Joining us on the show today, we have Bruce Van Horn, who is just a phenomenal, phenomenal guy. Bruce and I go back a ways. I’ve got to tell you that one of the things I love about Bruce is just his incredible happiness and positivity.
He has written the book, Worry No More, which is The 4 Steps to Stop Worrying and Start Living, and as a gift to our listeners and readers, he is giving away the first 4 chapters to the book!
“Because you deserve the best of me that I seek to become the fullest expression of who I was created to be. I love you, Dad.”
Bruce has had lots and lots of cause to worry in his life. February 17th of 2014, 9:22 in the morning, he put his youngest on school bus and had just started to eat breakfast.
“I was expecting my doctor to call me with the biopsy results, but he assured me that everything was just going to be fine. The phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and in that instant; I knew exactly what he was going to tell me.
I knew that eating breakfast that morning was going to be the last normal thing I would do for a very long time. Sure enough he called and he said, “Bruce, I just have no idea how to tell you this. It all came back bad. You’ve got stage 4 prostate cancer.” Then the wheels just start rolling and life didn’t assume normalcy for a long time after that”.
I’ll never forget the day that Bruce texted me. He had just found out. Knowing what he went through, the terrible pain and process that he had to go through, and yet his faith remained so very strong. His story is powerful and encouraging, so let’s dive in to some of the questions that I asked him.
WHAT IS WORRY?
Worry is using your imagination to create images of what you do not want to see, and/or events that you do not want to occur. It becomes paralyzing. It is like watching a movie. You’re creating, scripting, directing, and casting a movie in which you’re a victim.
WHEN DOES WORRY BECOME YOUR DOMINANT THOUGHT PROCESS?
There are so many things we worry about that we have absolutely no control over. There are certain things though that we worry about that we do have control over.
Stressing over it keeps you focused on the negative outcome and it paralyzes you from taking the action that you can take.
When you freak, you freeze and your brain stops functioning. You stop thinking about reality. You stop thinking about what are my options. You stop thinking of ways to get out of it
WHAT IS E + R = O?
There’s the event. Usually, we have no control over the event. We’re stuck in traffic. The outcome is going to be when I ultimately do get to work. Am I going to be all stressed out and angry or am I going to be happy and peaceful?
The difference between stuck in traffic and what happens at work is my response to it, the story that I tell myself. I had been telling myself a story in which I was a victim which left me powerless.
When I learned that I was not only capable of crafting a response, a story that I tell myself but that the response is 100 percent my responsibility not anybody else’s, WOW, empowering!
I can’t point the finger anywhere other than at me. That’s E + R = O.
Step 1: WATCH A DIFFERENT MOVIE
Step one is literally watch a different movie. Many of us just live our lives unaware that we can indeed control our thoughts.
You have that 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and researchers have discovered that approximately 75 percent of those are negative.
Step 2: MOVE TO A DIFFERENT STATE
Packing up our belongings and moving a couple hundred miles away might remove us from the source of what we think is some of our worry. That’s not the moving to a different state that I mean. I’m talking about physical and mental state management.
Our bodies have control over our emotions. When we’re happy, our bodies move in a certain way. We are expansive. We take up more space.
If you will move your body the way you would be moving your body, if you were happy, amazingly, you start to become happy.
Step 3: GIVE YOURSELF THE PRESENT
When we’re worried, we are thinking about the future. When we’re thinking about the future, we are not living in the present.
The only thing that is absolutely guaranteed in this life is that God only gives us right now, this very second. The only time in which you have any power to do anything about the future is right now.
Practicing mindfulness. Living in the moment. Catching yourself thinking about the future and reminding yourself.
This is why scripture says, “Tomorrow has enough worries of its own.” Live today.
Step 4: REST IN P’S
The P’s are perspective, plan, purpose, perfection, and peace. Ultimately, if we can understand that the life that we are experiencing right now we are only able to experience within our own thought process, then we can realize that there may be another perspective, another way.
This idea of perspective and the fact that our lives follow a plan and that plan has a purpose. There’s meaning to the things that happened in our lives.
I don’t believe there any coincidences because if things can happen randomly and outside of God’s control, then that leaves God being pretty weak. Where does omnipotent go?
Trusting that there is a plan and that there’s a purpose and that the creator of this plan and purpose is perfect means whatever is happening in your life is perfect. It doesn’t mean it’s pleasant.
If you can wrap your brain around perspective, plan, purpose and perfection, it can’t help but bring peace into your life and that’s ultimately what we want from our worry is peace.
We live in this paradox and trying to find peace in that paradox. We are 100 percent responsible for our lives as far as the decisions we make, the thoughts we think, and the way we respond to certain event in our lives.
We do not usually get to choose the path we get to walk down, but we get to choose how we walk it.
The concept of “it’s your imagination”, we don’t go there. We don’t think, I’m imagining something that has not happened yet. I’m imagining something that could be negative that I don’t want to see in the future; worry equals imagination.
Again, click the link below to get the first 4 chapters of the book “Worry No More”.
Question: What things are you imagining that are causing you to worry?
Click here to download the transcript.