Worrying is toxic

Why Worrying is Toxic for Your Productivity

When you see a quote in two completely different places within a 12-hour span, it’s good to stop and reflect.

For me, it has been Max Lucado’s quote:

Feed your fears and your faith will starve.
Feed your faith and your fears will starve.

I saw this quote yesterday in the context of the fight against DIPG, an inoperable brain tumor found in children, and a cause close to my heart.

The second time I saw this quote, it was in an article on Entrepreneur, “Why Worry? Because We Do. But We Can Kick the Habit.”

This article stuck out to me immediately because I am a chronic worrier. There is something inside my psyche that allows me to believe that worrying equates to control, which may be the most ridiculous assumption I could have.

Lucado’s quote in the context of this article puts into perfect perspective how the act of worrying actually blocks out my productivity.

“A key part in reprogramming the mind for optimal performance and healthy thoughts is to kick the worry habit,” writes Matt Mayberry, a Speaker and Maximum Performance Strategist. “So many people love to worry about every little thing. Half the things people worry about are not even in their control. Most are worrying about things that they can do absolutely nothing about. They are creating stress and negative energy all throughout their entire body when they worry.”

Mayberry provides two ways to “kick the worry habit” in business:

1. Focus on what you can control

Worrying is toxicThis is so important for me. I love being in business for myself, but it wasn’t a gradual process that allowed me to wade in slowly. Considering my personality, diving in head-first is truly the only way I do things anyway, so being “forced” to do so wasn’t really a stretch.

But as I build success in what I’m doing, I find myself obsessing over the gap between where I am versus where I need to be. This is so toxic for my productivity and my psyche, and the ironic part about it is that focusing on my work — what I can control — is the only way I’m going to fill that gap.

“Each and every one of us spends more time than we should on things we have absolutely no control over,” writes Mayberry. “You can’t necessarily control an outcome, but what you can do is put yourself in position to win by focusing on the process and everything that you do have control over.”

2. Make progress every day, and then acknowledge it

This is something I have incorporated into my daily workflow and it has been critical to my mental health. Instead of writing down every single end-goal for every single project I have each and every day, I set small goals that I can achieve. That way I can check them off and feel a sense of accomplishment throughout the day.

“When you focus on making progress each day and then acknowledge it, you begin to feel good about yourself and instantly boost your self-esteem,” writes Mayberry. “You come to the realization that you are better than you were the day before – and that gives you a deep sense of satisfaction.”

I can’t stress enough how important it is to ditch constant worry and dread, whether it’s over the success or failure of your business, your finances, or your workload. The worry quite literally pushes away your ability to solve your problems by consuming your mind and draining your productivity.

So focus on what you can control, set your small goals each day, and get to work on achieving!

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