Be honest: How much of your time, energy, and attention do you spend worrying about the same things over and over again, only to not make a decision in the end? Or being so tired from all the mental energy you’ve exhausted that you don’t even care anymore?
As a recovering worrier and people pleaser, I totally get how it feels.
You think and think and think and think your way around the same circles over and over again. You run through your list of pro’s and con’s, worst case scenario, what makes the most sense, the list of things involved afterwards, etc. and the list goes on and on.
And you probably already have enough on your list, am I right? Work, family, health, and social life just to name a few - and each of those things have its own five whole sub-categories.
You think to yourself, “How do I get all this done?”
No one said you had to do it all right now at this exact moment.
In fact, if you broke it down and took a look at your list, you probably don’t even have to address some things later down the road in 3 months.
Worrying only creates more worry and fear, so in order to break the cycle, you have to start taking action. Action helps you move, whereas worry keeps you stuck where you are. Trust me, I would know... I do know. Worrying gets you to nowhere town fast.
Here are 5 ways to stop the worry and start taking intentional action:
1. Make a decision.
Even if it’s not the right one, it still beats worrying about it over and over again with no to little action. How does someone get better at something? They practice. They allow themselves to experiment. They take action. The sooner you start moving and taking action, the better you’ll get at evaluating the situation and seeing what works and doesn’t work.
Because the truth is, we could spend forever to make a decision. Is there a perfect decision? I don’t think so, because what comes after one decision is another, and another, and ten more after that. It’s like playing checkers - is there really a right first move? No, it’s what you do overall that matters. What matters is your strategy, vision, consistency, heart, etc. Those are the things that matter.
2. Do a brain dump.
Stop keeping it all in your head. Do you ever have an idea pop into your head and you spend the next hour saying to yourself, “Don’t forget. Don’t forget.” when you could’ve just written it down somewhere or typed it into your Evernote? Well, it’s like that for everything else too. I do a daily brain dump and a bigger weekly brain dump, so I don’t have to worry about whether I’m forgetting something.
The same goes for having an idea library. This is where I keep all of my future ideas somewhere, so it’s not something I have to attend to right now. Sometimes, it can feel like everything is awaiting our attention, but if you wrote everything down and prioritized, you’ll see that not everything is urgent and there are a lot of things that can wait.
3. take an inventory.
Where is all of your time and attention currently going to? We spend so much time on Instagram, Facebook, and checking our emails. And yet, we often throw out the phrase, “There’s not enough time. Why aren’t there more hours in the day?” Well, you gotta be a little honest with yourself. Where is your time and attention actually going?
For example, when I break it down, I realize that I spend a lot of time worrying about things which leads me to doing other things that aren’t getting me anywhere ex. checking my phone every 5 minutes, which is what led me to writing this blog post. I get your struggle and I’m here to help! I’m by no means an expert, but these are just some things that have helped me.
This will also give you a realistic overview of what’s going on in your life (and mind).
4. Decide on what you’re going to do (and do it!).
There has to come a time when you decide to stop giving into the fears and start taking action, and only you can decide that. Set a timer for 5, 10, or 30 minutes and do something on your list. What this will help you with is realizing that the tasks you’re afraid of aren’t that scary. And if you mess up? Not that big of a deal.
When you take action, you take more action. Have you ever decided to clean for 10 minute and you ended up cleaning for 2 hours because you actually started to find it enjoyable? Wasn’t it a good feeling to see the clutter start disappearing and clearing up? That’s the same thing for all the fears, worries, and self-doubt that’s going on in your head. Once you start addressing them, you start gaining more clarity. And who doesn’t want that?!
5. Be kind to yourself.
Hopefully after reading this post, you’ll decide to start taking action instead of spending all your time worrying. If 3 weeks later, you find yourself spending more of your time worrying than acting, do not beat yourself over it. Give yourself some grace. And if you need ideas on how to be kind to yourself, here are 45 self-care ideas for the mind, body, and soul. (Pssst... there's a whole workbook for you to download. Click here to get access to that.)