If you’re anything like me, you may have wasted lots of energy over the years ‘worrying’ about things ahead of times and yet many of the things I worried about never actually happened…
How many of the things you worried about ACTUALLY happened in the way you thought they might?
Yes of course, some of the things we worry about do actually happen but did all the worrying in advance change it… probably not!
Did all the worrying ahead of time put us into a state of mind where we were best able to deal with the actual challenge?
For me, by the time I’d finished ‘worrying’ about what might happen, I was often ill prepared for the ‘challenge’ when it did happen.
How much better would it have been, if instead of spending precious time and energy worrying about all the things that may go wrong or why something shouldn’t happen, I’d spent time planning how best to deal with the challenge ahead and then taking some action to improve my confidence and skills, so that I was better prepared to ‘cope’ with the issue if it did arise?
We often spend so much time and energy worrying about what we ‘don’t want’ that we don’t have the energy left to plan for what we ‘do want’ don’t we?
Do you think when we waste time worrying about things that we don’t want to happen that we are more or less likely to live the life of our dreams?
Do we even have time left to know what our dreams truly are, after all the ‘time spent worrying’?
I’ve learned from years of experience, that worrying truly is a ‘useless emotion’…(it doesn’t always stop me doing it though – haha)… Why didn’t I listen to my mum when she told me this time and time again?
However, it’s never too late to change…..
If you’re a ‘worrier’, start to listen to the language you are using to yourself and others. Being aware of what you are saying either out loud or within your head is the first step to making the change needed to leading a life with less ‘worry’…
When something feels ‘impossible’ and you’re spending your energy ‘worrying’, STOP for a moment and take some time to write down what you’re worried about and then start to form a plan for what you can do to ‘reduce the risk of ‘it’ happening or to improve your own skills to enable you to deal with ‘it’ more confidently…..
Do you ever catch yourself saying things like…
“I can’t do that because .???……….. may happen…”
“I’m so worried about my exams, driving test, my job, my family, my relationship, money……..”
“I’m worried that I won’t be good enough… I’m not fit enough….. They’ll think I’m rubbish… I’m not strong enough… Pretty enough… Clever enough…..”
“I’m worried I won’t find anywhere to live… find the right job…. meet the right person….”
“I’m worried that I don’t know what I want to do with my life….
“I’m worried that if….. is elected that….”
“I daren’t ….buy a house …. change job ….. because there may be another banking crash…
“I can’t leave this abusive relationship because I’m worried that….”
If so, it’s time to take back control of the Negative Committee in your mind! The Negative Committee In Your Head
My mum had a great poem hanging on the back of the toilet door as a daily reminder to he about What’s the use of worrying… – Have a read – it will make you smile!
There are 2 categories of things we worry about:
- Things that are within our sphere of control
- Things that are outside our sphere of control
I eventually learned some better questions to ask myself and these questions massively reduced my ‘worrying’… They may help you too…
In future, when you catch yourself ‘worrying’ about something, try asking yourself:
“Can I do anything about this….?”
The answer to this question, will determine whether it is something within your sphere of control or not.
If it’s something you can’t control or influence, then it needs to be put to one side in your mind. Stop focussing on it and start to use your energy to take action on the things that are within your control…
If it is within your control, ask yourself:
“What is the worst thing that could happen if ….happened?”
Once you are clear on the worst case scenario, it’s possible to develop a ‘Plan B’ by asking yourself:
“How could I deal with (worst case scenario)???”
Write down a plan for how you could deal with the worst case scenario. Writing it down, helps focus your mind on the things you can do, rather than wasting precious energy just ‘worrying about it’…
Developing a ‘plan’ starts to bring a sense of ‘hope’… a feeling that it is possible to take some actions that would minimise the ‘risk’ of ‘it’ happening in the first place or that even if ‘it’ does happen, you have a strategy to deal with it.
Sometimes you may identify an ‘underlying root cause’ – for example, if you think “I may not get the job as a fitness instructor because I’m 5 stone overweight”, you’re underlying worry may be that you are feeling tired, unhealthy, overweight and generally unhappy with yourself. This in turn impacts on your ‘inner confidence’ and ‘outer body language’ and thus impacts on your success in interviews…
The underlying cause is often something within your control and therefore you can do something about it.
For example, if you’re worrying about not getting the job because “they might look at me and think I’m not ‘fit enough’… then take action to ‘get fit’ which will improve your confidence and thus improve your chances of getting the job..
You can also develop a ‘plan B’… Regardless of the outcome of the interview, I’ll continue to improve my health and fitness and I’ll do some additional training to improve my skills…
So here are my ‘Top Tips’ for reducing ‘worry’:
- Develop a vision for the ‘best case scenario’ – What you want to happen rather than what you ‘don’t want’ to happen. What you focus on is often the outcome you will achieve…. You may find a ‘focus vision board’ helps to develop positive ideas around a specific goal or challenge… 5 Steps to Create Your ‘Focus’ Vision Board
- Chunk the ‘problem’ down… Often, we build the problem up to be so enormous that we feel it’s impossible to do ANYTHING about it and therefore we don’t take any action. By breaking it down into smaller pieces, it’s possible to identify some small actions that can be taken. You’ll be surprised how quickly taking some small actions can start to significantly reduce ‘the problem’ you were worrying about…
- Set yourself some SMART Goals (Specific goals that can be Measured, are Achievable and Realistic and have a Timescale to achieve them in) 8 Ways to Help Improve Your Confidence
- TAKE ACTION… “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”….. When you take ‘positive action’, each little step is moving you forward toward what you want to happen and away from your ‘fears and worries’ and toward your ‘Door of Joy’…. How to Open Your ‘Door of Joy’ – You’re Holding the Key..
- Before you fall asleep, ask yourself: “How can I improve this situation?” – our subconscious mind will set to work to find solutions to the problem… You’ll be surprised that over the next few days, ideas of what you can do to resolve the issue will start to pop into your mind.. write them down and start taking action!
- Learn the art of relaxation/meditation/mindfulness – if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night ‘worrying’, keep some headphones handy and put on a ‘relaxation’ or ‘hypnotherapy’ download – there are lots of ‘sleep meditations’ on YouTube that run for several hours… It’s amazing how much better you feel after a peaceful night’s sleep..
So to put our worries into perspective and as a ‘ghost driving a meat-coated skeleton’… what can we possibly be worried about – we’re already hurtling through space and we’re still here to tell our tales!