I come from a family of world class worriers. As a first generation Polish Catholic American we can definitely make a mountain out of a molehill. On the flip side, if there’s a real crisis, everyone is super cool, go figure.
The problem with worrying is that most of the time (as those of us that study personal development obsessively know) is that whatever we were worrying almost never happens! Over the years, I’ve worried about many things; losing my job, becoming a bag lady, etc. Guess what? Now 30 years deep, it never happened! I was never fired nor am I on the street. The worrying was pointless but let’s say I had been fired. I know many people that have been and they’ve ended up just fine. I know… I’m not dead yet!
I think many people confuse angst with action. For example, midway in my career I had a meeting with the CIO which I thought was just a status meeting. I sat across from her as she was smiling but as I listened to what she was saying, suddenly like a shot to my solar plexus I thought to myself, “OMG, this woman is a loon and she’s going to fire me!” Screw the worrying, this was real! So I went straight to my old boss and told him she was going to fire me and he needed to bring me back to his department. He did, I was fine. However, many were fired/laid off by her. I gave notice on the day of my 15 year anniversary to become a consultant and on that same day the CIO was,… fired. (Not because of me though). Disaster averted.
Action took care of the issue, not worrying. My point is, angst is not action! Not only is it not action it’s an action de-railer! It puts us into fear mode which can be paralyzing. You can’t creatively problem solve when you’re working from fear. Fear is toxic, not helpful! But I know fear is real and tough to manage. It’s taken me a very long time to even get close to getting a handle on it. Especially, when I would get calm, there was always someone around to say “how can you be so calm, this is terrible!”
If you’re really worried about losing your job, your spouse, your health, global warming, bed bugs or whatever is on your mind. Try doing what works for me most of the time. This is based on the work of Byron Katie.
Exam it. Is this fear real?
Now you can worry about what you’re going to do with all that angst-less free time!
Eva Lewandowski MBA, is a certified Life Coach, certified EFT Practitioner, seminar leader, speaker and co-host of a weekly internet radio show “Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva”. She is also a 30 year veteran of Corporate America as an IT consultant. Using the skills she learned in acting classes, life coaching and EFT certification training as well as her struggle with debilitating stage fright, she created, Stand Up and Be Heard!, a program that teaches professionals how to overcome their fear of the spotlight. She is also the author of “Put on Your Phone Face: Tips and Techniques for teleconferences and conference calls”.