“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” – Erma Bombeck
I’ve written two posts about worry. The last post looked at the difference between worry and concern. As I look at the topic, I began to wonder if it’s as cut and dried as it appeared on my post.
I started writing for Medium in January 2019, following a writer who’d been on Medium for about three years. I always like to have a road map of where I’m going, so when he said, “post five days a week,” I took him seriously and started posting every day.
But, my posts weren’t about what happened that day or how my day went. I’m used to doing research with multiple sources before I write.
When I decided on a subject for my posts and joined a publication, writing a post every day became next to impossible. I had trouble writing three posts because they were always approximately 3000 words. Many weeks I could only write one. I do have a life beyond or outside of writing for Medium. I have a husband, a house that needs tending, two cats, a grandson who needs driving to hockey, and a church family and only 24 hours in a day.
For about the last couple of months, I noticed I would have days where if I had to write another word or had to do any more Social Media Marketing I’d scream. Yet, it had to be done.
Let me make it clear. I love to write. I love to tell stories that illustrate principles. I would get very irritable, but I felt pressure to get it all done and up on Medium.
I experienced one of those days or should I say a couple of those days this past weekend.
I finally realized that I was worried about not accomplishing my goals or what I had determined was expected of me. I was becoming stress over the whole writing situation.
I felt very restless and jittery inside. I just couldn’t go on. I turned my computer off and parked my body on the sofa with the television watching me.
The next day, after seriously looking at the situation, I further determined that I was worried about not getting 5 posts per week plus all the marketing completed. And then I have my own blog which was lacking in attention.
The definition I gave in my posts states that Worry gives the illusion of control for a person who suffers from insecurity or fears. “If I worry, I can anticipate what’s going to happen, and if I can be rehearsed and braced, then I’ll be less vulnerable.”
I wasn’t worried about an event happening, like an accident, yet I was worrying. I was worried about not having the opportunity to make a living from my writing.
On the surface, I thought I was just trying to be successful. I thought if I worked harder and made sure I got everything done it would be okay.
I would schedule my whole day, but not include flexibility. I developed an attitude of trying to eliminate the possibility of failure by getting everything finished. When I’d get the feeling of being overwhelmed, I just push harder.
Worry begets more worry, stress, and doubt. It doesn’t provide you with answers or solutions. Actually, it diminishes your ability to deal with the situation when and/or if it does arrive.
According to Dr. Harold J. Sala of Guidelines.org, there is a big difference between Worry and Concern. From the Biblical perspective, worry shut’s God out of the loop, stating that you are in control, you are capable of fixing the problem on your own with no help from God or anyone else.
Unfortunately, though, worry doesn’t come up with a solution it only ruminates on the problem.
Unbeknownst to me, my stress was increasing almost daily without any solutions considered other than pushing harder.
When I took a break and stepped back away from my computer I was able to look at the situation and realized I was really stressed from worrying.
I listened to a video by Graham Cooke, Soaking in Expectations. He stated that God has a place of rest and peace for us. There are so many things that cause us to worry or cause us pain. But, as we learn to listen to God we can move into a place of rest in God. The Word says, “Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Dr. Sala states, “When you believe in and trust God then the word impossible does not exist. When you believe and trust that God is able to take care of the situation it changes. The scale shifts from worry to concern.”
I wasn’t leaning on God to get everything accomplished. I was trying to handle everything myself.
Changing Worry Into Concern
Step #1. I took the first step, which is to take responsibility for becoming aware of the situation. I began to look for a solution instead of continuing down the road I was on. I began to DO THE OPPOSITE. Instead of writing one 3000 word post every week, I will write a larger post and several shorter posts that show how I applied the principles.
Step #2. It was my choice to step back and assess the situation or continue the way I was going. I actually took three days off, which gave me a totally different perspective.
Step #3. Journal. I started journaling years ago, especially when I’d have a problem. Years ago I spent a year in a counselor’s office. It was good to have someone to talk to, but I didn’t receive any substantial answers to my situations. Since then I have learned that journaling actually provides more answers. When you write out the problem you are having or what is on your mind then go back and read it, your mind begins to churn on solutions.
I learned that we all have the solutions and the power within us to make the necessary changes. A counselor or coach doesn’t tell you what to do. They are more of a sounding board, which is what you get from journaling. You are your own sounding board.
I found a book online, “Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)” by Chade-Meng Tan. It tells how Google hired a company to give this course to their employees. In essence, it’s how to look inside yourself for the answers to your success. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google stated, “This book and the course is based on and represents one of the greatest aspects of Google’s culture – that one individual with a great idea can really change the world.”
Joseph Luciani, Ph.D., “The Power of Self-Coaching”, states that in his counseling practice he began using the Self-Coaching method several years ago. He found it was a much more effective means of helping people rather than traditional counseling. We all have the answers within us to solve our problems. We just need to learn how to access the solution and implement it.
In my post, Don’t Be Like Sam, Sam is an actual person, not fiction. As a child, Connie was amazed and fascinated by Sam’s incessant worry and all the things he did to accommodate his worrying. He never tried to find a solution.
When Sam was a child he began the habit of worrying. Worry is a habit. Sam allowed his habit to grow and grow until it became an obsession.
Connie would often follow him around, secretly, of course, just to observe the weird things he would do.
My worrying was not even close to Sam’s obsession, but even as adults if we don’t become aware of what is happening and the thoughts we are thinking, a habit can begin to form.
Become aware of the problem or event that is causing you stress, doubt, and discomfort. DO THE OPPOSITE. If you catch yourself saying negative things to yourself or others, change it into a positive statement, which is the first step to change. Then, find a solution to your problem.