Question: Praying for what we dont want!

(it’s like Jeopardy up in herre today!)


What is worrying?

(Get it right? Please to bestow upon yerself the prize of skipping this post & have a happy zen-filled FRET-FREE Thursday)

Years ago, at a yoga instructor certification course, a woman made the above comment to me when I expressed concern about a situation.

For me the sentence was life altering.

I wasnt an active worrier, but was already a big believer in the law of attraction.

It made perfect sense to me that by focusing on precisely what I did not desire (Please dont let my plane be delayed. I need to get home.  Ive a deadline to nail) I was essentially praying (or attracting if youre not one for prayer) for the event to transpire.

And, when I say life altering moment, I mean it from my core.

Ive had relatively few of these AhHas! (this was another) & this one 100% shifted my life-view.

The conundrum was I still had lottsa frets & worries in my head and I needed something productive to do with them.

I give you MizFit’s Top Two Tips to Avoid Praying For What You Do Not Want.

Ask yourself if the worry is helpful or productive?

Is this a worry where you can take action and mitigate it?

Is this a fret where your attention could bring about a ‘better’ outcome?

Indeed worry and then ACT. 

Is this a fear-based worry where the matter is out of your hands (this is/are the majority of mine)?

Make 2012 the year where you work the muscle of LETTING GO of what you can not control. For some this is let go let G-d for others it’s merely letting go.  Use trial and error to find what works for you.

Create a dedicated worry place or time.

While this sounds silly (& against the whole notion of the law of attraction) it works for me.

I found, like any major life change, my ability to let go of worrying was a process not an overnight!success!

As a result I needed to create a way to manage my frets until I could (can? tomato tomaaaahto) re-train my brain to release them in general.

Some find dedicating a specific amount of time per day to addressing worries translates into the frets not invading the other 23.5 hours (or however long you choose).

For me a more tangible approach was needed.

Until I re-trained my brain to fret-less as a habit, I wore a necklace pouch. (The sort more earthy types carry crystals in.) During the day, when a worry threatened to derail my thinking, I wrote it on a small piece of paper & placed it in the pouch.

Not only was I able to ‘let the fret go’ it served as a tangible indicator, as the weeks progressed & the pouch was less full at days end, of my new way of thinking becoming a habit.

(Takes a moment, focuses & does not let herself worry if anyone is still reading)

confession: Most of my posts start out longlong & only make it to my blog after being trimmed down so much they resemble insert joke here about newly shockingly skinny celebrity. This post began as even longer & this version is indeed the Kelly Osborne Post-Dancing With the Stars revision.  That’s how life-altering this concept was for me.

And you?

Are you a worrier who has already experienced the AH HA! of setting the frets free?  What tactics/approaches work for you?

Are you Miz or MizTer Footloose & Fancyfree? How on earth did you ever git this way do you maintain your outlook on life?


The above is, indeed, a flashback to another MizFit post.  I had a fresh-from-the-oven post slotted, but since worrying about a loved one is threatening to take over up in herre (& Im focusing on the above concept with the Tornado right.this.very.moment) I decided to share this instead.


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  1. Rita says

    I am such a worrier about everything.
    I might try a dedicated time because right now it is all time :/

  2. says

    Miz – such a great post. It truly is life-altering if one can let it go – I’m certainly a work in progress in that regard.

  3. Runner Girl says

    I use my runs to get my worries into focus and out.

    I guess that’s my dedicated time :)

  4. says

    I can get stuck in a cycle of worry.
    I’m n ot sure it will help if I STOP and let myself know and remind me it isn’t productive but I am game for trying.

    Lovely post, Miz.

  5. Healthy Mama says

    I go back and forth.
    When I am happy zen it is because my head is in the sand.
    I like the sand somethings LOL

  6. says

    I have always liked the phrase, “Worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have.” That said, it is easy to get mired down in the “what ifs” of life.

    P.S. Thanks for checking on me! 😉 This week has been too nutty to blog.

  7. Maddie says

    I use a worry journal.
    It is always in my pocketbook and when I being to obsess I write instead.

  8. says

    I’ve always been a big worrier. I hate that…and yes, hate is a strong word. There are certain things I’ve learned to ‘let go’ of (such as the weather!) but I still find myself worrying about a whole lot more. It’s something I’ve got to consciously work on…I think I’m still waiting for my big AHH HAA moment :)

  9. says

    I needed to see this again too. Last night at the Baccalaureate service (a church-y service for my son’s graduaton) the Gospel was Matthew 6: 25-34 which explains the needlessness and futility of worry. Needless, becuase G-d will take care of us, futile because “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” This was so ironic b/c my son was in a chain reaction fender bender on the way to the service and ended up missing almost all of it, so of course, I was worrying about him! (I knew where he was and that he was fine, but still!) And, I’ve been worrying that the cut on his leg won’t heal in time for his (rescheduled) surgery — like I can make skin grow faster! And then there’s the whole worry about graduation parties. ~Sigh~ I need to clear my head of worries and actively put my trust in G-d. (I guess I just used yuor blog as a designated worry place)

  10. says

    This is sooo true…as I fret right now lol. Just goes to show yes it is a process of “letting things go” esp the things you can’t change. You should read The Power of Positive Thinking. It goes into great depth about the law of attraction.

  11. says

    I worry about nothing any more, it doesn’t do any good so why bother.
    Apparently though the majority of people feel they must worry.
    During my financial chaos that I’m still dealing with and no where near out of, I’ve remained happy smiling bettering myself and going about life…people online have actually emailed me saying they refuse to help me because I’m not worried about the situation and not upset about it.
    Ummmmm ok?!
    If I worry that means I’m lacking in faith, so for me I’ll give it to God, let Him do His thang!

  12. Stacie says

    Intriguing you are trying this with the Tornado. I have a 7 year old son who worries a great deal about all things.

    I’m not sure he could grasp this though.

  13. says

    Great reminder, and hope it’s helping you with what I know is a tough situation.

    So after over 5 decades on the planet, I am finally getting much better about this. Somehow the notion that I get to CHOOSE what I want to think about and how I want to feel has finally gotten some traction! If there’s no concrete action to take, I ask myself: do you WANT to feel stressed? For some reason, the loud NO that comes back helps me redirect my thoughts (and then my emotions) back to areas of life where I am happy and grateful.

    But then I’m not dealing with anything particularly intense right now, so there’s that.

    Take good care of yourself & sending hugs…

  14. says

    As a Christian, I believe God is in control, and that worrying isn’t going to change anything. I know He wants what’s best for me, and that sometimes we have to learn lessons/go through some yucky stuff to get there, so I am willing to have some unpleasant days knowing in the end it’s worth it! But yes…I am a worrier by nature so i do a lot of praying to keep it in check! I am human!

  15. says

    WOW. I am SO GLAD you re-posted this as I hadn’t read it the first time you posted it. I needed this message today. I am SUCH a worrier and overthinker its crazy. How true it this message though? Why would I want to actively look for what I *don’t* want to happen TO happen?? I think the pouch idea is great..I may need to steal that one like rightnow. THANK YOU!!

    • says

      My sis pointed me to this post and I too needed to read this, so glad you reposted it! An amazing message, and in line what what I was just writing about, letting go, having faith, trusting. It’s so SO hard to do sometimes, but it’s so worth trying to do more of, less worry, more faith. Awesome, awesome post.

  16. says

    It’s hard not to go down the worrying/what ifs path, especially when you are dealing with health issues, but for me, I try to stay in the moment and not “go there” – not always easy, and sometimes I need a daily (hourly?) reminder to do that.

    Continued good thoughts are being sent your way – I know this is a scary time.

  17. says

    Just always so much learning that comes from your posts! I am such a person that worries! I think it stems from childhood & what went on in my home – my mom was a worrier & I probably picked up a lot of it BUT in general, I never got a good handle on how not to worry. I need to read & reread this & take something from it – I think I know what….

    GREAT POST!!!!

    Carla – HUGE HUGS! I so wish I could help!

  18. messymimi says

    Thanks for the timely reminder. My “let G-d take care of it” box has been empty too long as i try to carry these things myself. Time to revive the box.

  19. says

    Great post – I am really bad at worrying needlessly. I’ve gotten better over the years, but still find myself in a state of worry more often than I should be. And most of the time it’s nothing I can control so I realize it’s a waste of energy.

  20. says

    I used to be a BIG TIME worrier (not warrior, but maybe in another lifetime lol). I’ve learned throughout the years to let go and stop the unnecessary worrying (in my own life)… Some things we can control, others not.

    I still worry but not as much I as used to. I must say, it does relieve unnecessary stress when you can simply “let it be” :)

  21. says

    I take after my Grandma, who at one point got 15 hours away from home and had to go back because she was worrying that she left the door unlocked. I don’t worry to the same extreme but I would say that 75% of my days are spent frazzled. I’m probably going to steal your idea, and see if it helps!

  22. says

    “During the day, when a worry threatened to derail my thinking, I wrote it on a small piece of paper & placed it in the pouch”.

    Good tip!

    And, if this doesn’t help i guess i could always listen to Bob Marley’s “don’t worry” until it becomes hypnotic 😉

  23. says

    I totally struggle with this. Its something I’m constantly working on. I think having Kaylin has reminded me really not to sweat or worry about the small things!!

  24. says

    I’m a worrier by nature, but I’m learning to breathe through it (to the beat of LET.GO.) which usually works. When it doesn’t, and I catch myself dwelling, I’ll literally set the alarm on my iphone for 5 minutes and tell myself to be just as worried as I wanna be for those 5 minutes. Usually I wear myself out with it before the 5 minutes or up. :)

  25. says

    I think I need to bookmark this and re-read it everyday. At work I get so wound up about with worry that it literally prohibits me from doing what I need to do. I have to step away and instruct myself to “stop” It’s such an easy pattern to get into and your point about praying for it to happen is such an eye opener.

    I’m going to work on this today.

  26. says

    WOW! I love this. It’s so true. I have really been trying to focus on what I can control and having a positive attitude. Being thankful vs. constantly complaining or wishing for something different or additional. This was a great post and a reminder all of us can use!

  27. says

    ARGH! Carla, this drives me crazy! I absolutely LOATHE that phrase that “worrying is praying for what you don’t want”. and yeah, I know that you agree that if it’s something you can change, go ahead and act on it. But let’s take your example:

    “(Please dont let my plane be delayed. I need to get home. Ive a deadline to nail) ”

    now while you can’t stop your plane from being delayed, you COULD address the reason you don’t want the plane delayed (you have a deadline to nail). That worry that you might not make your deadline might motivate you to outline your work, or get some work done while waiting for the plane. You could call and try to extend your deadline (especially if there’s a meeting and you’re short on time) There are changes in behavior or positive outcomes from the concern. There almost always are, even if they don’t bear immediate or visible fruit.

    Worried about UV radiation? Know there’s nothing you can do about the Ozone layer? cut down on spray can usage. If EVERYONE worried enough to make a change, the impact would be huge!

    There isn’t anything so big or so small that you can’t effect change in some way… if you CHOSE to… even if it’s choosing to look at the problem in a different way. Letting go is also a choice, one that should be done with thought, rather than a defensive response to worry or emotional pain.

    • MizFit says

      I’m not sure what I think these days. I do know when it comes to framing the Tornados worry about her very sick 3.5 year old cousin it’s working.

  28. says

    This feels like a horoscope, I need this so much this week. Thank you for this uplifting message. Very powerful.

  29. says

    “worrying is praying for what you don’t want”

    I’m not sure I agree with this. I think of worrying as being concerned about an issue and thinking it through. And when I think of praying, I think of it in a positive light – the quote above has such a negative connotation that I can’t associate it with the praying the I have come to know.

    I think substituting the word “asking” for “praying” would make more sense to me, but it still doesn’t feel right (to me).

    But if it helps the Tornado wrap her little brain around this huge huge ugly problem, and sends her thoughts in a more positive direction, then so be it. ((((hugs))))

    • MizFit says

      emailed you privately but wanted to add publicly how much I appreciate the fact you and Kate dont agree with me and shared that and why!

      As I said to you it’s so easy to say GREAT POST!!! and more of a heartfelt investment to say: ok interesting POV but I disagree and here’s why.

      I completely appreciate those comments.

  30. says

    I’m definitely someone who has to keep working on the amount of worry in their brain. Thanks for these tips and I’ll put them to good use.

    I was told once that many of us MSU (Make Stuff Up) in our minds and it really ends up creating worry that doesn’t amount to anything.

    Thanks MizFit.


  31. says

    Great post. When I’m worrying about something, I always acknowledge it and then try to do something to change the situation if I can. If I’m unable to change the situation, I try to not think about it for a while and return to it later to work through it.

    • MizFit says

      Thats how Im feeling … these days anyway.
      I reserve the right to change my mind pleaseandthankyou :-)

  32. says

    My AHA moments, especially recently, are:

    the visual of dropping the rope that causes the mind filled struggle

    as in the law of attraction..its not the thought per se but the energy and emotion behind the thought (the struggle)

    it boils down to finding ways to change only OUR RESPONSES not others or circumstances

    my “personal thoughts beget physical ailments or situations” go to author is Louise Hays and her quote “Its just a thought and a thought can be changed” takes out the WILL and replaces it with just the POWER.

  33. says

    Yep, I’ve found that if something makes me worry, and it doesn’t go away, obviously I need to go DO SOMETHING about it, if I can.

    If I can’t do anything, I try to put it out of my mind and concentrate on what I CAN change.

    However, a loved one being sick is OBVIOUSLY something you can’t directly change (comfort, be there, yes, change, no), and probably something hard to put out of your mind, so best thoughts, hugs, and calmness sent your way to get through this.

  34. cheryl says

    A wise principal I worked with many many years ago shared her wisdom that….”there is no control-and when you accept that, you can go on living your life, happily.”

    I do worry though at times about my daughter’s safety on the road and with whom she chooses to spend her time-and what activities she engages in, and how she is going to make her living and be happy herself.

    But nothing comes from worrying. Nothing but a headache and anxiety.

  35. cheryl says

    oh and I wanted to add….worrying is kinda like looking at the rut or rock or large root sticking out from the trail that you DON’T want to hit. Don’t look at it and you won’t hit it! Choose the path around it!

  36. says

    Great post.
    I’ve been struggling with this because I truly believe that, like you said, worry is like praying for what you don’t want. I try my best to turn it around but it is hard. I’m way better than I was 5 years ago, that’s for sure!!

  37. says

    Excellent post. Often times what we worry about are the things we have no control over… strange. Maybe that’s why we worry, because we are afraid of not having any additional influence or control.

    Okay, too serious. Running, birds, starbucks and babies. Yes, back to normal me.

  38. says

    You’re in my head, always. I’m not worrying, I’m ‘frustrated’ over the situation. 😉
    Focusing on the positive, expecting the positive, positive, happy, good, positive…The rest of the day I’m just going to think the word ‘YES’. I realize I just rambled nonsense. ha ha ha.

    Still sending happy, good, healing, positive thoughts your way.

  39. says

    There is so much truth behind this post.

    I hope you don’t mind, I printed this out and had my fiance read this. Life threw us some financial curveballs and he has been one giant worrying mess.

    “Make 2012 the year where you work the muscle of LETTING GO of what you can not control. ” <— that really resonated with him. he read the post, closed his eyes and took in one sigh of relief. Then thanked me for showing him.

    so thank YOU for posting this. <3

  40. says

    So I had to read that phrase like 7 times before I really understood it… which I think says a lot about how much I worry:) I maintain the absolute best I have ever felt in my entire life was when I had a colonoscopy and they gave me a drug that erased my short-term memory. I literally couldn’t worry. (I also couldn’t stop asking my husband what time it was so it probably wasn’t the best day of his life…) I remember thinking “There’s all this stuff I should be worried about. But I can’t remember what it is!” It was the most freeing feeling. I have such a hard time turning my brain off. I love your pouch idea – I think I’ll give that one a try.

  41. says

    I LOVE this post. I’m not a BIG worrier…for the most part. I can worry about things I CAN control, or worry when there is something to worry about. “What if” thinking just doesn’t sit well with me! Have a wonderful, worry free day!!!!

  42. addy says

    Not too much of a worrier – unless it is about my kid. Then that never stops cuz I always think there is something I can do to change the outcome. Yeh – look at me – gonna worry my child into the perfect life…….

  43. says

    I needed to read this post today. I am a worrier of the worse kind! When things are stressful I wake up at night thinking about things and so goes on the worry.

    Thank you for such great insight. As is most of my life this worry thing is something I am trying to get a handle on. I am going to read this post over again and again. Practice makes perfect!

    Sorry you have something in life that is causing worry – my prayers that all turns out well.

  44. says

    I go through seasons where I’m really good about not worrying, and then fall back into the trap again. I think it’s mostly that I don’t realize it and then I catch myself and have a little internal discussion. Is it helping me to worry? Am I simply working out a problem and need to brainstorm more productively or just let go and remember that God is in control. Great post!!

  45. AnnG says

    Praying for you! I always try to remember the verse in Matthew where Jesus tells us not to worry…sometimes it works, other times not so much!

  46. says

    I worry and stress over little thing, but I’ve learned to let go of more. I’ve learned not to be afraid and stressed about situations that don’t even exist (meaning I got stressed about the possibility of a situation). Thanks for the post! A great reminder.

  47. says

    I’m a worrier Miz – although I worry about the little things, NOT the big things. And usually it’s about stuff over which I have no control.

    I like the ‘praying for what we don’t want’ concept, cos that’s really true for me. I tend to expect the worst so I won’t be disappointed – but perhaps by doing so, I’m calling to the gods to send it my way!!!


  48. says

    My husband is a foot loose and fancy free, so every day I have such a wonderful reminder of how good life is when you don’t worry unnecessarily. He saves that for things that really do need some help and there’s something that can actually be done. Being surrounded by that kind of wonderfulness, I can’t possibly justify my natural inclination to worry. I think I actually inherited it- or learned it from family and it is not a good quality so I really do try to emulate my husband when it comes to this.

    Your pouch idea is especially good. I relate well to concrete examples of progress.

  49. Other Jill says

    So timely. Have to share this. Had a really worrisome thing happen today re: my teenage son and as worry and anxiety came creeping in i thought of u, and Dana and her daughter, and your daughter, and I refocused my energy to pray for y’all. Not worry but love. (())

  50. says

    This post really strikes home to me…I am such a firm believer that we are NOT meant to worry. It’s not easy to let things go, but here’s how I’ve learned to deal with things that consume my mind that I really cannot control: I remind myself of the truth that God wants us to live in his freedom with him as the one in control of my bigger life story. If I really believe he is in control of my life and writing my story (which I profess to believe on paper), then I need to practice that by letting go. God has always provided for me, always met me in my needs, always blessed me above what I need (and deserve!)…after seeing his faithfulness, why would I doubt and worry and therefore show that I’m not trusting?

    My mother-in-law is plagued by worry and it’s so hard to watch when it’s about things that she cannot control and doesn’t need to be focusing on anyways. It’s such a trap and doesn’t allow us to live freely…and the help for me comes back to really taking God at his word and believing in his promises and truth. That is my only answer to not worrying, and it gives me so much peace! Other than that answer, I really don’t have one but I hope others can be freed from this pit (although part of it is natural since we do like to try to control things!). It’s not wrong to worry but I think it’s wrong to stay there. Here’s to freedom to trust, learn, experience, and grow! 😀

    • says

      PS – Sorry for the long response! 😉 And so hard not to worry especially in times like you and your family are going through; I hope you understand my response and be encouraged to let go and love those around you more deeply in freedom in this time. We love you, Carla!

  51. MizFit says

    I love and APPRECIATE all you comments.
    The long the short —the agree and the disagree :-)
    Thank you!!

  52. says

    I am going to give you a big gigantic hug at FitBloggin for this post! You’ve given me some peace of mind when it comes to looking at worrying. To be honest I’ve not been myself since I lost my dad. The world, well actually my world, has been tossed upside down and I’m just hoping to land back on my feet. So thank you for this beautiful a-ha moment and a new outlook.

  53. says

    YES. I’m not a worrier, but my husband is. So much time and energy poured into concern over things that cannot be changed. It’s hard for him to take a step back and just let things go. I’m a do my best and see what happens sort of person…and I think I’m a lot happier for it. We balance each other. Most days 😛

  54. says

    I love this post. I worry about so many things – many of which are outside of my control. When I travel, I freak out about little things (being late to airport, flight delayed, etc) – and my hubby always tells me that worrying won’t get the plane there or us to the airport any faster (which is true). I love the idea of letting go and not letting worry fill our minds, thoughts, and lives. This is something I definitely need to work on.

  55. says

    I so get this. I am definitely a worrier by nature but have started to set my worries free in the past year or so (for the most part). I think that the biggest part for me was figuring out if the worry was helpful or productive or if I could truly do anything about it.

  56. says

    I am a huge believer in the law of attraction and that our thoughts manifest into what we live. I LOVE the idea of the pouch – what a great, tangible way to retrain our brains!

  57. tony says

    I like the idea of the “worry pouch” and the “worry journal”. I am a worrier and it’s something I’m longing to let go of. I’m giving these a shot.

  58. says

    Great post my friend. I’m looking forward for another wonderful post from you. Get your Max Payne 3 Beta Keygen visit here palasipas(dot)com.

  59. Lisa@runwiki says

    I catch myself worrying these days quite often. My family of five is in transitional housing and still no luck and not enough money to find the right house. In these very uncertain moments I make and effort to trust that everything will be ok, visualize the outcome I desire and remind myself of how grateful I am to have safe transitional housing. I think of the movie “life is beautiful” the Father made living in a concentration camp seem fun to the child. Obviously, we are NOT in those dire circumstances but the lesson is , there are things we have no control over but how we choose to look at is ours. Time and time again you bring thought provoking posts to our lives. You are beautiful. Xo


  1. […] Is Worrying Praying For What We Don’t Want? My favorite posts from Carla are her posts about mothering and being a parent. I look up to her so much as a mom and think she does such an amazing job with her little (or big?) Tornado. Check out this post about worrying. […]