I’m a worrier. This confession will come as no surprise to my family and close friends. Others, who know me less intimately, would probably never use this label to describe me. By and large, they would have only seen my ‘reformed worrier’ in action. She might not always be smiling, but she wouldn’t be frowning or going on and on about the awful things that could happen.
Which is the ‘real me’? Both, of course! And, I am very comfortable with both personas.
My ‘worrier’ helps me to face the reality of what could happen if things don’t go forward in the way which I hope and plan for. My ‘reformed worrier’ helps me to accept and control my fears. Both personas enable me to get back to being the positive woman that I know I am and want to be.
Sounds easy? Well it is and it isn’t. Much depends of course on the quantity of worries that your life is triggering. Problems, setbacks and difficult decisions do not unfortunately come in a regular predictable flow. Sometimes we encounter an avalanche of them and feel overwhelmed. It is then that our confidence in ourselves can take a dive. The kindly voices of people around us saying: “ What if …that doesn’t happen; just stop worrying; thinking like that wont solve anything; stop dwelling on that possibility etc.” irritate or depress us. We can start to feel lonely and helpless. In this state, we become more vulnerable to our worrying habit. It usually increases its hold over our minds and can become very difficult to shift.
The ‘trick’ that makes this personality habit easier to control is to have at the ready a tried and tested mini-strategy to apply . As soon as you hear the negative ‘What ifs ‘ entering in you mind, you can start to take action.
So this month’s Confidence Challenge is to test out and practice a strategy that works for you. Why not start by trying out the steps below? They work for my ‘reformed worrier’.
I would also suggest that you ask around for even more tips. And, if you already have some tried and tested ideas of your own, you can share them in the comment box below.
Over the next month make a conscious effort to become super-aware of when you are starting to worry. Ask your nearest and dearest to help you to do this. They should be keen. After all, ‘worriers’ are not much fun to be with! Then try taking these steps in the order that I suggest:
- Release the tension in your body. You may have been so busy worrying that you might not have noticed it. Trust me, it will be there and it won’t be helping you. Some stretches followed by some energetic and absorbing physical activity should do the job. But you could become super –relaxed if you finish with a soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts or your favourite bath essence.
- Write out a list of current worries. As you write each, try imagining that you are removing it from your head to the paper. Put the list aside.
- Re-boot your self-esteem: e.g. do something that you are good at; ring someone who loves and respects you; have a nutritious and delicious treat to eat; put on some music you love etc.
- Recall one of your achievements: make it a challenge that you thought might have defeated you. List down some of your personality traits and skills that helped to keep you going
- Re-read your list of worries: beside each write down at least one step you could take for dealing with it.
- Prepare a ‘Plan B’ : choose one worry. Think of something you could do if your worst-case scenario does arrive. Write down the name of someone (or a few people) to whom you could turn who would help you cope and recover. E.g. If this fails, I will …… ; I will contact ….for advice and ….. for a shoulder to cry on
- Give yourself another treat: and then move on without those worries!
Lots of luck and have a good month