Worry is Creativity in Action

Inspiration / Self-Improvement

Worry is a Misuse of Imagination

There’s a reason I’m kicking off the Pinterest Therapy Sessions with this pin….

See, I’m quite the Super Hero. You probably didn’t know that because I don’t always rock the latex bodysuit, leather boots and shield.

I am Worry Wonder Woman and my superpower is a bit sketchy. It’s the ability to jump to the worst possible conclusion at head-snapping speed. That mosquito bite that doesn’t itch. Give me 10 minutes and I can turn a simple bug bite into inoperable, metastasized melanoma.

Until I came across this quote, I never connected imagination with worry. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

Worry is a misuse of the imagination.

There are things that we love to imagine: lying on a white sand beach in the Caribbean, finally getting that corner office, fitting into our high school jeans, etc.

And then there are things that we should never imagine: a multi-car accident, bankruptcy, the death or illness of a loved one, a lay-off or business failure, etc.

Notice the difference here.

When we imagine fun, happy, positive scenarios, it’s called dreaming.

When we imagine sad, depressing, negative scenarios, it’s called worrying.

Either way, it’s the imagination at work. 

That means worrying is not only a figment of our imagination – it’s a corruption of it. So maybe the trick is to use the imagination more wisely. To indulge our imagination when it comes to our hopes and dreams – but not when we’re dealing with fears and doubts.

As a certified “Worry Wart”, I find this pin very comforting.

First off, we “Worry Warts” are obviously far more creative than we realize. So let’s bask in that for a moment.

And second, maybe we “Worry Warts” can harness our abundantly overflowing creativity. We can still let our imaginations run wild and free, but only when we’re entertaining positive or productive thoughts. Like daydreaming about writing a NYT fiction bestseller, winning the Power Ball jackpot or 50 ways to seduce your mate with cool whip. No wait, that last one was a different pin!

It looks like our time is up for today. Thanks Pinterest! I feel better already!

This is Day Two of the Pinterest Therapy Sessions. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

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Do you agree that worry is the misuse of imagination?

9 Comments

  1. I am writing this quote down and pinning it over my desk. At the very least when the worrying gets carried away it will remind me of my excellent imagination!

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  2. I prefer thinking of my worrying as an overactive imagination rather than anxiety any day…yes, this definitely sounds much healthier. I always do this when I hear about a terrible car accident on the news. I think of everyone I know who lives in the area, drives that type of car, or travels that direction, and freak until I’m sure their safe. Wow, when I put it in writing it really does sound better as an ‘overactive imagination’…

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  3. I love this one…thanks for sharing! I found your blog via the comment you left on my blog, thank you 🙂

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  4. Hey, I never thought of it this way. Maybe THAT’S why I worry so much and jump to crazy conclusions: my vivid imagination. You’re right: it could certainly be put to better use!

    #SITSSharefest

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  5. Love this article and I can SO relate to your bug-bite scenario. For example – after recently upping my exercise regimen lately to include more weight and resistance training, my muscle mass has noticeably increase. This is a good thing, right? BUT… when I noticed more firmness in my chest area – the first thing I did was panic and figured I need a mammogram. I told my husband and he helps me reason this out… I get happy about the noticeable differences everywhere else, so couldn’t this – too – just be muscle growth? Oh. Duh. Didn’t even think of that. Back to my push-ups…

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  6. Tinsel & Tine says

    I’ve been without employment since April and yesterday was the first day I really just gave it up to the Universe to bring me something good. I imagined an abundant Universe gathering up balloons with strings floating in the air, and on each balloon is a word to describe the type of job that would be not only lucrative, but fun! A position that fits my likes and strengths. And then I imagined the Universe delivering this bouquet of balloons right to me.

    Reading this therapy session helps me to believe I’m on the right track and not just losing my mind. That I’m not giving up and going to be out in the streets or so far in debt that I’ll never get out. But instead I’m allowing something bigger than me to help me and maybe that thing that’s bigger than me is just my imagination.

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  7. nancy says

    I seem to imagine the worst case scenario all the time. I’ve written down this quote and only hope I can keep it in my mind when I’m doing down that path.

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