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Worrying has definitely reached epidemic proportions. As technology offers access to more and more information, it also brings more and more things to worry about! Sometimes we worry about some thing we have influence over– but most often than not we worry about things well beyond our control.
While we may not like the way worry feels, it has become a “safety net” for many. Let’s say that one of your dreams is to take up hiking. Well, push a few keys on an internet search and you can find quickly find 100 reasons never to hike. You can find 100+ justifiable reasons to make it excusable to “save that goal for a rainy day.” What if you slip and you get this newly discovered ankle problem discovered by a researcher on the other side of the world? What if you forget a whistle and you are attacked by a bear? (Maybe there aren’t any bears in your area– but what if, like one website shows, bears are moving and one moves to your neck of the woods?)
When we worry, we come up with very creative (and often crazy) scenarios to feed our worry. Studies have shown that 98% of what we worry about never happens. Worry allows us a justifiable way to avoid taking a risk. If we don’t take a chance, we can’t fall or fail.
My challenge to you is to put “worry” in its place. While it may not be easy to “give up worrying completely”– at least balance it out. Think of a scale and place all the worry on one side of the scale. Now, on the other side, place positive reasons that combat worry. In our hiking example, while I won’t be eaten by a bear if I stay home, I also never would have stood above the clouds like I did one day on Mt. St. Helens. While I wouldn’t have risked being confronted by that “possible bear fear,” I also wouldn’t have seen one of the most breathtaking scenes of my life. Here is one more interesting way to think about this – and I’ll use the bear example again. If I allow myself enough time and take some water, it is almost certain that I will make it “above the clouds” at Mt. St. Helens. What do you think the odds are that I will be attacked by a bear? Our worry is almost always something with very low probability – yet we let is rob us of the almost-certain joy we could otherwise have.
Your turn: What is something you have been worrying about? Put it on a scale and then balance it out with positive thoughts and benefits. Don’t let worry steer your life — because odds are you won’t go anywhere. Which brings us back to today’s quote. You control the creation of your future. Don’t let worry be your primary building tool.
Your affirmation: I do not let worry block the path of beauty and growth.
|(c) 2011 Brook Noel and Make Today Matter, LLC. For more information visit www.brooknoel.com|