Businessman thinking

Is Worry a Misuse of Imagination?

It’s humbling for me to admit, but I often struggle with worry. In fact, if it was a professional sport, I’m confident that I would win a championship.

I’ve often been anxious about my family, my company, the sports teams I coach – you name it. But, the thought occurred to me that worry may just be a misuse of imagination.

Worry and imagination are really very similar because they both involve visualizing the future. Therefore, worry really is just a misuse of imagination.

Worry vs. Imagination

Despite their similarities, the differences between them are significant:

  • Worry cultivates a mindset of scarcity. Imagination cultivates a mindset of abundance because it’s about possibility.
  • Worry makes you dread the day. Imagination creates excitement and optimism.
  • Worry focuses our minds on bad things that might happen. Imagination focuses our minds on good things that could be possible.
  • Worry has a way of draining us. Imagination has a way of energizing us.

Turning Worry Into Imagination

In looking at the differences between worry and imagination, it’s definitely a better use of time and mental resources to focus on what could be possible.

A good way to turn worry into imagination is to allow yourself to go to the worst-case scenario briefly. Then ask, If that did happen, what possibilities would that create?

If you can learn this technique, you can prevent worry from becoming a misuse of imagination.