Wait to Worry
By: Michele Whitmore
Life can be challenging. Often our emotions seem like a never ending roller coaster that we did not buy tickets to. This roller coaster symbolizes all of the things in our life, our work, our health, or in our relationships that can go wrong and we frequently find ourselves worrying about those things…
But when you really think about it, more often than not, these things go as planned and we worried for nothing.
One of my favorite messages from a business man who is also a motivational speaker, is about waiting to worry. Unfortunately at the moment, his name escapes my memory. Nonetheless, I share his message A LOT (ask my family and friends!) and when worrying starts to take over for me, I think about his message and it helps me keep things in perspective.
“Why wait to worry? Wait until you actually have a reason to worry—something that is happening, not just something that might happen. When I’m tempted to get alarmed, I tell myself, ‘you’ve got to wait to worry! Until you know differently, don’t worry.’
Waiting to worry helps me develop the habit of not worrying and that helps me not be tempted to worry. I frequently ask the audience what they were worried about this time last year and I get a lot of laughs,” he said, “because most people can’t remember. Then I ask if they have a current worry—you see nods from everybody. Then I remind them that the average worrier is 92% inefficient; meaning, only 8% of what we worry about ever comes true.”
I hope you can see the worth in the above message. There are so many things in our lives that go well, that go as planned, that are exactly how they should be and there are very few (8%?) that don’t. Let’s try to spend more time focusing on the former and not the latter. Let’s try to wait to worry.
Michele Whitmore is the Associate Dean of Students at Johnson State College. She works closely with Student Service Departments within the College to provide purposeful events to students that will strengthen their professional leadership, personal growth, life skills development and social engagement. Thus far, the College has provided educational programs that cover LGBTQ issues, alcohol and drug use, sexual assault prevention, socio-economic struggles, and healthy choices related to eating well and being fit, to name a few. Michele writes about the outreach and program opportunities that enhance the wellness of a campus community.
I really like this phrase Michelle. I use another expression with my clients that seems helpful is: "Don't borrow worry"…