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10 No-Fail Tools to Help Stop You from Worrying

10 No-Fail Tools to Help Stop You from Worrying

Something is worrying you! I can see it in your eyebrows. They are drawn up in a bunchy frown.

What are you worried about? Is  it something specific and huge or a generalized nagging worry?

We are all trying our level best to get along and do something worthwhile for ourselves and each other. And yet, we seem to worry all the time.

Worry itself seems to be a big shapeless, nameless cloud that hangs over us and make us miserable. The first step toward handling something, however, is fully understanding exactly what it is.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary online, this is worry:

“To give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles”

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Whatever is worrying you, There are some No-Fail tools you can use to stop allowing your mind to dwell on troubles or difficulty.

1) Understand that whatever happens in life, you can always do something about it.

Worry contains a fear of losing control or having a situation that you can do nothing about.

Once you accept the statement above, and know that there is always something you can do about it, you are coming from a place of potential control and you are already stronger.

2) Identify the problem.

Worry is a symptom. It indicates that there is an underlying problem. Sometimes it is a problem we don’t readily see. The first thing you need to do is identify what the problem actually is. There is no solution until you have fully identified the real problem

3) Write down what you can do about it.

If you are worrying about something specific that you can do something about, sit down and write out everything you can do to affect the outcome of the situation so that it is more likely to be favorable to you. Then come up with an action plan on how to handle it from start to finish.

For example, If you are worrying because your son is doing poorly in school, go find out the real situation. Look well with your own eyes and don’t just listen. Perhaps the teacher is not a great fit for your son. Perhaps your son has no idea what is expected of him. There can be many, many reasons for poor performance. You have to go and find out for yourself exactly what is going on. Be patient. Sometimes the real problem can be hidden. Talk to people and search for the truth. Once you know what the real problem is, you will see what you can do about it.

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Another example is perhaps you think someone might be angry at you but you are not sure, so you worry. Go ask that person if they are angry. If they are, you have the opportunity to iron things out. If they are not, you will know you have worried over nothing.

4) Look over your life for someone who is making you feel insignificant, afraid or is ruining your confidence.

If you are worried about something non-specific, and you cannot put your finger on it, look around your environment and find out who is putting doubts in your head or taking away your confidence.

Vague and generalized worry is an indicator that there is such a person in your environment. It could be that they are planting doubts about yourself, or maybe they are saying something negative about someone else you care about. Look around your environment and see if there is someone there tossing off comments that eat away at your confidence or your trust and love for someone else. They are making your environment appear hostile and that results in worry.

5) Be prepared for a possible unhappy outcome.

Try as we might, there are some things in life that we cannot control completely. Sometimes we have to undergo medical tests that have a possibility of revealing a dreaded disease or condition.

In cases like this, I find it helpful to say, “OK, what is the worst that could happen?” When you figure out what the worst is that could happen, you can start thinking about the steps you would take to handle that worst case situation. Even confronting the worst case scenario and writing down a few things you could do about it IF it were true, can make you feel a lot more in control.

6) Plan for the best possible outcome.

So many times, your own viewpoint and positive energy really does affect the outcome of situations. Tell yourself that the job interview is over and you have aced it. Tell yourself that this tense meeting will be a piece of cake and you will end it on great terms. Whatever you believe is the best possible outcome for the problem that you have, tell yourself that that is going to occur. You never know how magical your own thoughts and positive visualizations are. I have seen miracles occur with this tool.

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Are you worried about speaking in front of people? Use this tool to handle your fear.

When you start to worry or become nervous, think past the speech or presentation. Think of the happy lunch you will have afterward or the night after when you celebrate your successful speech with a glass of Merlot and a special dessert.
So many times when we have something we dread, we unconsciously fix our attention so intently on the upcoming incident that it dominates our thoughts. If you think past it, you create the future beyond it and you unfix your attention from the scary event.

This works really well, by the way when you are afraid of flying. When you start to become nervous or afraid, think of your happy landing instead of the fiery crash that you are sure is going to occur.

7) Understand that there are environmental factors designed to make you worry.

Have you ever seen a TV commercial where someone’s teeth are not white enough and they suffer socially? How about the guy with bad breath? There are so many socially unacceptable conditions that have simply been created by the media to make us worry enough to go out and buy their products.

Society today is worried about love handles, tummy bulge, toenail fungus, dandruff, body odor, stained teeth, wrinkles, dull hair, split ends and the list goes on almost forever. Before we had advertising agencies inventing these conditions, people were not nearly as worried about them.

I am not saying that things like body odor and dandruff don’t exist, but reasonable hygiene takes care of most of it.

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Understand that TV, movies, magazine articles and photos are designed to control our behavior, our attention and our dollars. Don’t let them make you feel inferior to a standard that not even Charlize Theron could live up to.

9) Let go and trust others to do the right thing.

As a mom, I used to worry endlessly about my kids. When they grew up and moved out, I was not with them every day and I had no choice but to let go. The funny part is that when I did that, they started really taking on responsibility for themselves.

If you are worrying about another, let them find their way. Most of us make it through life’s challenges. You can make sure that they know you are there for them if they need a leg up, but step away. You will be happier and many times, so will they.

10) Trust yourself to handle any situation in life.

Say this simple phrase to yourself: “Whatever happens, I will find a way to handle and overcome it.”

Believe it or not, this is true. You have made It this far and have figured out everything else you needed to figure out. Whatever is worrying you will not be different. You will figure a way out of it too.

Once you have done all of the above steps, go do something really fun. Watch a funny movie or go shopping for shoes. There is nothing like pleasurable activities to pull you out of worry mode.

I am interested in your comments. If this advice has helped you, please let me know. I read and respond to all comments on my articles.

“Drag your thoughts away
from your troubles…
by the ears, by the heels,
or any other way you can manage it.”
―     Mark Twain

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Chris Ellis

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

Reference

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