How to Stop Worrying
“Worry pretends to be necessary.” -Eckhart Tolle
Have you ever thought about what worry is? Seriously.
We worry so much without even really knowing what it is.
I’ll explain how to stop worrying in the post below, but before I do, click the box below to get exclusive access to my free mini-training, where I tell you exactly how to stop worrying right now.
Worry Is an Unnecessary Emotion
Worry is a feeling caused by a thought about your past or about your future.
You may think that worrying will help you be more protected or more taken care of in the future, but the reality is that worrying about your future is absolutely unnecessary.
The same goes for your past. Worrying does nothing to change it.
Not only is there no useful reason to worry, it actually has a negative impact on your actions.
Worrying about your future is unnecessary to take the action you want.
Worrying about your past does nothing to change the past.
Worry is responsible for more unanswered dreams than anything else I’ve encountered with my clients and students in Self Coaching Scholars, my monthly coaching program.
The Worst-Case Scenario
If you are so worried about the worst-case scenario that you never take action, you will never be able to succeed enough to achieve any dream in your life.
Banning Worry from Your Life
When I first heard the Eckhart Tolle quote above that “worry pretends to be necessary,” I decided to remove worry from my life like some people remove gluten from their lives. I went on a worry-free diet.
Not only did I feel like I needed to do this for my mental health, but I was ready to focus all of the energy I was using on these negative emotions on something positive instead.
If worry isn’t necessary at all, I wanted to know how my life would change if I decided to stop worrying.
The result of banning worry from my life was that I started taking action. It was amazing. I realized worry was an excuse not to act. Worry, I found, was an action all by itself. When you have the emotion of worry, you are actively worrying instead of taking action toward your goals.
For example, if you want to build a business, one thing you might need to do is ask people if they want what you have to offer. If you’re stuck in the emotion of worry, you won’t take action to find out. Instead, you’ll worry about whether you’ll be accepted or rejected.
Think about how much of your time is spent worrying in the emotion sense and in the action sense. Are you actively worrying as an action instead of taking massive action to achieve your goals? Think about it.
There are four actions you can take to reduce or eliminate worry in your life. These actions are easy to do, and they’ll make a world of difference in the way you work toward your goals.
Step 1: Ask yourself, “What am I worried about?”
When you’re in a state of worry, it’s easy for your brain to simply filter through anxious thoughts without even knowing exactly why it is that you’re feeling worried.
You need to label exactly what it is you’re worried about. It’s not enough to identify the vague feeling or worry. State what you’re specifically worried about.
For example, you might say, “I’m worried about not being able to lose weight.”
Whatever it is, identify it so you have clarity about what you’re worried about. This is the time to really be honest with yourself.
Step 2: Ask yourself, “What is the worst-case scenario?”
Identify the worst-case scenario.
By bringing up the worst-case scenario, you can reconcile it.
Most of what we’re worried about is already happening. For example, most people who want to lose weight are worried that they won’t lose weight if they try. Well, that’s already happening.
They’re already overweight. Most people who want to meet someone are worried they’ll always be alone. They’re already alone.
Worrying about the worst-case scenario does nothing to prevent it from happening, but identifying the scenario can help you learn to take action instead of letting it happen.
Step 3: List the facts of the situation.
Write the specific facts of the situation you’re worrying about.
Facts don’t have adjectives. They’re not opinions. Facts can be proven in a court of law.
For example, if you are trying to lose weight and worried you won’t, the facts might include
● I weigh 210 pounds.
● I haven’t lost weight in the past.
● I gained 25 pounds this year.
● I’m not losing weight right now.
Once you’ve written the facts, notice that everything else you’re thinking is just thought drama.
It’s what you’re making the facts mean.
Using the example above, you might have these thoughts about the facts:
● I can’t lose weight.
● I don’t know how to lose weight.
● I hate my body.
These statements cannot be proven. They’re your opinion. They’re not facts.
This distinction is everything. Your thoughts are choices. You can choose to make facts mean whatever you want.
The thoughts you’re thinking about the facts are what’s causing you to worry. Not losing weight in the past, or even not losing weight right now, has no impact on what the future holds for you.
You control your thoughts about the facts, and your thoughts create your feelings about them. Choosing to think positively about your goals (e.g., lose 25 pounds this year) will yield far greater results than letting yourself think those negative thoughts.
Step 4: Make a decision about what you can control.
Finally, recognize what you can control.
You can’t control the past. You can’t control the future. The only thing you can control is right now. You can control the way you feel and the action you take.
By controlling these things—how you feel and the action you take—you can change your future that you’re so worried about.
When you stop feeling and acting worried, you’ll start feeling motivated, excited, and determined, and you’ll start acting from these positive emotions.
Practice Every Day
We mistakenly think that by avoiding our worry and pretending it’s not there, we’re somehow eliminating it. That’s not true. Instead, bring it to the surface. Acknowledge your worry and recognize it’s just a thought, feeling, and emotion that you can change.
Learning to process your emotions is a big part of conquering worry. You must learn to truly experience your emotions before you can move past them.
Start practicing this every day to make a real difference in your future. What you think, how you feel, the actions you take, and the results you achieve are no one’s responsibility but your own.
Join me right now in the How to Stop Worrying free mini-training, where I go into detail about how to apply this to your life and stop worrying today.
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