In my book, Everyday Peace of Mind, I write about the problem of needless worry. I use the word “needless” because there are, of course, things you should worry about. If some nut pulls out a gun in the restaurant where you’re having dinner, you don’t want to sit and think, “Now let me see, do I need to worry about this?”
The things that people worry about usually break down into two broad categories: Things they can control and things they can’t. Let’s take the latter first. If you’re worried about something over which you have absolutely no control, your worrying has no purpose. If you can’t control a situation, what’s the point in worrying about it? That’s needless worry. It means you’re increasing your stress level and shortening your life for no reason. On the other hand, if you’re worried about something over which you do have control, you need to take the appropriate action to rectify what’s worrying you.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Even in situations where you seem to have no control, often there is something you can do. Take the economy for example. If the overall state of the economy worries you, what can you do about it? Realistically, the answer appears to be nothing, but that’s not quite true. For one thing you can exercise your right to vote and help to change the balance of power in Congress and the Senate. Better still, you can improve your own little corner of the economy. If you’re struggling financially, you can find ways to cut expenses or earn more money – get a new job or start your own business. I’m not saying the solutions will be easy, but they are real options. You don’t have to just sit around worrying. Here are the four steps to take:
1. Identify the things that are worrying you.
2. Decide which of them are beyond your control and see if there are any small steps you can take to improve your lot within the boundaries of the bigger situation.
3. If not, accept that there’s nothing you can do, stop worrying and get on with other aspects of your life where you can influence the outcome.
4. If the worrisome situation is within your control, take whatever action is necessary to fix it.
So what has all that got to do with self belief and confidence? The answer is that you have to believe in yourself, and have faith and confidence in your ability, to take the action needed. Otherwise you’ll procrastinate and do nothing, and the source of your worry will remain intact.
So there’s another huge benefit to building confidence and belief in yourself: It greatly diminishes worry and anxiety. And that’s another reason I’ve written a book about it. Boost Your Self Confidence: 12 Keys to Building Greater Self Belief and Self Esteem. Just click on the book to find out more.