Challenge Your Anxious Thoughts (Stoic Lesson #43)

anxiety dichotomy of control discomfort fear mindfulness May 21, 2021
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Is anxiety or worry about something in the FUTURE going as planned preventing you from showing up as your best self - NOW?

That's the BIG question you're challenged to ponder in this week's #PhilosophyFriday. Week 43's lesson from "A Handbook for New Stoics" asks you to put your anxieties and worry up to a mirror and test them for accuracy and probability.

Most of the pain we experience is often solely anxiety from our mind...and we don't question them for truth or reality. For many of us, our worry is not based on what is happening in the Present, but what we believe may happen in the future.

To take control back over your anxieties and worries, this lesson from Stoicism asks you to do three things:

  1. Check-in with the Present moment. Consider practicing a quick mindfulness exercise (like what Sierra explores in her Radical Mindfulness program.
  2. Identify what outcome you're worried will transpire; what you THINK will happen.
  3. Ask yourself: "Is this worry doing me any good?"

A worry or anxiety CAN be useful...but only if you take action to address it or change your presumed, bad outcome. And, if your worry is about an outcome that is NOT within your Complete Control, then it's not worth worrying about, as you cannot control what happens either way. What you CAN control is how you choose to think about the outcome and what, if anything, you DO have control over in the situation.

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