Are you a girlfriend that has perfected the art of worrying? If you have, I’m not surprised. Most women I come across have spent a good portion of their life practicing this sport. Let me be honest— there have been points in my own life where I wasted my valuable time taking part in this activity. But is it really worth it?
They say that 40% of what you worry about never comes to fruition. That means that you are spending time worrying about something that has a good chance of not ever actually taking place. In the 60% of situations where things happened the way you feared, was it as bad as you had imagined? Did the worrying help the situation?
Do you worry about things that have already passed? Let’s face it, you have no control over the past, but you certainly have control over how you move forward. Worrying is exhausting and is in no way a productive activity. It can affect your emotional and physical health in numerous ways. If you’re like me, worrying can go round and round in a tight circle, leading to nowhere.
To prove to you how worrying can be a big fat waste of time, I’ve included a sample list of occasions where I’ve wasted time and energy when I didn’t have to:
- My younger son could not learn to tell time in second grade. He had a mental block about this. I asked numerous experts if it pointed to a disability.
Outcome: He is in his second year at the University of Michigan and he seems to have no problem telling time.
- I was so worked up after one of my Master’s research tests, because I was convinced I had flunked it. After excess worrying and fretting, I wrote the Professor and shared my feelings. I was sent a full page of wisdom on what school is really about— and it’s not grades.
Outcome: The last line in the letter— “by the way, you got an A”.
- I remember a huge fight with my husband where I stayed up all night, worrying about our marriage. I believe it had to do with some purchase in the house but I can’t be certain now.
Outcome: We’ve been married 30 years and this was just a blip on the radar screen of importance.
- I had a friend that slowly began to pull away from our friendship. I spent numerous hours speculating on the friendship and whether I had done something wrong to cause this new turn of events.
Outcome: There was nothing I could do to change this situation because it was never about me!
- Would I get turned down from the job that I desperately wanted? I felt that life would just stop if I didn’t get an offer from this one organization. Outcome: I didn’t get the job, but something even better came along.
- In 9th grade, my older son had a girlfriend that was in 12th grade. That relationship enabled me to spend a lot of my time in a worry cycle. You can just imagine where I was going with that one!
Outcome: They broke up when she went away to school and he quickly moved on.
At the time, each of these incidents seemed so very important. Guess what— they seem silly to me now! I encourage all of you to think back to some of the things you worried about in your life and make a list. Is it comical like mine? Was it really worth it or was it a big fat waste of time? As Amy’s wise mom always says, “Worrying is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but it doesn’t really take you anywhere”.