Many years ago a study was conducted about the things people worry about. Anecdotally, in my experience, the results have not changed much.
Look over your list. Four of the items are probably worries that will never happen. Despite how trendy it is to think, there is not going to be a zombie apocalypse. Rest easy.
Three of your worries are likely about the past and things you cannot change. Maybe you punched a classmate in third grade and made him cry (Sorry Scott). You immediately felt sorry about it but never told him. You worry if he has ever forgiven you. It has been 30 or 40 years; he probably doesn’t remember or doesn’t care anymore. If he had, you’d know by now. Let it go.
At least one of your worries is a needless health worry. I am telling you now; you will not ever have an erection lasting more than four hours.
Another one of your worries is probably a petty. Did you turn off the iron? Do you even own an iron? You might have left the television on, or forgot to feed the fish. Take care of it when you get home. Don’t let it consume you.
Finally, of the ten worries you listed, one might be a real and legitimate concern. You do have to find a way to pay for your kids’ college even though you have not saved much. The deadline for your project is tomorrow, and you are freaking out because you have not finished it yet. It’s justified to be worried about these things. Take action to alleviate the stress you are feeling.
Worrying is borrowing trouble. You are using resources you could and should be devoting to the real legitimate concerns you can most impact. Cross all but one worry off your list. If the thought of that gives you the shakes, you can cross off all but two.
Give yourself permission to let go of the unproductive worries. Use the new found time to face the one or two genuine concerns you have left, and make a great impact, so you can lesson and ultimately eradicate their hold on you. Worry Less. Do more.
Karl Bimshas is an Executive Accountability Partner who helps new leaders and leaders in transition to act on purpose, not by accident. He’s the author of “How to Stay When You Want to Quit;Strategies to get over yourself“.