I am a born worrier. I used to worry about everything, it used to spin me in circles the energy and effort expended worrying about things that were outside of my control. I worried about things that had happened in the past; when managing projects I would worry about my colleagues completing tasks that were clearly within their capability and if I had an increasing workload I would worry about how I was ever going to get the work done. Nearly always the self imposed pressure was harder to deal with than the work itself.
I used to think that worrying was OK, I could handle the extra pressure I put on myself and let it out at the right times. It was only when I started to understand what impact this was having on how people saw me coping with pressure and the way I behaved with my closest friends and family that I realised it wasn’t healthy.
To help me move past this I started to think about the long term and I adopted a couple of simple mottos:
The first was –
“The past cannot change the future”
This helped me to think about the here and now. No matter how much energy I put out there I couldn’t change the past. The only thing I could do was focus on today and work hard on making the improvements that were needed.
The second one was –
“Will this issue matter in a year’s time?”
If the answer was “Yes” then I would focus on it with all of my efforts. If the answer was “No” then I would relax and let things take their natural course. In doing this I was able to get some perspective on my issues , I realised that nothing ever last forever and I relaxed.
On top of all that for the vast majority of things the answer was “No” so I was able spend less time worrying about them which allowed me more time to put into things that would matter in a year’s time.
Remember, nothing ever lasts forever so don’t let time run out of the door you are running in!