Self-Help – Wait to Worry
I came across an article recently called "Wait to Worry" by Vicki Hitzges and thought it could help if you tend to worry:
I used to worry. A lot. The more I fretted the more proficient I became at it. Anxiety begets anxiety. I even worried that I worried too much! Ulcers might develop. My health could fail. My finances could deplete to pay the hospital bills.
To get some perspective, I visited a well known, Dallas businessman, Fred Smith. Fred mentored such luminaries as motivational whiz Zig Ziglar, business guru Ken Blanchard and leadership expert John Maxwell. Fred listened as I poured out my concerns and then said, "Vicki, you need to learn to wait to worry."
As the words sank in, I asked Fred if he ever spent time fretting. (I was quite certain he wouldn't admit it if he did. He was pretty full of testosterone-even at age 90.) To my surprise, he confessed that in years gone by he had been a top-notch worrier!
"I decided that I would wait to worry!" he explained. "I decided that I'd wait until I actually had a reason to worry-something that was happening, not just something that might happen-before I worried."
"When I'm tempted to get alarmed," he confided, "I tell myself, 'Fred, you've got to wait to worry! Until you know differently, don't worry.' And I don't. Waiting to worry helps me develop the habit of not worrying and that helps me not be tempted to worry."
Fred Smith would frequently ask the audiences what they were worried about this time last year and he would get a lot of laughs, because most people can't remember. Then he would ask if they have a current worry – you see nods from everybody. Then he would remind them that the average worrier is 92% inefficient – only 8% of what we worry about ever comes true.
Worrying is different than concern. It's OK to be concerned about something, but when it turns to anxiety or hand-wringing worry, then it's bad for us and we lose our focus. Don't let worry blur your focus.
"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength." – Charles Spurgeon
Song "They That Wait" – Isaiah 40:31
They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary;
They will walk and not faint.
Teach me, Lord; teach me, Lord, to wait.
Photo courtesy Flickr by [ Roberto Bouza ]