If I Am Worrying About Losing My Job, Can I Make It Happen?


A woman worried about losing her job as a result of her company’s getting acquired, says she’s also worried that her worrying “could manifest the very events I’m worried about”, and asks for resources……

Dear Belleruth,

My company was recently acquired by a larger one, and the inevitable consolidating has begun. I'm feeling worried and anxious about losing my job, my health insurance, and not being able to pay my mortgage and other payments.

I don't want to dwell on this, as I believe that my thoughts could manifest the very things I’m worrying about. But the more I try to not focus on this, the more I worry.

Any tools – meditations, affirmations, or guided imagery - to help me with this? 

Dear Kathy,

I’m so glad you asked this in the way that you did. It gives me a chance to hopefully offer some reassurance and at the same time, rant and carry on about one of my favorite pet peeves.

First off, let me say that I’m sorry you’re faced with these very real concerns. These are dicey times and no way am I minimizing this aspect of your question. A lot of really good, capable people are in this worrisome situation with you.

All we can do is try to control what we can – mobilizing this worry into beefing up job performance, trying to make yourself as indispensible to the boss as possible, keeping work relationships in good working order and exploring as many alternative, just-in-case opportunities as you can.

After doing everything possible (with your actions and your general demeanor at work) to create the best possible outcomes, it’s up to the gods and the fates, and it’s best to just let it go. This is easier said than done, for sure, but it’s easier when you know you’ve done all you could.

But as for this notion that if you worry, you’ll create the events you’re worrying about – well, that’s just pseudo-spiritual voodoo meets magical thinking… not correct, and not fair to yourself, either. It’s hard enough to have the worries. To then be worried about your worries… well, that’s more worry than anyone needs.

That’s like so many people fearing that if they worry about getting cancer, they’ll get it - a level of child-like thinking, to assume we’re so powerful, that our momentary thoughts could transmute into concrete events in real time. Maybe months and months, or years and years - layers and layers of thoughts and resulting actions could – but a transient phase of worry? I don’t think so.

So now we get to my pet peeve: what you’re describing is the negative side of the simplistic aspirational notion that we can wish ourselves into love, money, success, fame and happiness. This is spiritual materialism and will not take you far.

For instance, take the notion: “if I meditate and think good thoughts, I’ll be thin!”. Rilly?? How about instead: if I meditate, I’ll be more centered and clear, calm and balanced, more connected to my inner self and the Universe as a whole.

This may shift my mood and biochemistry in such a way that I could be less compulsive with anxious eating. It may give me more energy, which I might can channel into walking every day. This in turn might increase my muscle mass, which would beef up my metabolism… you see where I’m going with this…. If you want to be thin, imagining it alone is unlikely to do it. It has to create a roadmap for changes in behavior, too.

We are complex beings living complex lives. A lot of things interact to create a reality. That goes for worry, too. Channel your worry into positive, functional behaviors, then let it go, if you can. But please also remember that a little worry never killed anybody.

In the meantime, our Affirmations, Self-Confidence imagery or the marvelous Mary Sise’s Thought Field Therapy exercises on video might be just the ticket to get you over the hump and redirect your mind from unnecessary, non-functional worry.

I hope this helps. Go forth and good luck!

All best,