Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
~ Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)
I am often described as outgoing, boisterous, happy, and, yes, a bit obnoxiously perky (especially for those not as excited about the earlier hours). And those things (even the tendency towards the obnoxious) are true.
However, those who know me well will also tell you I also have a tendency to be anxious. My anxiety is sometimes warranted by actual causes for concern. More often, unfortunately, it is just a malfunction in the way I am wired; a reminder that I am, in fact, human and should remain gracious to all because we all have our challenges.
Having dealt with this for a really long time, I have gotten really good at talking myself down. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of mindfulness based cognitive behavioral strategies or how diet and exercise really do matter. I will tell you that while it all works and I am very thankful for it, it is exhausting.
This is primarily the reason I am also know as an optimist. You will here me repeatedly say things like, “don’t borrow trouble,” “make one decision at a time,” “will will cross that bridge when we get there,” or, my favorite, “let’s step back and make sure we are looking at this right.”
Too often we create more worry by entertaining exaggerated worry over situations that actually require little if no worry at all. At which point we then proceed to escalate the situation. The situation needs attention. We worry. Worry makes us distracted, less focused, hesitant, and less capable to employ our abilities. This makes any situation worse. By the time we have worried all over it, we have created something to worry about!
Today I want to encourage you to focus on confidence. The number one reason for worry, insofar as I can tell, is lack of confidence in ones ability to handle whatever happens next. The future is the largest producer of anxiety. This is so unfortunate because the future holds so much hope and promise! The present is where our potential works and the future is the enjoyment of that success! To sabotage that and to steal that from ourselves is all we achieve when we worry. Our strength lives in certainty, assurance, and joy. That’s a much better basket of tricks than worry.