feelings” will be those of faith, self-confidence,courage, all wrapped up into one package, that “winning feeling“.To defeat worry and negative feelings of failure, it is important tounderstand that failure, feelings of fear, anxiety, or lack of self-confidence, do not spring from some heavenly Oracle. They arenot written in the stars. They are not Holy Gospel. Nor are theyindications of a set and decided “fate” which means that failure isdecreed and decided. They originate from your own mind. Theyare indicative only of attitudes of mind within you -- not ofexternal facts which are rigged against you. They mean only thatyou are underestimating your own abilities, overestimating andexaggerating the nature of the difficulty before you, and that youare reactivating memories of “past failures” rather than memoriesof “past successes”. That is all that they mean and all that they
signify. They do not pertain to or represent the truth concerningfuture events, but only your own mental attitude about the futureevent.Knowing this, youre free to accept or reject those negativefailure feelings; to obey them, and take counsel of them or toignore their advice and go ahead. You are also in a position touse them for your own benefit.Accept negative feelings as a challenge.If we react to negative feelings aggressively and positively, theybecome challenges which will automatically arouse more powerand more ability within us. The idea of difficulty, threat, menace,arouses additional strength within us, if we react to it positivelyrather than passively. A certain amount of excitement, ifinterpreted correctly, and employed correctly, helps, rather thanhinders performance.It all depends upon the individual and his attitudes, whethernegative feelings are used as assets or liabilities. Theparapsychology departments of various universities havedemonstrated this phenomena many times. Ordinarily, negativesuggestions, and distractions, expressions of disbelief on the partof onlookers, will have a decided adverse effect on the subject‘sscoring when they are trying to guess the order of cards in aspecial deck, or they are being tested in any other way fortelepathic ability.Praise, encouragement, pulling for the person, nearly alwayscauses a better score. Discouragement and negative suggestionscan almost always be counted upon to send the test scoring downimmediately and dramatically. However, occasionally, a persontaking the test will take the negative suggestions as “challenges”and performed far better. For example, a test participant by the
name of Kelly consistently scored well above pure chance. (Fivecorrect calls out of the deck of 25 cards). The researchers decidedto try challenging Kelly to do even better. He was challengedbefore each trial with a wager that he could not get the next cardright. It was evident during the run that Kelly was being stirredup to a high pitch of intensity. The bet was simply a convenientway of leading him to throw himself into the test withenthusiasm. Kelly called all 25 cards correctly! The same resulthas been repeated hundreds of times with different subjects.I think we have all known individuals who become discouragedand defeated by being told by others that “you cant do it“ orthings like “you are a loser”. On the other hand, there are peoplewho rise to the occasion, become more determined than ever tosucceed when told the same thing.It is not only possible, but entirely practical, to react in the samepositive manner to the negative advice of your own feelings, aswe can and should when negative advice come from others.Overcome evil with good.Feelings cannot be directly controlled by willpower. They cannotbe voluntarily made to order, or turned on and off like a faucet.If they cannot be commanded, however, they can be wooed. Ifthey cannot be controlled by direct act of will, they can becontrolled indirectly.A “bad” feeling is not dispelled by conscious effort or willpower.It can be dispelled, however, by another feeling. If we cannotdrive out a negative feeling by making a frontal attack on it, wecan accomplish the same result by substituting a positive feeling.Remember that feeling follows imagery. Feeling coincides with,what our nervous system accepts as “real” or the “truth aboutenvironment“or reality. Whenever we find ourselves experiencing
undesirable feelings, we should not concentrate upon theundesirable feeling, or try driving it out. Instead, we shouldimmediately concentrate upon positive images, upon filling themind with wholesome, positive, desirable images, imaginations,and memories. If we do this, the negative feelings take care ofthemselves. They simply evaporate. We develop new feelingsassociated with the new images.If, on the other hand, we concentrate only upon driving out, orattacking worry thoughts, we are concentrating on negatives.And even if we are successful in driving out one worry thought, anew one, or even several new ones, are likely to rush in, sincethe general mental atmosphere is still negative.The substitution method of curing worry.We are worriers because we practice worrying until we becomegood at it. We habitually indulge in negative images out of thepast, and in anticipating the future. This worry creates tension.The worrier then makes an effort to stop worrying, and is caughtin a vicious cycle. Effort increases tension. Tension provides aworrying atmosphere. The only cure for worry is to make a habitof immediately substituting pleasant, wholesome, mental images,for unpleasant “worry images“. Each time you find yourselfworrying; use this as a “signal” to immediately fill your mind withpleasant mental images out of the past, or anticipating pleasantfuture experiences.In time, worry will defeat itself because it becomes a stimulus forpracticing anti-worrying. The worrier’s job is not to overcomesome particular source of worry, but to change mental habits. Aslong as a mind is set or geared in a passive, defeatists, “I hopenothing happens “sort of attitude, there will always be somethingto worry about.
The choice is up to you.Within you is a vast mental storehouse of past experiences andfeelings, both failures and successes. Like inactive recordings ontape, these experiences and feelings are recorded on the (neuralengrams) memories in your gray matter. There are recordings ofstories with happy endings, and recordings of stories withunhappy endings. One is as true as the other. One is as real asthe other. The choice is up to you, as to which you select forplayback.Another interesting scientific finding about these memories is thatthey can be changed or modified, much like a tape recording maybe changed by dubbing in additional material, or by replacing anold recording with the new recording over it.Tony Robins became an expert at changing old mental patternsand demonstrated its effectiveness on live television shows forseveral years. Using NLP techniques people were able to eraseold troubling memories as we watched in real time.Scientists tell us that the memories in the human brain tend tochange slightly each time they are played back. They take onsome of the tone and temper of our present mood, thinking andattitudes toward them. Also, each individual neuron may becomea part of perhaps 100 separate and distinct patterns, much as anindividual tree in an orchard may form a part of a square,rectangle, a triangle or any number of larger squares etc. Theneuron in the original memories takes on some of thecharacteristics of the subsequent memories of which it becomes apart, and in so doing, changes the original memory. This is notonly very interesting, but encouraging. It gives us reason tobelieve that adverse unhappy childhood experiences, traumas,etc. are not as permanent and as fatal as early psychologistwould have had us believe.
We now know that not only does the past influence the present,but the present clearly influences the past. In other words, weare not doomed or dammed by the past. Because we did haveunhappy childhood experiences and adult traumas which leftmemories behind, does not mean that were at the mercy ofthose memories, or that our patterns of behavior are “set“,predetermined and unchangeable.Our present thinking, our present mental habits, our attitudestoward past experiences, and our attitudes toward the future, allhave an influence upon old recorded memories. The old can bechanged, modified, replaced, by our present thinking.Old recordings can be changed.Another interesting finding is that the more a given memory isactivated or replayed the more potent it becomes. Scientists tellus that the permanence of memories is derived from theefficiency and ease of connection between individual neurons thatmake up the chain, and further, this efficiency improves with useand vanishes with disuse. Here again we have good scientificground for forgetting and ignoring those unhappy experiencesfrom the past and concentrating upon the happy and pleasant.By so doing, we strengthen those memories having to do withsuccess and happiness, and weaken those having to do withfailure and unhappiness.These concepts have developed not from wild speculation, weirdmumble jumble about mentally constructed straw men, such asthe ID, super ego and the like, but from sound scientific researchinto brain physiology. They are based on observable facts andphenomena, not fanciful theories. They go a long way towardrestoring the dignity of man as responsible child of God, able tocope with his past and plan his future, as opposed to the imagesof man as a helpless victim of his past experiences.
This concept does carry a responsibility, however. No longer canyou derive sickly comfort from blaming your parents, society,your early experiences, or the injustices of others for yourpresent troubles. These things may and should help youunderstand how you got where you are. Blaming them or evenyourself for the past mistakes will not solve your problem, orimprove your present or your future. There is no merit inblaming yourself. The past explains how you got here. Butwhere you go from here is your responsibility. The choice isyours. Like a broken photograph, you can keep on playing thesame old broken record of the past; reliving past injustices;pitying yourself for past mistakes; all of which reactivates failurepatterns and failure feelings which color your present and yourfuture.Or, if you choose, you could put on a new record, and reactivatesuccess patterns, and “that winning feeling” which helps you dobetter in the present and promise a more enjoyable future.When your phonograph is playing music you dont like, do you tryto force it to do better? You do not use effort or willpower. Youdo not bang the phonograph around. You do not try to changethe music itself. You merely change the record being played andthe music takes care of itself. Use the same technique on the“music” that comes out of your own internal machine. Dont pityour will directly against the “music“. As long as the samemental imagery, (the cause), occupies your attention, no amountof effort will change the “music“, (the result). Instead, tryputting a new record on. Change your mental imagery and thefeelings will take of themselves.Ross Craft is the author of “How Winners Win-Visualization theSecret Key” available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/How-Winners-Win-Visualization-ebook/dp/B0097EIW5A/