Like Carla Rieger, I come from a family of worriers, and by seeing how it affected their lives I’ve worked hard on suspending worry from my own life. It’s hard, though, and Rieger offers a way to help you rid yourself of this wasted-energy activity.
One day I decided to do an experiment. I got an old cookie jar and cut up strips of paper. At the beginning of the week I wrote down one worry thought per strip of paper. I put the strips in the jar as a symbolic way of “letting them go”. At the end of the week I pulled the strips out, and put them in three piles.
- “Never happened”
- “Happened and the consequences were manageable”
- “Happened and the consequences were just as bad as I imagined”
Guess which was the biggest pile? The first pile contained 85% of the strips, the second pile 14%, and the third 1%. I did this for seven more weeks and the percentages remained similar. I proved Moliére’s theory. Now I do this exercise with participants in my longer programs and people prove it for themselves.
I think that’s a great experiment to practice if you’re a constant worrier. Rieger also offers some ideas on how to change your focus, so check out her site to learn more about how to stop worrying so much and to start living in the now.
Are you a constant worrier? If so, how do you manage it? Please share your tips in the comments.