Panic In Advance

People tell me I worry too much. And as if to further underscore what they perceive as this being a flaw in my character, they point out that most of what I worry about never comes to pass. I have a different view. My feeling is that the reason those problems don’t occur is precisely because of the time I spend worrying over them.

Worry comes in a few varieties. Some people refuse to bother with it at all. They take the approach that whatever will happen will happen and they’ll deal with it then. Others go for sitting stationary while wringing their hands. Lastly, there is the roll up your sleeves and look for solutions type.

Letting chips fall where they may before pondering possible responses often leads to panic and chaos. True, most situations do get handled, but stress, high blood pressure, late nights. and strained relationships are common byproducts.

Fretting just makes things worse. The problem doesn’t go away, and now you also have to overcome the results of being a basket case. Since time is typically a factor in worrisome matters, wasting it by doing nothing is catastrophic.

The best option, therefore, is to look down the road, see an issue that might become problematic and begin worrying about it long before it hits. In the majority of cases you’ll think of some action that can be taken to at least mitigate the negative consequences if not circumvent them altogether. If you’re going to panic, it’s best to do so in advance, when you have the benefit of weeks, days, or at least hours with a clear head, and when more possible routes to the desired outcome can be tried.

Be warned, however. Once you incorporate this as a habit in your life, people are likely to criticize. They’ll tell you that you worry too much about things that don’t come to pass. When that happens you can do what I do. Just smile and go back to your relatively peaceful life.


The above is used by permission from the book Three Years Of Tuesday Mornings: 156 e-mails about business and life by Steve Fales.

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