Stop Worrying – Start Living
These three steps from Coach Brett Blair will help you to practically to stop your ‘worrying’ in its tracks.
Worrying is worthless.
Worrying has no productive value.
Worrying never gets you closer to peace, to happiness, or to accomplishing your goals. It can become a paralyzing trap.
Erma Bombeck is quoted as saying “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”
I know a lot of people who are chronic worriers. I bet you do as well. They are sweet, loving people, but their constant worrying is not helping themselves or anyone else. It can also be annoying.
You can rise above your worries. You have important things to do. Don’t live your life from the comfort of a rocking chair, even if the world encourages you to stay there. You have dreams and goals and a beautiful world to explore.
Living a life of worry is to live a life on autopilot. Don’t be on autopilot! You were born to courageously live your unique, authentic life.
We are culturally conditioned and encouraged to worry. From politics, the weather, disease and the stock market, it’s not difficult to find new topics to worry about. The media has a lot to do with this, as fixation with fear and negative news is more profitable for the industry.
There is no value in worrying. It is good to be aware, concerned or even temporarily frightened about an event or life circumstance, but it is what you do with these emotions over the long term that makes all the difference. Excessive worrying can become a bad habit, and can trap you permanently in state of unchanging, daily fear.
When I feel worry taking over in a situation, I try to remind myself that all of my combined worry-energy has no impact on the future outcome of whatever I’m worried about. It’s kind of a superstition to think that it does. I try not to be superstitious, so worrying shouldn’t be something I turn to.
When I start to feel worried, I sometimes turn to prayer. I release the worry and give it to God. This gives me peace of mind.
The next time you feel the emotion of worry taking over in your head, try these three steps:
Acknowledge It. Don’t deny the worry you are feeling. If you’re worried, admit it—it’s OK. Write about it in your journal, or talk to a friend. Don’t carry it around, with it spinning in your head and robbing you of being present to the otherwise beautiful moments of your day.
Take Action. Take tangible steps to do what you can to change the situation, if possible. Not all problems can be solved, but if there is something you can do to make things better, then do it.
Release it. After you have done all you can, release the worry. You can’t fix everything. You can’t change everything. You can only change yourself. Your worry alone has absolutely no impact on future events.
Reinhold Niebuhr’s famous Serenity Prayer is great advice that touches on the topic of worry:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
“The wisdom to know the difference” is another way of saying “don’t worry.”
This process is not easy, especially if you’re a chronic worrier. I encourage you to take the steps, today, to begin to free yourself from the habit of worry. Your life, and the life of others around you, will be so much better if you can do it.
Take a deep breath, and commit to making this change. You really can do it.