“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”
– Robert Frost (1874-1963), winner of four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and awarded the a Congressional Gold Medal
Most of us know a person who is a “worrier”.
They worry about losing money. They worry about not performing well. Or they worry about what others will think. And this can lead to a host of destructive negative, productivity-killing actions.
For example, did you know that ‘worry and fear’ go together like ‘peanut butter and jelly’?
You virtually can’t have one without the other.
So, if you tend to worry about setting competition or performance goals, not reaching your goals, or know someone who is a worrier, here are some ways to overcome.
What’s Likely to Happen?
First, when we look at something that can cause worry, such as: making a career move, moving across country, changing techniques such as correcting a hitch in your service motion, or making an investment, here are the three questions to ask yourself:
- What is the worst thing that can happen?
- Will it get me closer to my goal(s)?
- What is likely to happen?
What Do You Do When You Look at the Unknown?
The answer to these questions will not only give you more clarity on what you are trying to accomplish, but will also help you remove fear, doubt and worry amidst an unknown outcome. And how you move forward regardless of the unknown can create magic in your life.
Most can agree that 99% of things we worry about don’t actually happen. But, it’s always good to be prepared. So here’s a simple action plan you can take now:
- Whatever you are worried about, define the situation as clearly as you can.
- Identify the worst thing that could happen.
- Agree to accept the worst outcome.
- Begin now to improve upon the worst.
Whatever you are worried about, and if it were to actually happen, be specific in the possible outcomes. If you are changing the grip on your forehand from a continental to a semi-western, know that the transition is going to be painful. You will probably frame a lot of tennis balls as you learn and master the upgraded grip style. If you play competitively, chances are high that people will critique you along the way. But once you have put the time in (through hard work) the outcome will be positive as a western grip will create more spin, power, versatility and empower you to go on the offense, more often.
Do You Think You’ll Lose It All?
Or, maybe you’d lose your coaching job? Would your athletic performance take two steps back as in the example of changing your grip? Would you lose your best athlete or favorite teammate? Lose a relationship? Or money? Most often, when you get hyper clear, a solution will present a itself.
Once you have gone through this sequence you just might find that you have erased any negative feelings of fear, worry and doubt.
With that, the only true cure which squashes fear and worry is focused, dedicated action (disguised as hard work) in the direction of your goal(s).