"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."
-- Corrie ten Boom
Cornelia “Corrie” ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker and Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. She was imprisoned for her actions. Her story has inspired generations of people. No, I won’t tell you her story. You’ll have to read it for yourself in her book, The Hiding Place. I highly recommend it for inspirational as well as historical significance reasons.
Corrie has said so many wonderful things and is frequently quoted in a variety of mediums by many authors and public speakers. My favorite Corrie quote regarding the subject of worry is, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, your situation can usually best be described by the old axiom, “The buck stops here.” Everything rests on your shoulders. You’re the CEO, the bookkeeper, payroll clerk, client manager, customer service representative, business developer, human resources manager, secretary, and doorman! You wear many, many hats because…well, that’s what you do…it’s what you have to do. You’ve generally got more time than money, which means you step up and get things done on your own to conserve scarce resources.
This way of business life can lead to high stress, sleepless nights…and lots and lots of WORRY! Unfortunately, this is normal for most small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Is Worrying Doing Me Any Good?
But step back with me for a moment. Ask yourself this question, in all honesty: What good am I doing by worrying? Is it solving anything? Am I getting anything done? Am I getting better revenues? Am I lowering my costs? Am I improving employee morale? How about my personal life; is worrying improving my relationships? Is it improving my quality of life? I can confidently say that your answer will be a resounding, “NO!” because that was my answer, too!
If you read Corrie’s quote again, what is she really saying? Worry doesn’t change the future one bit, but it does steal your energy to tackle today’s problems. It’s a waste. So, stop it! “Just like that, Wayland?” you ask? It might be just that simple. I believe we have the power to make the decision to change our thinking. It takes repetition, practice, but yes…we can do it, we can reprogram. I did it, and if I can do it, I know for certain you can. Below are my tips to help you.
Tips To Help You Stop Worrying
- Write down everything you’re worried about, in detail.
- After each item, write down what actions you can take, if any, to resolve each one, in detail.
- If there’s nothing you can do about it, and it’s something out of your control, then “park” that item. Review it some period later, like a week from now. A week later, if it’s still an issue and you still cannot do anything about it, park it again, but this time for a longer period of time. Do this again and again, and it will either drop off your list completely or at some point you might be able to affect it. When you can do something about it, then go back to the previous step and write down actions you can take to resolve it.
- Going back to your list you CAN do something about, begin to lay out specific tasks to resolve these ‘worries.’ Make these task statements specific with due dates.
- Execute your plan.
Disentangle Your Mind And Worries Will Ease
The main thing that happens when you take these steps is that you are getting everything out of your head onto paper. This step alone disentangles your mind and puts you in a better place, mentally and emotionally. Then as you start accomplishing your steps, your mind will continue to ease. To flip and restate Corrie’s quote, “Use the strength of today to empty the sorrows of tomorrow.”
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