Don’t Give Worry the Keys to Your Mental Real Estate

By Ann Elliott

When the pressure is on, we worry. Everyone makes up stuff to some degree. Why allow these stories to occupy such valuable mental real estate? Some of us are more susceptible to worry than others. Regardless of your propensity to ruminate, it is quite expensive. For one thing, it raises your cortisol level which has a negative impact on your immune system. It gives credibility to the expression, “I’m worried sick about _________.” Worry looks important and it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere–think rocking chair. So why do it? If you worry, it’s proof that you care. If you don’t worry, you are an unfeeling, callous person. So, do you do it to impress others? Does it solve anything? Just as I suspected. Nobody is impressed. It is an unproductive habit of recycling the same thoughts without any action to find a solution. With uncertainty of the outcome, it’s natural to envision the worst possible result. Most of the time what you worry about doesn’t happen or the outcome is not nearly as terrible as you imagine. Why spend sleepless nights turning it over and over in your mind and it makes no difference. None. Determine what you can control and make a plan to address your concerns.
  • With brutal honesty, acknowledge the issue. Is it health, financial, relationships or business?
  • Get the facts, not beliefs or opinions, about your dilemma.
  • Identify the ideal outcome when the problem is resolved.
  • Calculate the value of the ideal outcome.
  • Decide what action is required.
  • Take the first step.
  • Be willing to experience something better than you imagined or planned. It happens.
For example, you cannot control the severity or direction of a major hurricane. However, you can take steps to protect your property and yourself from the storm. Consider such things as having the proper insurance coverage, board up the windows, back up computers, put sandbags in place, relocate vehicles, collect your important papers and, if necessary, evacuate. Reserve your valuable mental space for creativity, problem solving, and building relationships. Be selective when choosing your tenants. Act courageously when it’s necessary to evict a worrisome occupant. © 2017 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved

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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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