“Change is the only thing constant in this world.” We repetitively utter these words like an everyday mantra and yet, it is strange to note that whenever we encounter change, we immediately feel anxious and our fears get in the way of our dreams and hopes. Our friends accuse us of being a worrywart; our parents complain we are chin-deep in our jobs that they rarely get to spend time with us anymore. We work so hard and compete with our colleagues as if there is a finish line that guarantees immortality if we get to it first.
Why is there a relentless urge to continuously prove something? Maybe when we were young, our mothers kept on comparing us with our siblings. And maybe when we got older, our teachers did the same with our classmates. Or we probably want to get higher up the corporate ladder than our friends. Whatever the reason, we believe that in order to gain respect, we have to earn validation that we are worthy. This way of thinking is the culprit of all the sleepless nights of apprehension, worrying whether we are good enough, or if we said the correct thing at the job interview earlier. Haven’t we stopped to realize that there is no finish line? Wherever we are right now, that is enough. Being our own person is enough. There is no right or wrong way of doing things. Whenever we say something, that is us saying how we feel. It is time we find out that the last rung of the ladder is an illusion. When we get there, there are more steps upward. After the goal of marriage, there is the dream of having children. And after that, moving to a bigger house is the next objective. The steps go on and on and before we know it, we have let life pass us by without having fully enjoyed it.
It is easy to see why worrying can eat up all our mental and physical energy. When we fear that something might happen, in a matter of seconds, our imagination can escalate ridiculously into scenarios that are quite improbable and sometimes, absurdly impossible! But when we are in that apprehensive state, we become tremendously unreasonable, carelessly putting logical thoughts aside and concentrating instead on the ludicrous ones. One thing to remember though is that worrying is useless. First, worrying does not stop the inevitable from happening. Hence, the act of worrying has no effect on the outcome. Second, if something is not sure to happen, there is no point in being scared it might. If it indeed happens, we can apply the solution we have prepared in advance. When we think about it too much, we have worried twice – once before the occurrence and once during the event. If it doesn’t happen, then we would have worried in vain.
One final thought: living in the NOW can rid us of all bad past experiences and future fears. There is nothing we can do about the past now except perhaps to learn from it. In the same way, we cannot control our future by worrying about it. Instead, we can concentrate on this present moment. If we direct all our energy into what we are doing at the moment, stressing about tomorrow will gradually evaporate and in no time at all, change will be something we can happily welcome into our lives.