The Performance Pro

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stop the Worry Mongrels

There are two things that increase with age—one is our waistline, the other is our worries. I’m still struggling with the waistline thing so let’s put that on hold. but hey, what about our senseless worries? Let’s get rid of them! It’s been said that 80% of what we worry about is worrying done about things over which we have no control anyway. Think about the things that you are stressed out about. How many do you actually have any control over?

A few years ago Bobby McFerrin had a smash hit called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy! He confesses it was actually a song about a need he had due to the enormous stress he was under at the time.
Worry takes energy. It causes stress. When you think of it- Worrying is like a rocking chair—it will give you something to do but you won’t get anywhere.

If you are carrying the heavy burden of unproductive worry around with you, decide today to toss those senseless worries away. Chance are they’ve taken up enough of your life. They can’t change the past, don’t let them ruin the present. Some tips to ease the burden:

1. Identify the worry mongrels. What drives you crazy with worry that you have no control over? Take those things and turn them over to a higher power. Free up your mind to focus
on those things you can do something about.

2. What are the things you can influence the outcome on? Identify those things. For those, make a concrete plan of things you are going to do that will impact a result. What do you need to do now in order to have 'no regrets' later? Make a plan and time line on exactly what you are going to do. It might be something as simple as writing a letter, learning how to text a child, making a phone call, or a more long term solution, i.e. funding a savings account, etc. Focus on that plan and become a 'doer'. Actually implementing a plan will replace any feelings of stress with the healthier feeling of satisfaction.
One woman I know has a granddaughter whom is estranged from her son and his family--which includes her. Her attempts to connect with the little girl have been thwarted which adds to the heartbreak. Still every year on the granddaughter's birthday, Grandma buys a little figurine or momento for her and is keeping them until the day that little girl grows up and one day searches for her roots. Whether this ever happens or not, it fills the need of the grandmother and assures that proof that her love was there should she need it one day to show her granddaughter.

Do you ever wake up at 3 a.m. with a worry mongrel in full force and can't get back to sleep?
Here's a great tip: Make an appointment with yourself for a time when you will continue to
think about the problem. "Tomorrow at 2:00 I will think more about this." You may need to
write down the time on a piece of paper next to your bed. This will 'park' it there and free your mind for rest.

If you have a great tip to share, let us know.


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