By Katie Corbett
I would describe myself as a moderate worrier. I think about the future and propose the worst-case scenario in my head, brainstorming potential solutions to problems or strategizing how I would handle a past situation if it occurred again. On the one hand, this has been productive because it made me feel confident in my decisions and like I was on top of things. On the other hand, very few of the things I’ve worried about have actually happened and I’ve lost a lot of sleep worrying about things that have never come to be.
The book, “Think and Grow Rich for Women,” presents a definition of worrying that changed the way I strategize and think about my life. Author Sharon Lechter says that to worry is to pray for what you do not want. The book argues that by worrying about everything that could go wrong, you are bringing negativity into your life and not leaving room for the hopes and desires you have for your future. I would agree, and instead of worrying about all the bad things that might happen, especially when I’m taking a risk or trying something new, I’ve found a few strategies that have worked much better for me.
When I was getting ready to start working seriously to create my product, a huge wave of fear and anxiety hit and questions about failure and whether I was capable of bringing this project to fruition flooded my brain. I first sat down and worked on the Fear-Setting exercise (the same one I wrote a post about in November). This helped me work logically through what I would do if failure did happen, and to realize that, while failing would suck, it wouldn’t be the end of the world and that my desire to pursue this dream was greater than my fear of failure. When I was done writing down my answers to the questions in the exercise, I put the pieces of paper away and never worried about those specific concerns since that day. Sitting with your anxiety for a fixed amount of time, writing down your thoughts, and putting the paper away afterward can be an excellent way to process. I felt that after having employed that tactic, it was like my brain thought that since I had written the information down, it had already solved those specific problems, so it was pointless to worry about them anymore.
There were some questions that I couldn’t answer in my head though. Instead of letting them turn to worry, I wrote them down and sought out experts who could answer them. When I started this product invention process I had no idea how my product could be designed, where to find materials, what the specifics of patenting would entail – just to name a few of the questions floating around in my brain. I haven’t found the answers to all of them yet, but I’m confident that other people in my network know the answers to these and many more questions I’ll have along the way. They say we already know everyone who can help us achieve our goals, either directly, or through a friend or family member. This gives me the confidence that I will find at least one person who knows the answers to my questions. Plus, bringing another person in to help solve my dilemma reminds me that I’m not alone. Together, we can focus on what we do want – success!
What are you worried about? Try giving yourself permission to write it down. What questions do you still have? Make a point of finding the people and resources to help you find answers. Stop focusing on what you do not want. You’ll sleep better at night, be happier with your life, and be heading toward the hope and success you desire for your future.
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