In the last post about fear I mentioned Susan Jeffers’ book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. This is book is an international best seller, published in over 35 languages and selling many millions of copies.
And yet Jeffers has said that it was a struggle to get published, with many rejections including this charmer:
“Lady Di could be bicycling nude down the street giving this book away and nobody would read it.”
Imagine if she’d had given up at that hurdle? This is why life only really makes sense in retrospect, when you can look back and join the dots.
Anyway, I was thinking about another one of Susan Jeffers’ books, Embracing Uncertainty, during an interview with Healthy Magazine. The interview was about the topic of worry, and I was asked to speak as a reformed worrier.
Like all the best books, Embracing Uncertainty shifted my worldview and I went straight from worrier to non-worrier and never looked back.
In this book, Jeffers points out that the key to dealing with the uncertainty of life is that you can split anything up into two components:
a) The parts of it you can’t change – No point in worrying about that stuff, because you can’t change it.
b) The parts of it you can change – No point worrying about that either, because you can change it.
Worry is a terrible energy drainer, but if instead you direct that energy into the parts of the situation you can change then at least you’re doing something positive with your time.
So why do people worry so much about so many things?
Partly I think it’s out of habit – they see themselves as a worrier and that’s their go-to mode.
The second, tougher to chew reason is because it benefits them in some way.
If you’re all about the worrying, you’re not about taking responsibility or attempting to change. You’re just focused on worry, which is ultimately very passive but safer than actually doing anything.
So now I go through this two step process any time I feel myself drifting into a worried state – what can I change, what can I not and when will I start?
The other thing I do is remind myself that life never turns out as we predict it might. If you are worrying about a particular outcome then that is probably a 100% cast iron guarantee that that thing is not going to happen. Life always has other plans, as it did for Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.
But if you’ve got the worry habit then I can make no better recommendation than to read Embracing Uncertainty and brace yourself for your world to tilt on its side, in a good way.
Are you a worrier? Does this make sense, is it helpful? Please leave a comment, I would love to know your thoughts on this.
top image credit: Evil Erin