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How To Stop Worrying And Start Living

How To Stop Worrying And Start Living

While it’s all too easy to sink into despair, a pattern of worrying is harmful for you and anyone around you. To avoid worrying excessively and obsessively, check out these tips for how to stop holding yourself back and begin to actually live your life.

1. Instead of imagining worries, imagine possibilities

Remember that life is short, and time spent worrying is time wasted. Think of all the things you’ll get to do once you finally stop worrying. Realize how free you’re going to be. You want to run towards that, not walk. Enjoy your sprint and look forward to all kinds of new possibilities that lie beyond the checkered tape.

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2. Be yourself: “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

One of the best guidebooks to realizing that worrying is a useless, harmful endeavor is named, fittingly enough, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. One of its best quotes is, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”

You’ll face inner turmoil if you try to be anyone other than yourself. Besides that truth, there is the fact that not many people can pull off the facade. There aren’t many with good enough acting skills, and even the ones who possess them aren’t happy in their self-imposed roles.

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3. Learn apathy

There’s a lot of focus on learning empathy so you care more about other people. But apathy is equally important, if not more so, in regards to your personal wellbeing. Apathy is defined as “a lack of interest, enthusiasm and concern.” To stop worrying, you should focus on that third part. The less you concern yourself with what others are thinking or even saying about you, the less weight you’re putting on yourself.

4. Feel good about yourself

This sounds obvious, but far more people fail this test than pass it. Take pride in who you are, and don’t dwell on what you’re not. Others in your life, like parents, siblings, and friends, are surely already proud of you, so all you have to do is stop worrying and mimic their attitudes.

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5. Don’t force things, let them happen naturally

When we’re anxious for something, like the start a new romantic relationship, we wait and wait for something to happen. That leads to excessive worrying that it will never come to pass. It’s far better to keep those thoughts out of your head and just let things happen when they happen. It’s common knowledge that you’ll often find your soulmate around when you finally stop looking. The same philosophy applies to other matters, too. As long as you keep applying, you’re just as likely to find a job you enjoy by not worrying so much about it.

6. Don’t hate

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living states, “When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.”

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Not only do the people who wronged us not deserve to (often unknowingly) hold that power, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice it. Hatred can only serve as an engine for more hate. Worrying and being proven correct may justify hate in your eyes, but remember that you are, as the saying goes, only drinking poison and expecting it to kill your enemy.

7. Believe in something bigger than yourself

If you focus on solely you and your life, you will constantly be worrying and not have the energy to do much else. By embracing a higher power, you healthily distract yourself from your negative thoughts. And that higher power doesn’t need to be a god or a religion! It’s whatever you put stock in, whether that’s family, friendship, honesty, goodwill, or something else entirely. To stop worrying so much, you simply need a purpose that goes beyond just your needs.

Featured photo credit: Do Not Worry/Andy Rennie via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

6 Ways to Be a Successful Risk Taker and Take More Chances

I’ve stood on the edge of my own personal cliffs many times. Each time I jumped, something different happened. There were risks that started off great, but eventually faded. There were risks that left me falling until I hit the ground. There were risks that started slow, but built into massive successes.

Every risk is different, but every risk is the same. You need to have some fundamentals ready before you jump, but not too many.

It wouldn’t be a risk if you knew everything that was about to happen, would it? Here’re 6 ways to be a successful risk taker.

1. Understand That Failure Is Going to Happen a Lot

It’s part of life. Everything we do has failure attached to it. All successful people have stories of massive failure attached to them. Thinking that your risk is going to be pain free and run as smooth as silk is insane.

Expect some pain and failure. Actually, expect a lot of it. Expect the sleepless nights with crazy thoughts of insecurity that leave you trembling under the covers. It’s going to happen, no matter how positive you are about the risk you are about to take.

When failure hits, the only options are to keep going or quit. If you expect falling into a meadow of flowers and frolicking unicorns, then you’re going to immediately quit once you realize that getting to that meadow requires you to go through a rock filled cave filled with hungry bats.

2. Trust the Muse

Writing a story isn’t a big risk. It’s really just a risk on my time. So when I start writing a story, I’m scared it will be time wasted. Of course, it never really is. Even if the story doesn’t turn out fabulous, I still practiced.

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When I’ve taken risks in my life, the successful ones always seemed to happen when I followed the muse. Steven Pressfield describes the muse,

“The Muse demands depth. Shallow does not work for her. If we’re seeking her help, we can’t stay in the kiddie end. When we work, we have to go hard and go deep.”

The muse is a goddess who wants our attention and wants us to work on our passion.

If you’re taking a risk in anything, it’s assumed that there is some passion built up behind that risk. That passion, deep inside you, is the muse. Trust it, focus on it, listen to it.

The most successful articles and stories I write are the ones I’ve focused all my attention on. There were no interruptions during their creative development. I didn’t check my phone or go watch my Twitter feed. I was fully engaged in my work.

Trust the muse, focus your attention on your risk, let the ideas and path develop themselves, and leave the distractions at the side of the road.

3. Remember to Be Authentic

Taking a risk and then turning into something you’re not, is only going to lead to disaster. Whether you are risking a new relationship or new opportunity, you must be yourself throughout the entire process.

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How many times have you acted like you loved something just because the men or woman you just started going out with loved it?

For example, I’m not an office worker. I have an incredibly hard time working in a confined timeline (ie. 9-5). That’s why I write. I can do it whenever the mood strikes, I don’t have somebody breathing down my neck, telling me that I’m five minutes late, or missed a comma somewhere. I don’t have to walk on eggshells wondering if what I’m writing will get me fired or make me lose a promotion. I can just be myself, period.

One girlfriend didn’t understand that. She believed solely in the 9-5 motto, specifically something in human resources because that was a very stable job. I was scared for my future, but I stuck with the relationship because of my own insecurities and acted like I would do it to make her happy.

Here’s a tip: NEVER take away from your happiness to make somebody else satisfied (note I didn’t say happy).

Making somebody else happy will make you happy. Doing something to satisfy somebody is murder on your soul.

4. Don’t Take Any Risks While You’re Not Clearheaded

I’d been considering the risk for a couple weeks. It all sounded good. I was 22 and I could be rich in a couple of years. That’s what they were selling me, anyways.

One night, while at a house party with some friends, I found myself at a computer. A couple of my friends were standing nearby and asked me what I was doing. I told them I was considering starting my own business and it was only going to cost me $1,500.

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Of course, when a bunch of drunk people are surrounded by more drunk people, things get enthusiastic. It sounded like the best business venture in the world to everybody, including me. So I signed up and gave them my credit card number.

A few painful months and close to $4,000 dollars lost later, I quit the business. I was young and fell into the pyramid scheme trap. It was an expensive drunk decision.

Drinking heavily and making decisions has a proven track record of failure. So when you have something important to decide, don’t let your emotions take over your brain.

5. Fully Understand What You’re Risking

It was the start of my baseball comeback. I got a tryout with a professional scout and killed it. After the tryout, he talked to my girlfriend and myself, making sure we understood I would be gone for up to 6 months at a time. That strain on the relationship could be tough.

We understood. I left to play ball, chose to stay in the city I played in, and a year later we broke up. Not because of baseball, see point 3 above. Taking big risks can have massive impacts on everything in your life from relationships to money. Know what you’re risking before you take the risk.

If you believe the risk will be worth it or you have the support you need from your family, then go ahead and make the leap.

You can get more guidance on how to take calculated risks from this article: How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve More and Become Successful

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6. Remember This Is Your One Shot Only

As far as we know officially, this is our one shot at life, so why not take some risks?

The top thing people are saddened by on their deathbeds are these regrets. They wish they did more, asked that girl in the coffee shop out, spoke out when they should have, or did what they were passionate about.

Don’t regret. Learn and experience. Live. Take the risks you believe in. Be yourself and make the world a better place.

Now go ahead, take that risk and be successful at it!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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