I have a lot of hobbies: scrapbooking, rubbing Skyla’s belly, drinking gallons of Starbucks coffee until I’m a jittery mess, and singing Frozen songs loudly and obnoxiously.
Then there’s my favorite hobby; the one I devote the biggest chunk of my precious time to.
Yup, I may appear to be an in-control solo entrepreneur with a knack for writing about productivity and success…but I worry about nearly every aspect of my life.
And I bet you do too.
The world can be a scary place (like the contents of my playlist labeled “Guilty Pleasures”), but worrying makes it even more terrifying than it really is.
Here are the most common worries I hear from my clients and readers:
- I’m worried I’ll never find a career I can be passionate about.
- I’m worried about making enough money to support myself and do what I want.
- I’m worried that if I put myself out there, people will laugh at me.
- I’m worried that my business idea will flop and I’ll be a failure.
- I’m worried that these sad feelings will never go away.
Whoa. That’s some heavy stuff.
Worrying is our ego’s way of protecting us from perceived harm. As Gay Hendricks says in one of my favorite books The Big Leap, when we reach the upper limit of our happiness, we’ll worry and create doubts to bring us back down to our normal comfort zone.
But worrying keeps us from achieving our goals. You bet I worried about starting my own business, but it was so worth it once I pushed past my fears.
I worry about what people think of me, but I still record videos, do interviews, and appear on camera. It’s a great feeling when my clients say they hired me because I’m goofy, unpolished, and “just like them.”
What unknown dangers are you trying to protect yourself from by worrying?
Here’s how you can stop worrying and embrace the unknown. And kick some ass!
Figure Out the Worst Case Scenario
One of my most popular blog posts is called What’s the Worst That Could Happen? It resonates with you gals because it’s all about going to that worry-filled place in your mind…and realizing it’s not so bad after all.
Think about your problem, then ask yourself these questions:
- What’s the worst that could happen? Really, go there. Map out the extreme worst case scenario. Don’t hold back, and get as detailed as possible. Mine involves grizzly bears.
- What’s the most likely thing that could happen? Think about what is the most realistic outcome, seriously. Be honest with yourself, even if you have to admit that there’s no real danger.
- Is the risk worth taking anyway? Life is scary, but we’ll never grow unless we take risks. So, ask yourself if this risk is worth taking even if the most likely unpleasant scenario happens.
Swim in the Positivity Pool
Your worrying might start with just a few small doubts: “I’m not as smart as she is” or “I don’t have enough time to do what I want to do.” But then your worries get bigger and dirtier until you’re covered in a mucky sense of self-doubt.
The best way to clean off that icky negative feeling is to take a swim in the positivity pool. By surrounding yourself with feelings of gratitude, optimism, and hope, you’ll begin to think clearer and more objectively about your situation.
I encourage all my clients to start a gratitude practice, which can include writing in a gratitude journal or filling a thank you jar with all your daily blessings. And a vision board is a beautiful way to surround yourself with images of what truly matters in your life.
Your future is unknown…and that means it can be wonderful too.
Zone Out in the Zen
But what if nothing seems to squash your worrying? If you’re really struggling to stop worrying about the unknown, it’s time for you to focus on what you do know.
The present moment.
Meditating is an excellent way to center yourself and be at peace with where you are right now. There’s no right or wrong way to mediate. I do visualization meditations, smile meditations, walking meditations, and I even meditate in line at the grocery store!
Take 5 minutes today to step away from your computer or phone and find a quiet place to sit. Breathe in and out slowly and imagine the tension flowing out of your body. Visualize your worries shrinking in size until they disappear completely.
Mediation works best when you make it a habit, so it’s OK if you still feel worried after your first try. Keep at it, and remember to pause and mediate when you’re feeling most anxious.
[Tweet ““I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” Mark Twain”]
Are you a worrier?
In the comments below, share what helps you to stop worrying.
This post focuses on Step 1 of the Life Editing Process, Create a Foundation, and Step 2, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.