How many times have you worried about something today? Five? Ten? Too many times to count? You may not even be conscious of it, and it doesn’t have to involve pacing or wringing of hands. Worrying can be a freak out, but it can also be a series of “what if” thoughts that take you out of the zone—and drag everyone else down with you.
Mark Twain once said, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Most worries never come true. If you jot down each worry as it comes to mind, and then return to that list a few weeks later, you’ll see that you totally wasted your time and energy on nothing. Nothing!
Worry wastes time and energy, which ultimately means worry wastes money. You get that, I’m sure. But do you realize how worry can set the tone for your whole business? It can create a feeling of weakness, as if your business is not only vulnerable to disaster, but that disaster will come knocking at any moment.
How can you ask your staff to keep their eye on the prize and go for the gusto if you’re stuck in negative thinking? How can you ask colleagues to partner with you, when you don’t fully believe in a positive outcome? How can you expect to succeed, when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder?
Worrying won’t get you out of a jam anyway, so what’s the point? Again, a total, total waste. And when you’re climbing up that entrepreneurial mountain, you don’t have the luxury to be wasteful.
Here are three strategies to help you ditch worry:
1. Get The Facts. Take an honest look at the statistics. You’re 27, are you really in danger of having a heart attack? Not likely. Find out the odds of your business being hit by whatever you’re worried about—identity theft, espionage, or alien invasion—and if chances are slim, let it go. You’ve got a business to run. Remember?
2. Determine The Best Outcome. Human beings have a tendency to focus on the worst-case scenario when they should be focused on the ideal scenario. When you start to worry, determine the best outcome for the situation, take every action to make it come true and push all other thoughts out of your mind. (Except the dirty ones.)
3. Take Action In Segments. Every day, work toward the best possible outcome. Prepare for the ideal, not the disaster, but focus only what you can accomplish today (or perhaps just this hour). Whatever you do don’t worry about the next day, month and/or year—just focus your actions on the immediate issues at hand. And do everything you can to make things better, now. In the end you may not end up with the best result, but it will be much better than if you had wasted all of your time, energy, and focus on worrying about the future.
And if you’re one of those anxiety junkies, go for the cheap thrills instead. Hit the roller coaster, take in a horror movie double feature, but don’t indulge in worrying over your business just to get that rush.
Worrying can break your spirit, alienate your partners, and kill your business before it ever gets off the ground. So knock it off and get to work!