The desire to be in control promotes worrying

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why we worry

In my previous article Why we worry i talked about the several reasons that lead to worrying. I said that caring about something very much but not having enough faith that it will go well can promote worrying.

If you really want to get a certain job but aren't sure you did well in the interview then most probably you will worry. Now if you have bills to pay ,and their time is almost due, then certainly you are going to worry more because you are in extreme need of the job.

In other words the more needy you are the more likely you are going to worry. This is why i said in another article that being tolerant of the worst outcome can kill worrying.

Why do you never keep worrying all day about dropping your mobile phone? Simply because you know you can afford to buy a new one and so the worst case doesn't scare you much. Of course some people are more prone to worrying. Two teens who can't afford to buy a new phone might have different attitudes towards worrying.

One teen might find it scary to keep the phone near the edge of the table, because he always worries about dropping it, while the other might feel totally comfortable placing it there.

The desire to be in control promotes worrying

The reason i began with this introduction is to help you grasp the basic principles before i built up upon them.
Do you know that the desire to be control can lead to a lot of worrying?

So many people have false beliefs about life especially control freaks. Let me begin first by asking you some important questions. Are we really in control? Can you prevent yourself from catching a cold? What about falling down all of a sudden and breaking your leg? Can you control your heartbeats?

In my article The illusion of control i explained how we mistakenly believe we are in control when we actually aren't. Yes of course we do have control over many things in our lives but the things that are out of our control are more numerous.

When i talked about success in life i said that you can believe you became successful because you did everything right while in fact success could have happened because of factors that are totally out of your control such as meeting the right people or being in the right place.

Now when you think that you are in control of everything you will tend to worry much more simply because your mind will want you to take actions to improve things (See why your mind sends you the different emotions).

Let's go back to the example of the job interview. If that man was a control freak then he will worry until he gets the interview result simply because his mind will believe that he can do something more than waiting.

We worry when our minds believe we can do something

Because that man had an unconscious belief that states that he is in control of everything his mind wanted him to use that level of control to let the interviewer accept him.

Had that man believed that this is something totally out of his control he would have not felt that worried. Yes he would have worried about the bills but he won't have worried that much.

Do you know why some people fear flying?
There are many reasons but one of them is believing that they aren't in control. The problem with those people is that they didn't realize that they weren't much in control as well when they were on the ground.

Of course worrying can be a good thing when there is something that you can do but if there is nothing to be done then you might just have to change your beliefs about being in control (See the psychology of control freaks).

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