Karma is created by the thought, the word and the deed. This means that in creating karma, the intention is as powerful as what we do. I say this to remind us that our intentions are a powerful influence on the course of our actions. And it all begins with the thought. For example, if your intention is to avoid conflict you might agree to do something that you really don’t want to do. Be mindful of situations in which you create worry for yourself. Set good boundaries and don’t back yourself into a corner by over committing or doing things that cause you to worry. This means that you don’t say you will do something when you know you are not going to do it. You will find yourself making excuses and avoiding the person that has expectations of you based on what you said.
When you say the opposite of your intention, you compromise your own integrity. Let me explain. If you have already decided that you don’t want to do something but SAY you will do it anyway, you are not being truthful with yourself and others. If you do not want to do something, you don’t have to make excuses or justify why you don’t want to do it. If you are not honest about your intentions, you will find yourself trying to avoid the person you committed to. You will worry and live looking over your shoulder because you know you weren’t honest.
If someone is pressuring you and insisting that you do something you don’t want to, set your boundaries and be firm and clear that you don’t want to do it. This is sometimes easier said than done. Some people don’t like to hear “no” and will try to wear you down with persistence. This is where you need to be strong and stand your ground. Disengage and walk away if someone does not respect the boundaries you are setting. Once you give in and agree to something that someone else is insisting on, then you give them the message that it is okay to wear you down to get what they want. Be impeccable with your word and say what mean and mean what you say. When you stay in your integrity, you can sleep at night knowing that your are engaging the world in a way that keeps you honest with yourself and others.
Being mindful about over committing is one way to reduce having to worry about certain things that might be within our control. Sometimes, we might have a hard time saying “no” if it affects our employment, education or reputation. At the same time, be clear about your limits with others as it sends the message about where you stand and what you are willing and not willing to do in certain situations. Don’t diminish your worth, but be humble too. Don’t be arrogant, demanding or entitled. Just simply be clear and concise in your response. Don’t be afraid of silence. Don’t keep talking and back yourself into a corner. For example, say something like, “Thank you for the invitation, but I will be unable to attend.” You don’t have make excuses or have to keep saying “no.” Even if the person keeps asking what you will be doing instead, just smile and keep saying “I won’t be able to attend.” Disengage and walk away if the person cannot respect your answer.
When we worry, we are worried about the outcome of a particular issue. Ask yourself if worry will change the outcome. When we are attached to an outcome, we can obsess about it because we have so much invested in the result. Ask yourself what purpose it serves to worry about something that is not within your control. Ask yourself how much time you want to lose to worry. Be confident in your ability to manage the problems that come your way. Be mindful that you give yourself credit for the lessons you have learned in life. Be open to learning more as you experience new things.
Mindfulness can help you with your worry by helping you to step back and look at the big picture. Ask yourself what you are really worried about. Is it something that you can control or is it “worry” about something that is not yours to worry about? Do not get stuck in the petty details of a situation or get sucked into other people’s drama. Be the author of your own script and don’t let people determine your boundaries for you. Examine the ways that you are enabling others in your life that is creating worry.
Be bold and walk yourself through your worry. Ask yourself what the worst case scenario would look like. Talk it out with a friend or someone you trust. Talk to a therapist and ask for support in re-framing the cause of your worry. Look for ways to slow your thoughts down and challenge your worry. Reflect on how you can shift your perspective to you see your own power in the situation. Believe in the knowledge that you can set a boundary without feeling guilty or taking responsibility for other people’s issues. Have confidence in your own ability to do what you need to do to stand in your power and take care of yourself.