“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” — Corrie Ten Boom
I used to worry about a lot of things. Frivolous things mostly. I would worry about my health, if people like me, what the future would hold if I was doing a good job at work or school.
It was overwhelming and exhausting.
I came to the conclusion that I was actually feeling an attack from worry. That it was some unseen force that would take hold of a small worry and then start piling on other things.
Some of these worries were not all that important.
Yet, I worried. As I began to dig deeper into my worries. I started realizing something, the worry was a symptom to a much deeper problem. The problem, it turns out plagues many of us too. What is it?
We try to control everything.
When we run into things we can’t control, we begin to worry about them. We also worry about the things we can control and become paralyzed in moving toward our dreams.
How Do We Overcome These Worries?
When I realized I wanted more control. I started to take action. The only way I knew how to do this was to try harder at the things I could control.
This worked for a while. I started to release worries about the things I couldn’t control. But the drive to become in control only started pushing me to work harder out of fear, self-doubt, and the wrong mindset.
After pushing so hard at controlling everything I could, I ended back up where I started. Exhausted and overwhelmed by worry.
Worry is a Symptom, Control is a Disease
What I learned from this cycle of worry and control was how much worry doesn’t get me anywhere. And trying to control everything breaks down my ability to chase my dreams.
In fact, there were some very important lessons about worry and control. These lessons have helped me release worry and overcome this need for control.
1-We cannot work our way out of worry.
There is no amount of work and control that will truly release worry in our lives. The more we try to control, the easier it is for worry to take hold in our lives. We must realize this first.
2-Other people cannot take the worry away for you.
Once I realized I couldn’t work my way out of it, I started talking to friends and mentors about my worries. While they had plenty of encouraging words and pieces of advice. Worry always crept back in once I didn’t have them there to encourage me.
3-Ignoring our worries won’t make it go away.
One of my go-to strategies for trying to overcome worry is to simply ignore it. This is a fool's errand. Worry will sit in the back of your mind. Wasting away at your resolve and confidence until it is at the forefront of your thinking again.
4-You need to acknowledge it and find out what it is telling you.
Ultimately, worry is telling you something. As a symptom of control issues, it is telling us that we need more control or we are trying to control too much. Once we acknowledge this, we can move forward.
5-Understand what you can control and what you cannot control.
Once we understand what is under our control, we can start doing something about those things. And for those things that are not under our control, we need to let them be. If we know what is and isn’t under our control we can truly release worry.
6-Do what you can do.
There is only so much you can do. Once you have released worry about things you cannot control, you can start taking actions on the ones you can control. You cannot work yourself until burnout.
You can only do what you can do.
This is important for overcoming worry. When you worry about all the things you can do but haven’t been able to do, it will wear you out faster and then you will give up on your dreams.
When you focus on what you can control. And do the things you can do in a reasonable amount of time or that are within your current reality, you begin to make progress toward your dreams.
Worry is a symptom of a much bigger problem. We must address this problem, acknowledge it, and understand it before we can move forward. Most of the time, that problem has to do with control.
In order for us to release worry from taking over our lives, we must give up control over the things we cannot control. And focus on doing what we can do on the things we can control.
Once we start taking positive action on the things we can do, we will begin to see progress in our lives toward our dreams and then, see our dreams come true.
Jack Heimbigner loves to see people’s lives change and see them chase their dreams. Check out his Maximize Your Morning email course to start chasing your dreams today!