Have you found yourself worried about something lately? Maybe you’re worried about a lot of things. Or worried about somebody. You might even feel like you are worried all the time.
The phrase “worried sick” makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? When we are worried about something, it really eats at us, weighs on us… nausea, tightness in the chest, ache in the pit of your stomach. We all know it doesn’t feel good emotionally, but the truth is that worry is pretty toxic physically. I’m a born worrier, so I know intimately how it feels. Left unchecked, my mind would have me convinced that I have skin cancer, osteoarthritis, heart disease, and three kids who will never grow up to live happy, successful lives because of how badly I’ve screwed them up. Sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it?
So, what would a warrior do instead? She would take action.
Whether we are stuck in a past experience, worrying about current circumstances, or creating concerns about the future, there is a simple formula for being a warrior instead of a worrier.
Step 1: What are the facts? Find out! Most of the time, we are wrapped up in our own fiction of what happened, what’s happening, or what will happen. Find out what the facts are and step out of your “story” version.
If you think you might show up late, calculate how true that is.
If you think you hurt someone’s feelings, ask them if that is true.
If you are afraid you might fail in some way, ask yourself how true that is.
Step 2: What, if anything, do YOU need to do right now? Do it! If you are worried about an outcome, what action can you take to better ensure your desired result? It sounds easy enough, but this step can take a lot of courage. It may mean having a difficult conversation or doing something you fear.
And a word of caution here, this is action that YOU can take. If you find yourself wrapped up in worry about the lives of others, take action that can be supportive if you need to but recognize that you cannot control the actions of others. You cannot make someone do or not do something.
Step 3: Let the worry go! Easier said than done, I know. Complete the cycle with the phrase I’ve done all that I can or This is out of my hands now. When you feel worry arise again, go back to Step 1.
One of the worst parts about worry is the underlying helpless feeling it causes. When we are in a place of helplessness, we tend to avoid taking action. How do you combat that? Quite simply, test it.
Is it out of your control?
Yes. Then, let it go.
No. Then, what do I need to do?
If you begin to see your worry as an indicator to welcome instead of a feeling to avoid, it can work in your favor. It can be a war cry for the warrior in you to take action.
Welcome Worry. The Warrior is here.