Action Outwits Worry

By Ann Elliott

The time and energy you spend worrying is wasted. Worry is a mental habit that robs you and our business of solutions. With recent developments on Wall Street that have reverberated around the world, you may be thinking that if ever there was a time to worry, it is now.  The Random House College Dictionary defines worry as, “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts.” I heard Eckert Tolle, author of A New Earth, say that “Worry looks important but it serves no useful purpose.”  What results and what solutions are you producing with worry?  Would you prefer to have your employees anxiously wringing their hands and pacing the halls or facing facts and finding creative solutions? burden
Here are some reasons why a worry mindset can be very costly:
  • Panic prevails
  • Reason diminishes
  • Action is stymied
  • Levels of tension and anxiety increase
  • Personal and organizational health deteriorate
  • Problems rule the day
  • Blame and guilt are rampant
  • Creativity and innovation languish
In order to meet the challenges of the day, you want to be at the top of your game.  You want your team to be at the top of their game, too.  I don’t recall who said, “You cannot worry your way out of a problem.” Would you hire a team working from a worry mindset? Would they be on your short list of ideal employees?  Would you invest your precious resources and expect to get solutions and results from a worry mindset? Use these guidelines to outwit worry with action: 1.  Recognize that worry is a mental activity. You can choose what you think. 2. Catch a fear based thought as quickly as possible. The more practice you have the easier it will be to spot them.  Some of them are very subtle and sneaky because this way of thinking is the norm for many people. 3. Remember that facts are always friendly. Your current circumstances are what are so for the moment. 4.  Accept responsibility for what is. Taking responsibility equips you to respond wisely and creatively to your current situation. 5.  Express gratitude for whatever shows up. The solution is embedded in the challenge.  Just think of the bragging rights you’ll have when you get to the other side.  Imagine the stories you’ll have to tell your grandchildren. 6.  Use your challenges as the impetus for your personal and professional development.  Dip into your reservoir of talent, courage, and determination to achieve what you otherwise would have believed impossible. 7. Adopt an attitude of victory in advance. Be comfortable not knowing exactly how the final outcome will present itself. 8.  Get into action. Sitting around waiting for things to improve or waiting to see how much worse they’ll get, doesn’t bode well for solutions.  Would you like to be following a leader who is waiting to see what happens next? Remember that if you are in the midst of some challenges, others are, too. What can you do to support your colleagues, vendors, customers and friends?  Are there alliances you can form that make you both stronger?  Can you partner to market your complementary products or services? What is the most cost effective marketing you can do? In a contracted economy, marketing is often one of the first things to be cut from a budget.  It’s one of the most important parts of your business plan.  Especially as others fade from the scene, what are you doing to stay front and center in the mind of your customer or prospect? Worry Loses Its Power with This Fail Safe Method Make an appointment with yourself to worry. Devote a specific amount of time to worry.  Wallow in your fear of what might happen or might not happen.  Thirty minutes to an hour is generally enough time.  Do not allow any positive thoughts to intrude on your worry appointment. If you are thoroughly entrenched in a worry mindset and want to break the habit, use this method.  It’s a fail safe way to see worry for what it really is…a useless mental habit with no solutions. Resume using the guidelines to outwit worry with action. Which mindset is moving you forward?  Are you willing to exchange useless mental activity for expansive problem solving and purposeful action?

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Ann Elliott

Ann Elliott, founder of The Berkana Company, excels at leadership strategy

An expert at helping business leaders enjoy more profits and improved productivity with less stress, she blends fun and excitement with executive coaching and training to yield results for her clients.

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