“Don’t worry about it, worrying is a waste of time” is something we hear often.
I’m not so dismissive. Worrying is too close to caring to be entirely ignored. Focussed on the right things it can be a force for good.
Things we worry about fall into different categories.
Firstly, there is a difference between things we can influence or control and those we can’t.
If you’re worrying about something you can control, that’s caring. To cease the worrying, do something! If you do the best job you can then there’s no need to worry. If you’ve worrying because you haven’t done yourself justice, then try to rectify that. If you can’t, then learn for next time, but let go.
Then come things outside of out control. Worrying about things you can’t influence is a waste of energy. In these cases you can choose to:
- Take control of the thing you’re worried about directly
- Mitigate the outcome of what you’re worried about in some way
- Leave it to chance and go along for the ride
In other words, use the fact that you care to put your energy into something constructive, or let it go entirely.
Sounds simple, but next time you’re worried, think through which of these categories the object of your worry falls into.