“Do you remember the things you were worrying about a year ago? How did they work out? Didn’t you waste a lot of fruitless energy on account of most of them? Didn’t most of them turn out all right after all?” Dale Carnegie
The voices you hear at 2:00 a.m. are always the loudest. We all know these voices because their reach is universal.
The spider web of worry reaches all facets of your life. Your worried about that performance review at work the next day. Your worried that sometimes you yell too much at your kids and you wonder if that is all they will remember about you. Your worried about what it is you want to get out of this life. Your worried whether your time will be cut short on this earth. Your worried whether or not you will grow old with your spouse or whether you will be able to watch your children have children. You worry if you are good enough for anything or everything. You watch the digital red sliding slow to the next number, minute by minute, and then you worry how you won’t be able to wake up when your alarm clock rings.
I am trying to wage a battle against worry. Because to be honest, I’ve worried about things that have never come to pass. In my twenties, I worried about whether or not I had what it took to get into graduate school. Once I got into graduate school, I worried if I could pass the bar exam and get a job. Once I passed the bar exam and got a job, I worried if I could keep my job. In my personal relationships, I worried about whether my then boyfriend, who is now my husband, would ask me to marry him. In my thirties, I worried about having a baby. When I had a life growing in my stomach, I worried if he or she would be healthy. I think each one of us could write volumes about what we worry about. And how it was futile.
If you believe in statistics, consider this one: Eighty percent of what we worry never happens. Read it again. Eighty percent of what we worry about never happens. Sometimes you have to work backwards. Ask yourself what you worried about a year ago and determine if this ever came to pass. Chances are your worrying wasn’t warranted.
What do you worry about? Any insight on how to stop worrying? Has what you worried about in the past ever came to fruition?
Image by sunshinecity
I am my mother’s daughter when it comes to worrying. When I first came here years ago, she called me to ask if I was OK when she heard on the news that a plane crashed in Georgia. I’m in Illinois. Granted, it may be partly geographical ignorance, but mostly it’s her mighty worrying that keeps her up at night. And I’m quite sure she shared that trait with me since now I think I’ll be doing the same with my kids. Thanks mom 🙂
I used to worry more than I do now. I mean, I definitely worry about my children, but I’ve found that in other areas I take action more now than I used to. The taking action eliminates the worry because I know what I can or can’t control. Not sure if that makes sense. What I can’t control, I give up to “what will be will be.”
Wow, 80%?? Amazing to think that. Thought provoking post.
I am the same as Justine, I am totally my mother’s daughter. She told me that she used to watch the news and if she heard about a car accident, she would look for the color of the car to see if it was one of us. I’ve told Dan that worrying and guilt is part of my DNA being a vietnamese catholic girl! This post is so timely to me because I have lost sleep this whole week worrying about something. I wish I knew the secret to stop worrying, but I will try to remember 80%. Sometimes I feel like you’re peaking into my mind and writing about things in a eloquent and beautiful way to make me feel better. Thanks, Rudri!
What an interesting statistic. I almost have to laugh at myself because as a constant worrier, it’s so true: pretty much everything I worry about never becomes an issue. So I’m trying to practice staying present and just allowing things to happen instead of worrying whether or not I can control the outcome.
My husband and I are complete opposites on this. Like you, I worry too much about everything. My husband worries not at all. Or at least he’s good at hiding it. But in general, he’s a pretty take it as it comes kind of guy. I think we balance each other out nicely, but sometimes I really wish I was more like him.
A very provocative post.
Sadly, I am still worrying about the same things I worried about a year ago. They are not small things; they are significant. One thing that a little life under our belts does for us is provide perspective. I do not sweat the small stuff. And by worrying – I am also churning preventative measures, mechanisms for increasing the probability of things going well rather than badly, and contingency plans when I see they may be heading off track.
I think there is a distinction to be made between “worrying” and anticipating the possibility of problems – that anticipation leading to contingency planning.
My ex never worried about anything. Translation: he left all the fallout of his lack of planning /worry to others to clean up. There was plenty of clean up. I’m still doing it.
I worry all. the. time. Not surprisingly, I also have a hard time sleeping. I can’t shut off my mind. I’ve found the only thing to help me worry less is to write down my worries, make lists, make plans. Then, even if I never need them, I can somehow let the worry go.
Unfortunately, I have the same worries I had a year ago. I worry about making the time pass too swiftly so that some of those worries will go away. In doing so… some of those worries will indeed go away, but part of myour lives will as well. ;(
Ah, worry. I worry all the time. At 2am. At 2pm. I think that worry can be debilitating, but I also think it can be an oddly good thing in that it calls us to pay attention to things that matter to us. I don’t know about you, but I do not worry about things that don’t really matter to me…
I loved reading the “worry” statistics! Thank you for sharing 🙂
I try really hard not to worry…but at 2 a.m. I usually fail.
I worry about everything. I worry about so much, I can’t even remember all the things I worry about. (Maybe that’s good??) This move to Romania has my anxiety in overdrive, but I’ve finally decided, as a method of self-preservation, that there are just a few questions I really must know the answers to before we get there. So I’m focusing on resolving those and then shutting off my brain … at least long enough to fall asleep.
The good news is that you simply worry less as you reach middle age (there has to be some compensation for the stiff knees and onset of wrinklies)! I used to worry endlessly and about anything and everything. Now, not so much. (And why, I wonder, is worrying so much more intense and often so illogical in the wee small hours of the morning)?
I’ve been there and done that, and on sometimes I still do.
I’m a total worrywort while my husband is the opposite. But I think it’s good thing to some degree. It makes me buy life insurance, stock up emergency supplies, and overplan for things like family dinners. But it can get out of hand. I keep a Dale Carnegie book on my nightstand – How to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life or something like that. I’ve actually found it very helpful. #SITSSharefest