The Best Piece of Advice
Are you a worrier? Worried about money, worried about the future, worried about getting from the office in time to pick up the kids from school, drop them off at soccer and then get home in time for dinner?
I hear ya. There’s a lot to worry about.
Recently, I was speaking with a friend who is thinking about applying for a new job. She’s tired of her current position and it’s time to make a change. But she’s worried. If she gets job A, that would mean a longer commute and then she’d also miss parts of her current job. If she gets job B, then she’ll probably end up working with Y who isn’t her favourite person. Plus, the vacation days aren’t as good… etc. etc. etc.
She asked me what she should do.
I gave her the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.
Don’t worry about problems you don’t have yet.
She was fretting about the repercussions of getting jobs she hadn’t even applied for yet. I told her, apply first! You still haven’t got the job, and you don’t have to even accept the job. Focus on fact, not fantasy.
Now I don’t suggest using this as a way of ignoring potential and likely negative ramifications. “I haven’t paid my taxes yet, oh well, I’ll worry about it when the CRA comes after me!” Nice try.
My fretting of this nature often occurs over time management. I worry about how am I going to do X and Y if Z happens? Most of the time, Z never comes to pass and I’ve wasted mental energy, created anxiety and slept poorly. All over nothing.
So the next time you’re worrying about something, take a moment. Is this a real, current, existing problem or one that may happen? And if it’s the latter, give yourself a good talking to and remind yourself – don’t worry about problems you don’t have yet.