Worry is such a seductive trap. It’s something to do when we really should be doing something else. It’s like a cloud that hangs over us.
If you worry about getting a report done , the worry keeps you from doing it. But, it almost seems as if you are doing the report because you are worrying about it..
“Aren’t you worried about finding a publisher”, a well-intentioned friend asked me months before I signed a contract for my book.
No, I wasn’t worried. Not because I was so confident that I would get a deal. It was because I know worry does me no good. I always think there are other options. In the case of the book, I could self-publish or publish only as an e-book. I did not worry about finding a publisher.
Thankfully, worry is not in my vocabulary anymore. It was once, but now it never occurs to me.
Not too long ago, I coached Jeff Rowe [not his real name], a marketing section head for a global cosmetics company who was consumed by worry. He was close to getting fired because he wasn’t getting his job done. After he was warned by his boss that his performance was way down, he just worried more.
I didn’t work with him right away on reaching his goals. Instead, I suggested that he write down his worries and hide them somewhere in his office. They’d be there if he needed them. If he started worrying during the day, I suggested that he gently push his worries away.
Without the hazy fog of worry, he began to focus more on what he really needed to do at work. About a month later, he pulled out the long list of worries that had consumed him before. With less time spent worrying, he focused on reaching his objectives. He was shocked when he looked at the list of worries: “I can’t believe I was really worried about these things before. None of them came true.”
And so it is with worry. It is just a waste of time and energy. When my partner, Hitoshi and I talk about situations that might lead to worry, he uses a computer analogy and is quick to tell me to “put that file in the trash.”
How about you?
Do you worry? What do you worry about? What purpose does it serve?
The next time you feel worry creeping over you, write it down or put it in the trash.
Use your mind for something worthwhile.
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