Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Worry - Part 4 (Self-Fulfilling Prophecy)

Today - you get double WHAMMY. Two posts for the price of one!

Okay, as you all know, my favorite term in the world is, "self-fulfilling prophecy." Every time I see this term I realize how significant a role this plays in my life up to now and every single day.

Your subconscious believes the information you pick up (from sight, smell, sound, etc) and stores is true, whether it is true or not. And each time you replay this event or thought in your head, it gets recorded as reality all over again. This rerecording each time you play it in your head, creates and reinforces a dominant belief. You see, you see things not as they are, but as you perceive them to be. That is, because of past conditioning (what you learned to be true from parents, church, school, politics, etc.), you see things through a lens or filter. You interpret the information based upon your beliefs and this reinforces and supports what you already believe in. Does this make sense? THIS IS SO TERRIBLY IMPORTANT.

In other words, if there is conflicting information that goes against what you already "know" as true, you discard it. You discard it out of hand. In 90% of the time, you discard it so quickly, you don't even know that you've tossed it aside, no matter how much you believe you are "open to new ideas."

And so with worry, we tend to look for the worry situation, and act out, and look for the "events" or "patterns" that would reinforce the thing we are worried about.

Here is an example; Let's say your believe your boss does not like you. So, you watch her eyes. She doesn't look at you. Now you know she doesn't like you. Now you ask her how her day is. She says, "It's fine." as she scoots past you in the hallway. She really doesn't have time for you - you say to yourself. This reinforces your nervousness. You now begin to worry about it. You replay the event over and over. You tell your friend of this matter. And of course, not being a trained therapist, they say something like, "Maybe you should look for another job" or "Maybe you should have said, "Hello" this way or that way. This doesn't help because now you are really screwed up. You practice saying "Hellow" now. You sound like a moron. You say "Hellow" now to her and she looks at you wondering if you swallowed a cat, because this doesn't sound like you any more. You see her face and you interpret it as "Jeez I sound like a moron." Now you replay this event in your head.

You don't ask her how she is the next time, because "she doesn't have time for you" or "you don't want to sound like a moron" - so your thinking goes. She (the boss) now wonders, "What the heck is up with her?" You now see that face and interpret it negatively of course.

Now you are insane with fret. So of course you do the next logical thing, you don't look at her at the next meeting. She (the boss) wonders, "Why is she so obstinate?" Now it comes time for you to present to her. You know she doesn't like you. She now thinks you don't like her.

In another meeting it's your turn to present your stuff. She doesn't like what you are presenting, or she says something that you interpret as not liking the entire presentation and in reality, it's just the one message, and . . .

"Voila!" You are now in trouble, because you redo the entire prez. And she now doesn't like any of it. And, again, "Tres voila!" You be in trouble girl-friend.

Do you see this in your life - any where? I do!

1 comment:

Syd said...

This sounds more to me like projecting than worrying. Projecting means that I project what I think others are thinking and own that thought that is most always negative. Thankfully, I have learned thought the program to not project or wonder what others are thinking. I mind my own side of the street. It's much simpler that way.