"Worry gives a small thing a big shadow." — Swedish proverb
I'm a recovering worrier. Oh, believe me, I can still get myself completely twisted into knots, but I do it a lot less than I used to.
Here's what I've learned: there's some wisdom in worrying (note: I said "some").
Like: caring about what you're doing, being aware of your impact, paying attention to results. These are good things.
However, caring about our impact and results can be overdone — into nail biting, tail spinning or doubting ourselves. (Generally not so helpful.)
Ironically, overdoing the negative aspects of worry instead actually keeps us from achieving the ends we most care about: creating meaningful impact and results. (Oops. Not so much what we are wanting as changemakers, right?)
If you find yourself stuck in worry, try this:
1) What are the dominant themes in the worry you have? What is the worry all about? You, your work, what you are up to in the world?
2) Now, imagine that there was a message for you nestled somewhere in that worry. In reality, 98% of the worry is unlikely to be true: mostly whatever you're worrying about isn't actually likely to happen.
Instead of interpreting the worry as "the truth", imagine that just 2% of the worry is valid but has some wisdom to impact to you. What's the piece that's legitimate within your worry?
3) Once you have that nugget of wisdom identified, how can that information guide your actions?
4) Just like your beloved great-aunt who can't give you a complement to save her life, think of your worry as just an unskillful reminder of what is important to you.
Thank your worry for the reminder, and follow the nugget of truth that you've identified instead of the full-blown worry.
What do you think? Click on the Comments section below and let me know:
1) How do you transform worry into wisdom?
2) How have you used nuggets you've found within worry?
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