A Coaching Power Tool created by Jodie Jensen
(Transition Coaching, UNITED STATES)
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Worry is when our minds get “stuck” in a non-productive thought loop.
Some worried thoughts may be “if only” thoughts from the past: “If only”…I had done better on that speech, married differently, finished college, taken a different job and so on.
Other worried thoughts are about the future. These are the “if….then” thoughts: “If” I don’t get this job,” then” I will be thought a failure, “if” I don’t release this weight “then” I will lose my spouse, or “if” I don’t give a great speech “then” I will be thought a fool.
Worries prevent us from thinking, being and feeling in the present moment. A worry comes from a reactive instead of a proactive state of mind. While they may initially be perceived as productive and insightful, they are anything but.
Being “sick” with worry doesn’t change the past nor does it prepare for the future.
The opposite of worry is mindfulness.
Our minds can’t be in the past, the future and the present at the same time. If we are mindful of where we are in the now, there is no room for worry to invade our present thoughts or hijack our emotions.
Being mindful is being fully present. By being present, we are able to problem solve, plan better outcomes and prepare without bringing future fears or past regrets into the equation.
Mindfulness also means owning our part in a perceived failure and not blaming others or situations and circumstances for an outcome.
By being mindful, we take ownership for the past, live in the present and set goals and plan appropriately for the future. We bring the skill of mindfulness into goal assessment and setting.
If a client presents with “if only” worries about the past, there is an opportunity to ask them any or all of the following questions, based on their needs:
- What would you now like to do differently?
- What did you learn from that experience that you can apply to this, current, situation?
- What steps can you take to create a different outcome?