Some of us are world-class worriers.
We train for it day and night.
Infact, if there was an World Series of Worrying we'd be in the Hall of
Frame for worrier with the most gold medals.
The problem with this?
No one actually WANTS to be a worrier.
Worrying is a bad habit.
And though we clearly want to break the habit, it is easily a vicious
Worry begets more worry.
Perhaps what makes it so pernicious is that some worries … or I
should say … some concerns, are actually valid.
There is actually an underlying problem that needs to be solved.
But instead of digging down to find and solve the problem, we spend
too much time meandering in the unpleasantness of the potential
Alternative? … here is a simple checklist I have found works to
process to worries.
Step 1 : Capture
Write down your worry
I have a notation for a worry or concern so I can capture worries
anywhere … and as soon as they come up.
Note that even the simple act of writing down your worry will give you
a clearer mind … and a better sense of control.
Step 2 : Process
Ask yourself, what is making you worry? Is it an underlying problem or
an unfounded fear.
Let me bring in an example here.
Let’s say the worry you wrote down what that tomorrow’s meeting
with the senior management is going to go horribly.
You’re going to be singled out who knows for what.
You might as well walk in with a dunce cap on your head.
Or right after the meeting someone’s going to pull you aside as say
“hey hey hey my friend, waytin? you de craze abi?”
Yeah, that’s worrisome.
So let’s stop playing out that scenario.
Instead, we ask ourselves, is there an underlying problem?
It could be you’re not as prepared as your ought to be.
Or perhaps its because in every other meeting there is one particular
vice president who likes to chastise a team member at some point in
the meeting, and you’re worried it could be you.
The good news is that once you’ve found the underlying problem or
concern, we can now instead of worrying, take action.
Step 3 : Next Action
The key thing to remember is that you don’t ever have problems.
Instead, you have projects. And projects can be completed one action
at a time.
So ask yourself, what are you going to do about the problem? What
does success look like?
It could be that you are better prepared for the meeting.
Or it could be that you better understand what the vice president is
looking for and so are more prepared to provide that.
And then when you define success, then define what is the very next
action to get you there.
It could be you are going to clear 2 hours in your calendar tonight to
prepare properly for the meeting.
Or it could be that you are going to have schedule a talk with one of
the senior managers who never seems to be a target in the meeting to
get a better understanding of what the vice president is looking for.
What you’ll find is that the minute you suss out that underlying
problem, and put a clear next action down… your once frustrating
worry will make way for action, and results.