I have been thinking a lot this week about how so many people are in fear of the future. I am trying to figure out why we might live our lives with this as a mindset. And after much thought, this seems to me to occur most often because we don’t stop to think about all of the positive things that we are and all of the accomplishments we have already achieved. And it specifically brought back to mind a couple of examples that I have discussed with friends in the past.
“We fail to appreciate the things that we have done successfully and the positive differences that have occurred for others as a result of what we have given to them. “Barbara Jacoby
In one case, a woman was afraid to move forward without a significant other in her life for support. She was afraid that as she gets closer to retirement, she won’t have enough money for the future. I reminded her that she has successfully raised a wonderful daughter as a single parent who is now out of college, working successfully and studying for her master’s degree. Her daughter has learned the independence in her own life that she has seen in her mother’s life all of these years and is financing her own future. This mom is working and purchasing a home in another part of the country where she currently plans to retire. And although something can happen at any moment to change her life, worrying that something may happen is enough for her not to be able to enjoy this moment, this day and the life that she has made for herself.
In the second case, a woman reminded me about the fear that she had just a few short months ago when she had a very negative encounter with her boss and was afraid that she would lose her job. At that time, I sent her an email wherein I reminded her of all of the things that she has done for her boss over the years including always being there working late hours in order to support her. I reminded her how she has been a pillar of strength in supporting her boss when it came to the boss’ personal trials and tribulations that had been rather extensive in recent times. And I reminded her about all of the work that she had successfully completed and how that certainly outweighed what was happening presently. Well, that woman indicated that she had re-read my email over and over again and was reminded that with that support and understanding that she had received, she was able to turn things around completely with her boss who seems to appreciate her so much more than ever before.
These are just a couple examples of how we all have the tendency to focus on what is wrong with us and what is wrong in our lives rather than appreciating who we are and the value that we bring to those in our lives. We fail to appreciate the things that we have done successfully and the positive differences that have occurred for others as a result of what we have given to them. Instead we are focused on and afraid of what might happen in the future and spend so much time and energy fearing what will happen when we haven’t the slightest idea of what it might be. We forget that regardless of what we faced in the past, we have always survived and succeeded in ways we never could have imagined.
Since negative behavior and thinking creates such a miserable life, why not try something different for awhile and then reassess your life. Every day of your life, appreciate yourself. Tell yourself what a good person you are. Think about what you did that day or will do in order to put a smile on someone else’s face. Think about all of the good things that you have in your life. For those things that you would like to change, know that you are able to make those changes if you are willing to work at it. Each of us has unique talents and abilities and we need to celebrate those differences. Love and honor yourself and others for exactly who you and they are.
Not convinced yet? Think of the alternative. You can live every day in fear of what may happen but what if none of those fears are realized? You will have spent your life wasting all of your energy on the negatives and never enjoying all of the good things in your life. And if something negative does happen, you will have the opportunity to say, “I told you so!” and that is the end of it. Pretty big trade-off, if you ask me.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.