Article by Anna D'Arcy, Life & Executive Coach, Seachange Now
I used to joke that “I come from a long line of worriers”, thereby giving me a licence to lie awake at night worrying about someone or something that had had an impact on me that day or indeed 3 weeks beforehand. Even in my Junior Infant report (aged 4) my Teacher very perceptively wrote, “Anna is a worrier”. When I found this report years later, rather than looking at it & thinking OH MY GOD I actually wore it as a badge of honour.
A few years back I started to think about how much time I was spending worrying about things that were never going to happen. I could see members of my family suffering the same ‘fate’ & I thought, is this really me or is this something that I have learnt from those who have nurtured me? The best question that I began asking myself when I would feel the cogs of my brain churning, along with my stomach, was “What is the worst thing that can happen?”. Now, I have quite a developed imagination so my worst case scenario usually included machete’s and headless people so when I realised that that was not going to be the reality, I could feel the knot in my stomach releasing just a little bit.
I began to watch for the people and situations in my life that acted like triggers for my worrying and as they presented themselves I would make a choice of how I was going to react to them. Sometimes I would get it wrong & be too harsh in my responses; sometimes I would fall back into my usual pattern but sometimes I got it right & I developed a protective sheath around my emotions. This doesn’t mean to say that I don’t worry any more or that I have become a hardened, bitter person but I definitely feel more in control of how I react & respond to things that would have usually sent me into a tizzy of negative emotions.
I’m fortunate to be working as part of a team in Seachange Now where we are encouraged to hold a mirror up to ourselves, while being fundamentally supported when these personal questions arise. How was my worrying affecting my performance in the team? Was it having a negative impact on those around me? By my worrying, was I creating an element of fear within a team which predominantly believes in abundance? I find it really interesting when we start to think about how our nurtured emotions can impact those people that we spend most of our time with: our Team.
The majority of the things that we worry about will never happen. It’s important for us all to remember that. So, if that is the case, what other emotion could we spend our energy on? What things are you holding onto because that is what you have grown up thinking & believing? It’s worth asking yourself the question…is that really who I am?
Call Seachange Now on +353 1 230 3577 if you would like to help your team to be the best in your industry. www.seachangenow.ie Seachange Now is a world leader in team development. By combining executive coaching, team workshops, training and our own propitiatory assessment software The 5 States, we help business teams to become the very best in their industry. (Photo courtesy of Google Images)