Do you worry a lot?
I must confess I do - although I try very hard not to and I think I'm getting a little better at putting worries aside far quicker than perhaps I did in the past. Certainly now that I've left my twenties behind I'm starting to realise that some things just really weren't getting so wound up about.
It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently as I continue to try to understand my place in the human race and just what is worth the anxiety and what isn't. I think we're all guilty of obsessing at time to time over things that we really shouldn't but there is often such a minefield of things to think about that it's hard to know where to direct our energy.
Today I've complied a little list of things I believe just aren't worth getting all het up about. I hope it helps if you're feeling a little under pressure by the general weight of life at the moment. Switch off that brain, let yourself be and remember that ...
LIFE'S TOO SHORT
1. To worry about what other people think or say about you.
As you get older you finally start to understand that there really isn't anything you can do about the haters! Sometimes someone just might not understand where you're coming from or what you're about but there's really very little that you can do to change that and spending your energy worrying about it and trying to change to please others just isn't worth it. Be yourself - be nice and be kind - but be you and just don't spend another thought feeling concerned about what someone may or may not think about you.
I once went to a conference where one of the speakers was talking about worry and pointed out how funny it was that every one of us in the room was probably busy worrying about what the other ones were thinking! Most of the time no-one's actually thinking anything negative about you as they're far too busy worrying about things themselves - that's the real irony of the whole worrying thing.
2. To worry about what others are doing that you might be missing out on.
There's a common fear that people suffer from and that's the fear of missing out. Always thinking and feeling that you have to be part of all of the action all of the time in case you miss something that everyone else will be talking about. Trust me it's exhausting to live your life that way and you'll never be able to keep up with everything no matter how hard you try.
Do what makes you happy, go to the events and the places that are most fulfilling and important to you. Don't be afraid to say no to things now and again if it's just getting a bit too much to handle.
3. To be scared of taking risks or trying something new.
Sometimes it's hard to take that leap of faith and step out of your comfort zone. I have a couple of recent personal examples for this.
Firstly starting this blog. I wanted to do it so much but I really wasn't sure that I could. Eventually I just went for it even though I wasn't really sure what I was doing and although of course it's still a growing work in progress, I'm so glad that I did because I just love having this space to share and create and it's helped me feel like me again.
Secondly is my very random choice to sign my husband and I up for Thai Kick Boxing classes that started last weekend! We turned up to a slightly nerve-racking looking padded studio with UFC posters plastering the walls and a class full of (to be honest but honestly not to judge) quite intimidating looking attendees. Feeling very tempted to run we hung around having spoken to the instructor who was really helpful and I have to tell you that it was probably the most fun hour of activity I've ever had on a Saturday morning. Everyone in the class was brilliant and so willing to help. The class was fantastic and we came away feeling elated having signed up to go back this weekend. Out of the comfort zone it certainly was and Thai Kick Boxing champ I will never be - but it was so very worth just going for it and discovering something new.
So whatever it is that you have a burning desire to do - be that travel, a change in job, start a new hobby, skydive - the list is endless. Just do it because it might turn out to be the best choice you've ever made and if not, then at least you can say you tried and that you have no regrets.
4. To keep waiting for things to be perfect.
This kind of ties into the last point but as I've written on this blog before, waiting for perfection is just procrastination and it really is so true. I'm guilty of being something of a perfectionist and this often leads to me not actually ever getting enough done because I'm always waiting for the right moment and for everything to fall in to it's perfect place before going ahead.
What I've learned is that this approach doesn't work. They'll always be something else to wait for and you'll end up sitting around never taking a risk and never getting anything done. So forget about perfection and just concentrate on living and enjoying things just exactly as they are. You see nothing in life is ever perfect - that's just what life is!
5. To keep going over the past and holding on to anger.
You get to a point in life where you realise that you just have to let things go. Holding on to anger, disappointment, fear and all of those similar attributes that keep coming back to us when something from the past is holding us back does nothing but hurt you and nobody else.
Someone once said to me that:
'Holding on to anger is like holding on to a hot coal and expecting the other person to get burnt'
I feel that never a truer word has been said. So no matter how hard, you have to find a way to move on.
6. To worry about work and money.
Money is a tricky one because of course when you're struggling with debt and money worries then it's very hard to be flippant about it. I've spent many a restless night in the past trying to add up numbers in my head and work out just how I'm going to make my salary pay my rent, my bills and the credit card bill that got bigger from dealing with the blow of the previous months rent and bills, so I totally get how all consuming it can be.
The truth is though that the worry won't make the slightest bit of difference to the reality. So if you're having serious money worries then take action and seek advice to help you get it under control. Action really is the best approach, not making yourself sick just raking it over in your head.
When it comes to work, whether it be a worryingly heavy workload or the fact that you're not happy in your job, adding to that stress by taking that worry home with you day after day is never going to help. There will always be more work to do, emergencies in the office, something that should have been done yesterday but don't forget that you're human and you deserve to switch off every now and again. Take a step back and then, when you're ready, roll up your sleeves get stuck in and get productive - just don't let the worry continue to drag you down.
7. To constantly think that something bad is going to happen.
This used to be a really big one for me. When I was young I lost someone very close to me and for a very long time after I was just terrified of something else bad happening because I really didn't know how I would be able to cope if it did. The truth is though that spending your life thinking that way is a life half lived and it's incredibly limiting. The brutal reality is that of course bad things do and can happen to people but continually worrying about every little thing that could possibly go wrong in life will make very little difference to the outcome of each day - except for making you ill in yourself and painfully anxious.
That said this is a very difficult mindset to reverse and if you're having trouble with something similar I urge you to seek advice from your GP because trust me, if you can beat that fear the weight that will lift from your shoulders will absolutely free and astound you.
8. To count all those calories.
Of course everything must be enjoyed in moderation especially the naughty stuff but believe me deprivation will get you nowhere. Willpower is one thing and it may last for a while but no-one has enough of it to deprive themselves forever. So stop counting those calories and forever cutting out this and that and the other. Concentrate on living a healthy and active life but with a little bit of what you fancy thrown in every now and again because hey - life's too short not to eat that occasional bar of chocolate!
9. To worry!
Honestly just forget all of the above, stop worrying and enjoy life. I know it can be really hard at times and of course I know there are some bigger things that happen to us along the way that we will have to think much deeper about. Surely though that's all the more reason to not sweat the small stuff and just get on with things the best you can with as much enthusiasm as you can muster, because honestly - life really is too short, so do whatever you must in order to enjoy it.
Do you worry about any of the above? Do you think you can try and let some of that worry go and step back and enjoy the little things or is that much easier said than done? Let me know your thoughts and have a lovely (worry free) evening everyone.
If you fancy having a little Twitter chat this evening and have some thoughts to share on the subject of Networking then please make sure you join me over @CareerBloggers at 7:30pm. More information can be found here. Plus don't forget to enter the Getaway Giveaway open until Saturday 7th March for your chance to win some stylish weekend break goodies!