Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How I Stifled My Life with Anticipation and "What If"

How I Stifled My Life with Anticipation and "What If" 
Joe Kou

At work I noticed a point that has become more prominent lately, wherein I experience fear and constriction and a kind of panic begins to rattle within me whenever one of my difficult cases goes well or I have a 'good week' and my cases get resolved one after another.

Within me I begin to experience the“What if” forms of backchat and fear and anticipation where I begin to ask myself those nagging “What if” questions that immediately place me into a position of projecting my current fears and anxieties into the future and then become paralyzed within fearing that I will actually manifest and have to face the very thingthat I am fearing.

Examples of this would be:
What if my next round of difficult cases do not go through?”
What if I fail a bunch of my cases next week?”
What if I am not able to keep up this pace of work?”
What if I never get this one difficult case resolved?” 

(Check out the exclusive interview "What If" for awesome insight and perspective on how we actually use this question to keep us repeating limiting patterns and how to support ourselves to stop) 

What will usually follow is I will begin to get more 'cautious' when working on my cases, and will end up spending more time on preparing for them even when I know there is nothing else I can prepare and that this act of 'preparing' is in fact me stalling for time and trying find a way to not have to face the anxiety and fear of the case not getting resolved. Within this anticipation I will actually lose self trust and become possessed by the backchat of “What if” and will begin to create pictures and thoughts of me failing the case and having to find other ways to get the issue resolved with often leads to the company losing money or leads to me having to pay for losses out of my wage.

So what happens? Of course eventually as the fear and anxiety builds I become more nervous and less confident in my own ability and begin to resonate this 'essence' as my very being and the self fulfilling prophecy of fear manifests – I end up messing up on an aspect of the case I am working on or I get the timing or my execution wrong or I give off the wrong impression or tonality when making my case and trying to negotiate a resolution and end up complicating the case or outright having it get rejected. Or, I will get myself so anxious about the case that I will keep postponing it or pushing it further back toward the end of my schedules and as I do this the problems of that case compound and become harder to negotiate and work with because often these cases are time sensitive and some customers are already impatient and demanding a resolution immediately. All of this due to the participation of fear and the “what if”.

So firstly, self-forgiveness on participating in the “What if” and allowing this system of fear to direct and influence my work.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to ask within myself as backchat “What if” questions that lead me to self-doubt and anxiety.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to, before I begin a to work on a case, think about the cases that I have completed so far and compare them with the cases I have failed and within this to go into a point of doubt and reaction within me if my performance has not been as good as before, and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to constantly judge myself and compare myself to the past as 'results' based on whether I 'win' or 'lose' a case instead of being here and simply doing what is necessary to be done in THIS MOMENT.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge myself and hold a grudge against myself for cases that I have not been able to resolve or cases that I have had to drag out and cases that I have failed and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take it personally when I am not getting these cases done instead of taking into consideration the complexity and nature of the cases I am handling and looking at each case practically instead of personally.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that if I fail a case, I am thus a 'failure' and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become emotionally influenced by my own reactions and judgments instead of realizing that I am the only one judging myself and that rejection and failure are a part of my job which I must be able to handle and not take personally, because it really isn't personal.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear failure and fear making mistakes and fear not getting one of my cases resolved and instead of realizing that this fear is self created based on memories of the past and fear of loss, to have allowed myself to doubt myself and judge myself and be critical of myself which only adds to the difficulty of getting my work done.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to base my self-value upon the number of cases I am successful at instead of seeing and realizing that I am my own point of self value and that anything 'outside' and separate of myself that I am depending on as part of my self definition is only going to lead to polarity and conflict because I am not in fact accepting me but seeking something outside of me that can never infact fulfill that which I am not allowing myself to give to myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become irritated and angry and moody when I have a case go 'bad' or when I am not getting my work done in the time that I would like instead of realizing that I am experiencing the 'loss' of my self definition and that I am in those moments possessed by an emotional reaction and am projecting it outwards into my environment instead of realizing that I am the one who is creatingthe conflict within me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to procrastinate and push off the cases where there are elements that make the case difficult and raise the chances that I may not succeed the first few rounds, wherein I 'wait' until I 'feel better' or wait until there is somebody else that I think would be 'better' at the case than I am and then make them responsible for it instead of directing the case myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to associate fear with not having a case be resolved or successful.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that others are going to judge me or speak negatively about me if I am not always successful at my cases when I am only projecting my own backchat and self-talk.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to take it personally and be hard on myself when I am not able to get a case resolved and the company ends up losing money instead of realizing that nothing of our current system is based on actual honor or dignity and that everyone is 'losing' moneyby allowing the current system to continue. Thus I do not take it personally that sometimes the system does not 'work' the way we are told it is supposed to because the system in fact does not support what is best for all and 'loss' is part of the equation of the current debt system.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be hard on myself when I must pay for messed up cases out of my own money and feed the fear and anxiety that I experience wherein I worry about losing and having to make do with less money.

I am NOT a “WHAT IF” question. I am here. Thus when I see/notice myself participating in the what if and experience the sensation of constriction and tightness and the 'rattling' of fear within the center of me, I will stop and assist myself by breathing and letting go of what I am thinking about and worrying about, and realize that even if I mess up on a case it is not anything good or bad and nothing to take personally – I am operating within the system and must do what I do to make a living and 'who I am' is not defined by and as my job or my job performance – 'who I am' is what I accept and allow within and as me.

Thus, when I see/notice myself asking 'what if' within my backchat or postponing cases or trying to 'wait' for a better time to do them I will stop and give myself a moment to breathe and realize that this is not in any way personal and that I simply require to do my job one task and one case at a time and that any worry, fear, or anxiety within me is not going to assist me in getting my work done any sooner and will only increase the chances that I will end up manifesting the fear.

So as I work I will work each case effectively and if I am not successful I will not allow myself to take it personally or beat myself up or blame myself, and will simply adjust and do the next step that is required to be done. And when I am successful at a difficult case or a series of cases I will not take it personally or give myself an ego boost because I realize it is simply a task to be done in order for me to make money and survive in the system and that there is nothing to get excited about.

In looking at this specific point of where I go into panic and anticipation of failure and self-doom within the “What If” fear system, I realize that this issue, like any other issue, has deeper roots than just what is on the surface. So while I do have some points with work and stress that effect my performance and contributes to the “what if” fear, this particular system of fear originated within me many years ago into my childhood and has been growing/developing along with “me” - becoming a part of me as my personality and thus becoming a part of the “who I am”.

So now the question is what is this fear? Where did it come from and how did it allow it to become part of my life through these years?

My most prominent memory of this “What if” and the fear that drives it:

Within my life I have experienced a consistent pattern of things 'suddenly not working out', where in the beginning of moving to a new environment or having to adjust to changes within my world there is a period of getting used to the new changes and a period of 'discomfort' but after that I begin to grow accustomed to the change. What happens here is that I would have to first adjust to losing any self-definitions that I had attached to my previous situation and then develop new personalities and associations through which to define myself by and be able to generate energy for and as the mind – this is of course before realizing that we are able to support ourselves to remain HERE as who we are in each moment regardless of where we are or who we are with or what we must do. 

So for many years of my life this pattern would play out where I would adjust to a new situation and have to face the pain and resistance of being 'forced' to let go of old connections, and I imprinted within myself a 'dread' of things suddenly changing or things not working out because then I would have to face again the point of my 'world' collapsing. So whenever things were going 'smoothly' or things begin to 'settle' or when I would see that I am in a different setting and my old programming/identity/personality would no longer fit or be supported, I would experience the panic and the constriction because “What if I actually allow myself to change and adapt to this new setting but then everything changes and I have to start over again?”, and once that “What if...” question is asked I begin to compound the point of anticipation where each day the point grows of anticipating that things just won't work out and that if I fully invest myself into this point it will end up backfiring and I will end up losingeverything and having to start over again.

So the trigger is whenever I am becoming settled or established in a point – whether it is a project or moving to a new place, or starting a new job, or settling down with a new partner – the anticipation within me builds and I "lose" myself in the self-doubt of “What if I am not in the right place? What if thisall turns to shit? What if I made a huge mistake and now I'm stuck here?” - all of this stemming from childhood experiences of instability and having to 'cope' with sudden changes and losses and having to redefine self many times and not quite being able to 'fit-in' or be comfortable due to constantly anticipating the next 'big change'.

Redefining Words - “Anticipate”

The key word that I would like to look at here is 'anticipate'

an-tic-i-pate (verb)
  1. Regard as probable; expect or predict.
  2. Guess or be aware of (what will happen) and take action in order to be prepared.

In my life I have often participated in the anticipation of what may come 'next' because I was afraid of having to lose everything, having to start all over, having to lose all of my friends and need to make new ones, having to let go of my current relationships in which I have established 'myself' and have to created/establish new ones, and fearing that I will never 'catch up' with others because of me always shifting and moving and not actually becoming established in a field of study or interest or a career.

Thus I tried to 'anticipate' what might happen and try to prepare myself as best I could and always be 'on the lookout' for the next turn in the road or next 'surprise' so that I can try to outmaneuver or outmatch anything that might threaten my 'stability' – but in this I did not consider that there is no way to actually plan for every contingency and that by focusing on what 'might happen' and trying to prepare myself for the unseen is only going to feed the idea that I will eventually be caught 'off guard' and will have to lose everything and 'start over' – and did not consider that it has been so easy for me to 'lose everything' because I have spent so much of my time trying to find 'stability' and trying to dodge the next hurdle that I never actually allowed myself to fully develop myself and trust that whatever comes, I will continue. 

Through the years of participating in anticipation I missed out on practical participation such as focusing on my education and training and developing my relationships and networks – thus I was in fact creating the instability that I had been trying to run from – because I find myself too anxious and stressed or too nervous to actually focus on the jobs that I would have, or to allow myself the time and space to do my studies effectively, and would not allow myself to fully invest in and participate in relationships in my world out of fear that it would 'not work' in the 'end' – as though I could already see the end before even allowing myself to really go for something and allow myself to really develop something from the beginning and not allowing myself to give up so easily and disregarding the time and application it takes to really make something work in this reality.

Thus I see that anticipation is actually an anti-participation – where the more I tried to anticipate the future or anticipate what might be possible, I was disregarding my actual, practical participation in my world – I was disregarding my actual daily living and was not focusing on the tasks at hand because I was too worried about the 'future', projecting my current instability into my future reality instead of correcting myself HERE and PARTICIPATING.

Thus instead of anti-participating my own life and my own future, I see and realize that my 'future' is in my own hands and that fearing and trying to avoid the 'future' is really me fearing and trying to avoid me, because I create me in every moment and by doubting my ability to create stability and an effective living for myself in the future I am saying that I doubt myself here and now.

When I see and notice myself anti-participating and postponing or hesitating or allowing myself to fear making new relationships or commitments or taking on a task or project I will stop and see that by anti-participating I am only going to re-create my pattern of disappointment and having to 'lose it all' – which I have had QUITE ENOUGH OF. Thus when an opportunity is here within my world I will simply consider it and move myself within what is best for all and will not allow myself to anti-participate. I will instead PARTICIPATE and allow myself to make 'mistakes' and learn and realize that if I keep giving up and doubting myself and trying to find 'stability' outside of me, I will never actually develop anything worthwhile or lasting in this reality, which is based on consistency of accumulation and participation, where I am part of the PARTY of life instead of being a constant drifter, floating on the waves of the Anti-Party-Sea and PARTITION myself in isolation.

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