[Excerpt from Chapter 1, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now.]
My friends say our worries & fears come from the not-so-helpful “committee in my head.” I call those negative voices “whispered lies.”
For instance, for too many years I believed “If I want to be liked, I must look good.” This whispered lie made me constantly worried about my appearance and behavior.
Here are a few more examples:
• “I’ll never have enough money.”
• “I always sabotage my success.”
• “Relationships just don’t work for me.”
• “We could all be happy if only Dad would stop drinking.”
Although many whispered lies concern ourselves, they often involve institutions, as in “If the government would just change this policy, we’d all be better off.” Other distressing beliefs focus on our children, spouses, friends, or relatives—for instance, the last example about the father’s drinking.
Even though it might be true that Dad ought to stop drinking or the government should make changes, these events have no control over your own happiness.
You can find peace of mind under any circumstance because you’re in charge of what you think about.
Most of our worries are fueled by false stories installed into our minds long ago, just waiting for opportunities to be confirmed. Wayne Dyer wrote that everything our brain “knows” is based on past experiences. Therefore, when an event resembles—even in a small way—an old painful one, our mind interprets the new event according to the long-standing negative belief.
Since most whispered lies live largely in our unconscious, we’re often unaware of them.
To illustrate the power of my own “negative committee’s” lies, consider why I failed at romantic love so many times during my twenties and thirties. I wanted to believe that love was possible for me, but my past had taught me the lie “I’m not worthy of love.”
This belief lived so strongly in my mind that, even when a man loved me deeply, I couldn’t believe it was true. After several months, I would become convinced that he wasn’t fulfilling my needs. These worries made me so demanding that I soon snuffed out all the happiness and joy of new love. When it ended, I’d tell myself, “I just don’t deserve love!” Until I got honest and started healing my faulty thinking, I had no hope of enjoying a happy relationship.
I’m so grateful for the therapy, recovery, psychological strategies, and spiritual tools that gave me freedom from my false beliefs. As a result, I’m a pretty happy camper most days — AND I’ve been happily married for 30 years. So what if Peter’s my 4th husband??? He’s fabulous!
To learn how to win independence from your own committee’s whispered lies, order a personalized SIGNED COPY of my award-winning book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now here. Amazon (5 stars), Barnes and Noble, and e-book formats.
Gigi Langer, PhD has helped thousands of people improve their lives at home and at work. She’s written several books for educators, and is a sought-after speaker and workshop leader. Gigi holds a doctorate in Psychological Studies in Education and an MA in Psychology, both from Stanford.