Can’t stress enough that worrying drains you. Take it from me. Such a worrier in the past, that I literally would worry – if there was nothing to worry about. No joke. However after a while enough is enough and it’s time to really look at what worry is (fear of the unknown perhaps?) and why you are doing it.
If I’m honest, I still am a worrier. But on a scale of 1-10, instead of being 32 (no typo there), I am more of a 4. I would be lying to say I don’t worry…..but I am absolutely working every day on getting to number 3…..
For me, it was always about others. Had I offended someone (I find this one truly perplexing, since I am kind, always thinking of others…and never go out of my way to bug anyone), did I say the incorrect thing? Had I said too much? What did they think of me? So many things were running around in my head that I didn’t have time to think about much else. And it was eating away at me. On top of worrying about these things; we can tend to worry on behalf of our families too. Have you ever thought how calming it would be to not worry about much anymore (I think I’d be lying if I said to worry about “nothing”…so we’ll go with much).
I actually went to see someone about this; I was almost feeling anxious with worry (if that’s even a thing…) and had decided this had to stop. I can’t tell you how empowering it is, to make a solid decision about something like this; you are giving the power back to YOU and that in itself is liberating.
I think the moment I decided to take the step to decrease (we’re aiming for actually stopping, but baby steps here people!) my worrying was when the gentleman I was speaking to had asked me all about my worries. An hour later (I’m just kidding…) when I’d explained my thoughts to him….the thread for me that came from it all was I was worried about other people and their opinions. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not vain that I care about what people think of me. I understand that not everyone will like me; that people will judge (sadly)…..I more was worried about doing something wrong that they would think negatively about me for. So back to this “moment”. It was earth shattering for me in a good way. It was when he uttered the words: “why do you worry about what they think? Do you think they spend this amount of time (if any) worrying about what you think?
See what I mean?
That stopped me in my tracks. Why WAS I worrying so much about what others thought; to the point it consumed me and I’m sure was not good for my health? I walked out the door that day literally a new person. I mean TOTALLY new. Not looking back new. I didn’t have the need to go back and see him again. I just “felt” that something inside me had shifted. I decided then and there, I was not going to worry so much…..that honestly all it was doing was draining my energy (and I’m sure my Husband’s who was my sounding board) and change was about to happen.
So what did I do, how did I change?
I’ll tell you. First….I learnt to say “no” to others without worrying about the repercussions. That first time I said no to something (for which I’d typically have said yes to keep from worrying about their opinions) I stopped. I waited for the earth to open up, or for loud, crashing thunder. I waited for the person I’d said no to….to turn red with anger and burst. Yet none of this happened. They were fine. I was fine. I didn’t have to worry.
Next, I learnt how to refocus my thoughts. Literally. This may sound kooky but I was so determined to shift my thinking and kick my worrying to the curb; I just decided this was how it was going to be. If I felt a worrisome thought coming on, I MADE myself think of something else; something positive. We are what we think: if we think we are worried about something we will be and we’ll focus on it…making ourselves more worried and before you know it, you have worried yourself sick. So I went the other way; positivity ruled the day. Every time I felt a worry-thought…I shifted my thoughts and in time, this was automatic.
Thirdly; I stopped caring! No…not in the hard way where I was no longer caring about people, I literally stopped caring about others’ opinions of me! WOW! Have you tried this? I embraced the fact whole heartedly that now all will like me (so what? What was I worried about before?); I embraced the fact too, that every now and then I may inadvertently say the wrong thing and you know what? I was okay with that. Since if I do, I am definitely the type of person who will take accountability if I need to….and talk it out. So since I had a game plan for if it ever happened (which weirdly happens has hardly every occurred so I still don’t know why this was such a worry of mine).
Finally….I leaned in to fear. I decided to do a project which had me so very, very scared. It was opening me up to ALL kinds of opinions from every angle…but I felt if I took it on, head on….succeeded and got through this, then I’d taken a large leap in conquering fear.
And it worked.
I really wanted to write this blog; since I know I’m not the only one out there who worries. You may not take my game-plan as yours to overcome worry. But honestly? From one person who OVER worried about everything..who has become so much stronger and less of a worrier I wanted to let you know….you too can turn this around. Make a plan, take the steps…today, right now….to curb the worrying. It drains you, and you have so much amazing energy about you – just consider what you could do, if you put it to positive use.
You can do this, girlfriend.
Want help? Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My coaching covers this topic and I’d love to share!