8 Steps To Stop Worry

I have learned from interviews, surveys, and research that we have two huge blocks to our leadership success at home and at work.

  1.     Worry
  2.     Forgiveness (we’ll save forgiveness for another day)

Worry just chokes us! Particularly women – in the area of worry, women outshine men, by a lot. If a child misbehaves and is sent home from school the dad will blame the child, or the child’s friend, or the teacher, or the school system. But do you know whom the mother blames? Yes, you got it – herself! Oh, and p.s., in the above situation, how many of us envisioned the child sent home as being a boy? Girls may worry more about being sent home than boys!

Here are 8 steps to stop worry in its tracks:

1. Know what worry is

Harvey MacKay, has a great model from his research showing worry as the following:

40% of Worry – Never Comes to Pass

30% of worry – Is in the past

12% of worry – Is someone else’s problem

10% of worry – Is imagined health issues

8% of worry – is worth our attention

92% of worry is out of our Control. And yet, worry still dominates our thinking – geez!

“Worry is the Misuse of Imagination.” ~ John Maxwell

Our worry needs to stop. So, here goes – try these and worry less – it’s liberating!!

2. Avoid the triggers

Some people are around us, can be so negative and toxic – try to minimize and reduce time spent with them. Set boundaries for when and how long we meet with them and move on to happier ground. Attack those situations and work assignments that are most taxing when we are at our most energetic – early morning, after a workout etc.

3. Write it down

Our sleep, which is everything to our recovery, is ruined with worry. Write down your worries on your “note” section of your cellphone, or on a paper by the bed. If we wake up or stress about something and get it off our brain, we have a better chance to worry less and sleep better. And in the morning ask yourself:

  •        Do I need to be concerned about this?
  •        Am I in control of this issue?
  •        Is there something I can say or do about this issue?
  •        What does that conversation sound like?

If we physically wad up that piece of paper with the worry on it and throw it away – it feels as liberating as crossing off something important from our To-Do list. Very Refreshing!

4. Go help a stranger

Everyone feels better immediately and it forces us to be more grateful and less troubled. Some worries simply melt!

5. Locate the source of our physical ailment

Some worry causes us to grind our teeth, or it can create shoulder, neck, and back pain. Some people carry worry in their temples, jaws, or feet. Get a massage or warm bath to alleviate the pain. It can be a huge relief!

6. Count our blessings

As I am further developing my coaching practice, I worry. As I go on stage or enter a new client’s office – I worry that I will stink or fall short of their expectations. Am I good enough? The swirl of fear, doubt, and worry can play games with my mind. Just before going into action, I have practiced counting the amazing people, gifts and blessings in my life. This calms me down and helps me minimize any disaster in the next few minutes. And the anxiety pales in comparison to the support, caring, and love around me, which is more valuable that any single event. This technique allows me to perform my best without worry, at least during my  next critical business engagement.

7. Force a smile

Biologically, if in the middle of a worry, we can force a smile. We can convince our brain through muscle memory that something is OK. Try it in the car – it’s amazing how we can actually worry less.

A smile is small muscles lifting heavy burdens.”

8. Seek a confidante, mentor, or trustee

Some worry just won’t go away easily. Find someone who cares about you, who will listen and be honest with you, to genuinely give you support and be nurturing in these tough times.

Worry is real and debilitating – Get that worry monkey off your back !


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