|7 ways to eliminate worries and start living|
“Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its troubles… it empties today of its strength.” Corrie ten Boom (a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust)
How to minimise worries and maximise life’s enjoyment? Are these two questions even supposed to be together in one article? We usually concentrate either one or another. We either try to solve our problems or seek pleasurable things. Here I suggest the ways you can combine the two.
Part of the nature of humans is to be constantly developing, growing and moving towards a balanced and mature way of being. Your present personality is determined by both, what you really think of yourself now and by what you strive to become in the future. Mature individuals always work on their personal development. And by the word ‘mature’ I don’t mean just those close to 40 and over.
means to learn and apply special principles in life that will help you to
attain emotional wellbeing, understanding and effectiveness in your everyday
life. Simply said: to find and create that special balance that will allow you
to be happy more often.
Look at some of the
most inspiring individuals: Leo Tolstoy, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, Barbi Thomas…
What is the common trait amongst them? They never stopped learning, never gave
up the search for the perfect balance. And they succeeded.
Here is 7 fundamentals, created by Katya French, for you to consider when you are in the need of change or simply a solution.
1. Drop the Perfectionist
It is one thing to try to do something well; it is another to have the ability to stop perfecting it…
Problem: The need for perfection and the desire for inner peace and tranquility will always conflict with each other. There is always room for making something better, making it a different way. There is always an unconscious need to continue fixing or to know something better before doing it.
This is what is called Perfectionist Procrastination Paralysis.
Diagnosis: This is the inability to start a task or project, or the consistent delay of starting that task/project because of the need to be fully knowledgeable and for the outcome to be perfect. (Don't ask me how long it took me to write that. I am still panicking because I know it could be better.)
Thoughts of destruction could be: “Why am I so stupid?”, “Others are so much better at it than me”, “I am the type of person who takes a huge amount of time to master something.” “Others are more talented”. All these phrases are inevitably negative in their nature and are ‘perfect’ for developing a sense of non-accomplishment, low self-esteem and, as a result, poor productivity.
Cure: Drop your harsh self-judgement. They are not better than you. If you don’t start now, you will never get to the next level of it. Don’t overanalyse, jump into action, and you will begin to discover the perfection and tranquility of life itself.
2. Life is about to begin
Problem: Are you waiting for your life – real life – to begin, soon, in the future? Next week, when you finish your study, when your finish your project, when you get your dream house, when the debts are paid off, when kids become a little bit older, when you become healthy and good looking…. Then you will be able to enjoy it. Not yet.
Diagnosis: This is partial or complete inability to enjoy the present moment. The days and months go by, and then the years. And there is always yet something else to achieve, yet another obstacle/problem in the way that needs to be resolved. You keep promising to yourself: “A little bit more of my hard work, I’ll get there and then I will truly start enjoying my life!”
Has it ever occurred to you: these obstacles that you are constantly overcoming are YOUR LIFE? Life is a constant development, a challenge. That’s why you are alive, because you still have tasks to do and obstacles to overcome. Because you still have interest and the desire to strive. These obstacles are not your enemies, they are your good friends that help you to evolve, become a more educated/experienced person and achieve better results next time around.
Cure: Teach yourself to enjoy the process rather than the finishing product only. Start finding enjoyment in what you do: did you learn something new today while creating your perfect project? Well done! Did you have a nice cup of coffee and a good chat with your friend? Do consider it as a blessing. Did your kids tell you a story that is important to them? Consider yourself lucky that they want to share with you, that they want you to be part of their life.
Life doesn’t begin tomorrow or in a year’s time. Life is what you are experiencing now.
3. Be super wise about Selective Vision
Selective Vision is an enormously powerful tool if you use it wisely. You choose what you notice in life and you choose what you will or will not talk about.
Problem: Let me ask you a question: How often do you list your problems to yourself or when you’re talking to your friends?
You think about the bad sides of your life, while your mind gets populated with one great thought: “Things are bad!” You talk about your problems, your listener shows compassion, offers suggestions while you subconsciously stipulate in your mind: “Poor me, help!”
Diagnosis: It’s natural to ‘unload’ sometimes, that’s true. But the trick is to consciously weigh how much of ‘unloading’ you practice every time you speak. Don’t become a compulsive ‘unloader’. Watch how many negative thoughts you allow to enter your mind in the conversation with other and your self-talk.
Cure: Like anything else in this life: the more you do it, the more it becomes a prevailing part in your life. Just imagine, what if you were purposely looking for the good stuff in every day you live? The bad stuff is easy enough to find. So take a challenge: Today I will concentrate on the good sides. I will concentrate on how lucky I am, and the problems I’m currently experiencing, are only there to make me stronger and more prepared for bigger and wonderful things in life!
4. 50% of your worries eliminated instantly
Problem: No matter if we are talking about personal financial problems or business not going in the right direction, what we do is we verbalise one way or another what you’ve just read above. You talk it over with your spouse or at your team meetings at work. Excuse my language, it is called ‘bitching about’ it is destructive and doesn’t lead to any solution for the better. It’s a maddening circle with no way out.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis here would be a simple socially acceptable way of ‘bitching about’, complaining without the search for solution. A mere statement of your problem embeds that problem further into your mind. Day after day in private life, or week after week in business life, you repeat your dissatisfaction or worry. Your correspondent usually agrees and adds oil into a flame by reiterating the same statements or simply nodding his/her head and saying “Yep, ok, I understand” or even worse: “I see”.
This is a perfect example of the unproductive cycle that will leave you sad, angry, needy and unsatisfied.
Cure: Ask yourself 4 questions and record your answers.
Something simple that we fail to do on a lot of occasions, is a down to earth approach. It’s powerful and it works without a hitch, every time!
Only 4 questions that will clarify your approach and solution to all your worries:
- - What is the problem?
- - What is the cause of the problem?
- - What can I do right now in order to solve this problem?
- - How am going to do that?
Use the amazing A3 sheet of paper, a solution to any problem. I love it! It gives you a possibility to splash out and space to put lots of your thoughts and ideas. The questions will prompt you to answers. And once you’ve got your answers down, solutions will arrive instantly into your mind.
5. Put your mess onto paper
When the amount of things to do is overwhelming, it is so easy to start procrastinating, simply not knowing where to start.
Problem: It is truly amazing how creative you get when looking for excuses for not starting this or that project or a simple task. And then “Bingo! That’s it! I can’t do it now because …. [Insert perfectly found excuse]. What you experience after, is momentary relief and then pain of guilt because that task is still hanging above you, amongst so many others which just makes you sick.
Diagnosis: There are two things stopping you from taking action: 1) You don’t want to go through pain when you leave your comfort zone and 2) lack of clear vision – where to start. Unfortunately, the phrase ‘Start with something’ often doesn’t seem serious enough, and so you end up doing nothing. Apart from continuing to experience that guilt for not proceeding.
Cure: Get up, put yourself into a car or public transport, get to a stationary store, buy a few of the magic A3 sized sheets of paper, bright markers and then quickly return to your home/office, before you find other ways to procrastinate.
What you are going to put on your A3 paper is a mind map. A mind map is a great way to brainstorm, get a full picture of projects to do, put tasks and ideas into steps, and most importantly to clarify your vision. Without a clear vision you will continue to scratch through dirt like a chicken, without much progress or result. However, get an eagle’s eye view of your life (that’s the map you put onto your A3) and you will notice that you understand the sequence of what needs to be done first, second, and third… why it needs to be done that way and what you are planning to achieve as a result.
6. Don’t try to hurt your enemies
When you feel that you are absolutely in the right, and that other person just absolutely unjustifiably acts against you, there can be a civil way out. Wise and proven to work every time.
Problem: You are hurt, you feel pure injustice towards you, be that in business or in private life. It is all caused by your enemy, or somebody who has happened to play a role of an enemy at this part in your life. So you splash into lengthy emails justifying your positions and how silly and incompetent your enemy is acting as they do… It takes lots of thinking, emotion, and time. What do you get in return? An email or a phone call which states that you are even worse than you thought! Now your thoughts are streaming towards: ‘Am I really that bad?’, and ‘I’ve never noticed that about me’. Next thing you do, you lose your time and temper in getting out yet another hurtful message/email/phone call. The snow ball of bitterness and argument just keeps getting bigger, depriving you of sleep, quality of life and inevitably diminishing your productivity.
Diagnosis: Inability to stop the deadly cycle of bitterness or argument can cost you a lot. Reputation, emotional imbalance, time.. When you concentrate on something (whether good or bad), others areas of your life get overlooked. It is just a natural balance of life. So spending too much time and effort of trying to prove yourself right to your enemy and (hopefully) hurt them or bring them down, first of all brings yourself down. So what do you do?
Cure: There are two powerful things that are bound to get your enemy down. First, quit conversing. What is a conversation? It’s like in tennis: you hit the ball, your opponent hits that ball back to you, again you hit, he hits and so on. Stop the game, don’t hit the ball back. Treat your opponent to some torturous feeling of being ‘not in the know’: “What’s going to happen next? Why silence? What do I do?” And while your opponent is guessing at what’s really going on, start working on enforcing the positive and successful image of yours.
Keep smiling, it makes other people wonder what you’ve been up to! And while you are re-enforcing that happy image, you will suddenly notice that centre of your attention has naturally shifted: from conflict to creativeness.
7. Exaggerate to get the spice of life!
As you are concentrating on your happy and successful image, exaggerate: to yourself, to your partner, to your friends, and to your opponents.
Problem: Modesty could often be a problem. ‘Have you done this presentation? Looks amazing!’ – ‘Yes, well, I did. But it’s nothing special, really….’ ‘Thank you for dinner, that was beautiful!’ – ‘Ah, no worries, it’s just dinner, nothing special’. Does this sound to you that this person could be a successful entrepreneur or an amazing host? No, the spice of life is taken out.
Diagnosis: Inability to accept praise, lack of your own scrumptious descriptions for your projects and unnecessary modesty stops you from enjoying life, from maximising the enjoyment from the things you do. Other people eventually start to see you in the same light you positioned yourself first: there is nothing special in her/his life. Before you know it, you become kind of a grey mouse.
Cure: Exaggerate! Cooking? Creating a project? Spending time with your friends and family? Talk about it as something special, elaborate, and add some delectable descriptions and details. It will help you to feel your life deeper, discover that you are already living an amazing life. It will put you into a certain habit of thinking great about your own actions and achievements, which is vital for living a happy life. It will give others a possibility to see you as an interesting, worthy of praise and attention person, living a very exciting life to its fullest.