Are you a worrier or a warrior? A warrior is one who focuses on inner strength, courageous action, and steady discipline to achieve intended outcomes. A worrier focuses on negative scenarios, leaks energy, and fears unfortunate happenings.
While worrying is a preoccupation with possible past, present, or future bad events, “warrioring” is a mental discipline, which focuses on possible positive future events. Worrying is a type of thinking which creates fear, unproductiveness, and stress. “Warrioring” is a type of thinking, which creates empowerment, strength, and health. Which are you?
Most often we are a combination of both warrior and worrier. I find this exciting. With awareness, practice, and training, worry mode can steadily be switched to warrior mode.
Here is an example moving from worrier to warrior.
Last week, I caught myself in worry mode. The area, where I live and work, was temporarily contaminated. Toxic air pollutants from local sugarcane burning plagued the air. Maui is notorious for its picturesque landscapes filled with endless acres of sugarcane. While the fields are beautiful, the process of harvesting them is not. Harvesting cane on Maui involves lighting the entire field on fire. The result is air filled with burning pesticides, plastic, and sugarcane. Indoor and outdoor environments are affected.
Living less than 300 feet from the sugarcane fields, my home and work environment were uninhabitable for several days during and after the burning. This is the first time I have lived so close to the fields during the burning process. The toxicity in the air caught me totally by surprise and, thus, unprepared. At first, I suffered by staying in the area, worrying about my health, and trying to maintain a regular work schedule. After enduring this situation for approximately 24 hours, I realized I had to take charge and become a warrior to champion my own health and those of my clients as well as make other arrangements for my usual routine, at least for the time being.
The warrior in me needed fresh air, perspective, and a new outlook. I headed to a forest preserve 30 minutes from my house where I went hiking to clear my mind. Within an hour, I could feel the cleansing effect of the clean air, the power of blood pumping in my body, and a renewed clarity to my thinking. I shifted my worried thoughts of losing work, time, and money because of having to cancel appointments with some of my clients and the interruption of a few projects to focusing on some of my most important goals.
I guided my mind to think of My Best Summer Ever list. If you recall, this is the exercise where you list your top 25 activities, goals, and experiences you would like to do to make it your best summer ever. At the top of my list was a trip to NY to visit family friends and coaching clients. Another item on the top of my list was traveling to my hometown, Vail, Colorado, for my birthday in mid-July, which also happens to coincide with an Indigo Girl concert, another top 25 goal on my list. First, my mind worried about having the time and resources to make these goals a reality. Could I take the time off to travel? Did I have the resources saved to pay for travel expenses? Initially, I felt sad and overwhelmed at the thought of it not happening or having the ability to bring these goals to fruition. Then, I noticed myself focusing negatively. My goals certainly wouldn’t come to fruition by focusing on what I didn’t want. I encouraged myself to shift. I asked myself, what would I need to do to make this a reality? How much would I need financially to make it happen? How much time did I want to take off? How could I plan my schedule to effectively work with my phone-coaching clients while traveling? The picture of my desired outcome became crystallized with each step.
Next, I focused on the details of how much money the travel portion would cost. Once again, I observed myself, initially, focusing on what I didn’t have. Good ole’ worrywart, it’s hard to leave home without her. Then I flashed on last week’s blog post, Money Is Not The Answer. I remembered money solutions are first arrived at through creativity and knowledge. How could I use my creativity and knowledge to create the resources for my trip? Immediately, I had a vision of developing a specialized daily coaching and wellness program for my NY client whom I wanted to visit. I focused on adding value to his life. How could I help him create his best summer ever? During the rest of my hike, I developed a plan that would support my client’s goals, and mine. The warrior in me felt purposeful, healthy, and focused by the end of the hike.
After the hike I logged onto the computer, emailed a proposal, and patiently waited for a response. A week later, my proposal was accepted. My client said, “Give me your desired travel dates, and I will have my assistant book your ticket.” Next, he asked, “Is there anywhere else you would like to stop over while on your way to NY?”
I replied, “Why, yes. I would like to spend a few days in Colorado.”
He said, “Great.”
I now have a first class ticket to Denver, a ticket to the Indigo Girls concert, and a trip to NY settled.
This is the power of moving from worrier to warrior!