I just wanted to share this hilarious video.

It’s so tempting as a parent and even as a therapist to want to tell someone to ‘just get over it’ and yet we all know this doesn’t help the situation. Getting over the things that we fear and worry about is a highly personal journey and only with the support of loved ones can we begin to make true progress towards expanding our lives.

Worry is an insidious, debilitating and damaging habit. I recently read an old classic by Dale Carnegie called “How to stop worrying and start living”. This book is full of timeless advice and wonderful anecdotes about taking back control of your life.

As the quote goes by Anton Chekhov “Any idiot can face a crisis – it’s day to day living that wears you out.” All those little things that nag at you and eat you from the inside out, like termites bringing down a mighty tree, can literally make you sick and kill you. I wanted to share in particular something I gleaned from the book, I’ve put together a bit of a mash of Dale’s advice to form a worry-elimination tool.

We are usually fearful and often angry if we feel we are trapped or have no options left and more dangerous still, when we reach a point of hopelessness. This tool which I’ll paste below, is a great way to get the issue back into perspective and as the serenity prayer says, learn to recognise and change the things you can change, accept the things you can’t change and be smart enough to know the difference!

This is especially important for young adults under the age of 25. Our centre of reasoning is not fully developed until we are about 25, hence the suicide rate being much higher in that age bracket. Basically this is saying that young adults don’t have the capacity to reason their way out of problems and therefore reach that stage of hopelessness all too quickly. Tools such as therapy, reading books and using tools such as the one I’m providing below go a long way towards helping someone explore their options. If you have options then you are no longer trapped. It’s no longer hopeless. Sometimes all we need to know is there is a little wiggle room. Example below:

Label the Fear/problem:  my business is going broke

What is the cause of the problem? competition set up down the street

What is the worst that can happen? I go broke/close down

**NOW Prepare to accept it if you have to** some acceptance is necessary ‘some‘.

Calmly proceed to improve on the worst – this is KEY : I go broke and I get myself a job, and pay back my debts (see?? there’s still an option, it’s not ideal, but it’s still an option) life doesn’t end, it’s not pleasant but it’s also not forever.

Look at all Options and possible solutions:

  1. Get some outside help to think of ideas to set my business apart from my competition
  2. Read some books on improving relationship with the existing clients
  3. Offer specials to existing and new clients
  4. Advertise differently, change the image of the company
  5. Get a loan to pump some money into improving the business
  6. Get an outside consultant to look at your business plan and improve on it

Make a Decision and stick with it:

Pick an option(s) and follow through: Option 1.

Create a Timeframe: Give yourself a timeframe, say 6 months

Action plan: Write down the practical steps you need to take. i.e. Look up a business consultant on Monday 9am

One of the problems with being stressed and worried is that the pre frontal cortex shuts down and all creative thinking stops. You need to study the above plan and once the worry subsides give yourself a manageable to-do list.

This list won’t solve all problems, however it will give you a sense of control, which will in turn give you the ability to think more creatively and in turn act on the options available to you.

swimDon’t allow yourself to ever feel trapped, as this is when you will want to shut down. Don’t get too caught up in making the ‘right decision’. I always tell my clients, there are no wrong decisions. Each decision you make, you make with all the information available to you at the time, and then you move forward with confidence. If necessary you fail your way to success. Perhaps you find that you could have made a better decision, it’s no longer relevant. Can’t change the past. Don’t trip on something behind you.

If as a toddler you had decided after falling over 100 times, that walking was simply too hard then you would be a big lump on the bed today with a very frustrated mother. You failed your way to success at walking and you will gain something positive from every decision you make in life. Experience is never wasted. Don’t let your past cripple you for the future. As Dory says, “Just keep swimming”.


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