What’s the likelihood that worrying could actually be productive?
It’s highly likely you’ve worried before and probably will again. It seems to be a by product of early childhood conditioning for many of us. Some of us carry around more of it than others from our early conditioning. (I’m raising my hand.)
My last name was Wortman and one of my nicknames was Worry Wortman. You can just imagine the propensity I’ve had towards worrying in my life and as much as worry can absolutely get in our way, I have come to realize the productive side to it.
What?!?!! Stay with me for a bit.
It goes like this….if you find yourself doing something that doesn’t seem to serve you, I’d ask you to take a closer look because you’re doing it to soothe yourself in some way.
Let’s take worrying. I worried A LOT as a kid, and as an adult, I came to realize that when I was (and it didn’t feel comfortable at the time) the worrying actually kept me safe.
Think about it this way. The worrying kept me on high alert and the upside of being on high alert growing up in a home where my father struggled with PTSD (they didn’t have a name for it back then) I needed to remain on high alert. That way I was prepared for what “might be coming next.”
Worrying gave me this edge so I was better able to deal with the chronic ups and downs in my home life. In this way, it kept me safer than not worrying. I learned pretty quickly that when I wasn’t on high alert, something would inevitably happen and the mayhem would start. It had been so shocking to me to be blindsided with this, that I began to stay on high alert all the time so I was better able to handle the stress of it all at such a young age.
Any time you are doing something that doesn’t serve you, or anytime you’re not doing something you should you have a very good internal reason for doing or not doing whatever it is and it always goes back to trying to feel safe. So from this framework, worrying can actually be productive, because it serves a purpose for you.
When you begin to see the things you do from this place, self acceptance is a natural by product of this, and with self acceptance, comes the ability to truly make effective lasting change and begin to release the harsh self judgement that so many of us has as a part of our internal fabric.
So next time you find yourself judging yourself harshly, see if you can remember that whatever your judging yourself about it’s likely it’s a pattern intended to keep you safe on some level. Here’s to seeing more ways to accept yourself.