We are all on different journeys…
I don’t know about you, but this has never been more clear to me than now. Through countless conversations, having asked countless questions, and having listened to the answers of those questions, the realization is clear- there are not even two of us on the exact same path. What is true is that there are several similarities to our experiences and among them this one question that we all have to answer. And answer regularly.
Is this worth worrying about?
This question is one that we all must face. Maybe even daily. Often we don’t really face it, but instead just choose the path of least resistance- and that is the path of worry. Statistics are on the side of my argument as a recent worldwide poll showed that 35% of people experienced worry the day before they were questioned. And if that number isn’t high enough, the United States leads the way (not something you want to lead!) with adult stress levels of 59%.
So what do we do about it?
Before I had a partner in my dental practice, worry consumed me. Running a business is not what I signed up for in school, but when I bought the practice in 2008 from my father, it became my reality. All of a sudden I became head of HR, head of finance, head of accounting, facilities manager, and I still had a full schedule of patients. Worry about a case, worry about an open position that needed to be filled, worry about an HR issue, worries about the bottom line. There was plenty to worry about.
And then things changed…
In December of 2021, I formed a partnership. And let me just say it has been life-changing. For a couple of reasons. The buck doesn’t just stop with me now. I have someone else to help shoulder the load. And I am able to devote some more time to writing, speaking, and coaching. All good stuff.
But one of the biggest benefits has been…
A new approach to worry. One day I noticed that Jeff and I seemed to be getting overly concerned about some of the issues we had at work, almost to the point of the worry that I used to face on a daily basis. So one day I walked into his office and shared with him that I think we need to keep ourselves accountable for worry. We need to work together to keep worry from being the monster that it can be.
Here’s how we do it…
When we find ourselves getting amped up about the issue of the day (we have a saying in our office that is true of most businesses- there’s always something!), we have full permission to be honest with each other and ask- is this worth worrying about? And then we have to answer for ourselves. If it has reached the level of worry, obviously it is something that needs attention.
I don’t know about you, but it has been my experience that worry often leads to inaction as we are preoccupied with the worry more than the situation. And we face analysis paralysis. Or we are simply frozen and consumed by the worry.
So if it is something that needs attention…
We figure out a small but significant step we can take towards solving the issue. Because worry stacks. Have you noticed this? We often aren’t just worried about one thing. We worry about one thing and then add another and another and all of a sudden we are worried about five things and we are paralyzed in our worry with inaction!
What if you don’t have accountability for worry?
I admit that I am blessed. It is great to have someone to frankly ask this question. But if you don’t, either find someone who can hold you accountable, or look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if what you are facing is worth worrying about. Be honest. Maybe it is! But don’t get stuck there.
And then do something about it!
Don’t just wallow in your worry and kick the problem down the road. You will feel better if you do something about it! It won’t seem like a tall mountain if you take a step.
Don’t let worry get the best of you. Yes, it is the path of least resistance. But it doesn’t have to be the way we go.
Remember… Is it worth worrying about?
Worry takes away our ability to live present and #WINtheNOW. When we attack our worry with action we can truly believe that #gooddaysareahead.
If you want to read further, here is a blog I wrote about a worry that consumed me for years and how I worked through it.