Action!

Ollin Morales is a writer and a blogger. {Courage 2 Create} chronicles the author’s journey as he writes his first novel. This blog offers writing tips as well as strategies to deal with life’s toughest challenges. After all, as Ollin’s story unfolds, it becomes more and more clear to him that in order to write a great novel, he must first learn how to live a great life.

 

Action!

by Ollin Morales

Recently, I was caught up in worrying about life again. It frustrated me because I thought I had conquered all the worries I had about my book, about my writing career, about my future, but no, these worries kept coming back.

I’ve heard it said that in order to stop worrying you just have to stop the habit of worrying. As if The Worrying was some sort of bad cigarette addiction, a habit that comes from outside of you, that was introduced to you at a young age, and not an innate part of your biological structure. “You worried? Oh, no problem, just smack No-Worry Patch across your shoulder, stick a slip of No-Worry gum on your tongue, and little by little, that bad case of worrying you picked up long ago, will gradually slip away.”

Well, doesn’t that sound nice?

But unfortunately, our worries, just like our nagging fears and doubts, are a part of us. We can’t get rid of them, and our energy is only wasted trying to shut them out.

Trust me. I’ve tried that. It doesn’t work.

The worries remain, no matter how hard you try to kick them out, and they can easily snowball and get in the way of your writing.

What is there to do then? To whom do you to turn to? Where do you go? How do you get there? What time is it showing? What theater is it in? And did they really bring Dobby back for this last Harry Potter? Why would they do that? He’s so annoying.

Anyways.

I used to think my worries were useless. That they were just there to cause me more anxiety and pain. But now I realize that the reason I saw worry in that way was because I hadn’t learned how to deal with worry in a productive manner.

I didn’t understand that a “worry” is just a signal. It’s your mind saying: “Hey, you should do something about this.” You respond to The Worry by saying: “But I can’t do anything about it right now, leave me alone!” Then The Worry returns with: “Hey, you should do something about this.” You retort: “I told you already. I can’t do anything.” The Worry shoots back, as if he didn’t hear you: “Hey, you should do something about this.” You shout back in rage: “I ALREADY TOLD YOU! DIDN’T YOU JUST HEAR ME? I CAN’T DO ANYTHING! IT’S HOPELESS! LEAVE ME THE FRACK ALONE!”

Then, there is a long silence.

You let out a sigh and think you’ve beaten The Worry. But then you hear–

“Hey, you should do something about this.”

AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

It’s annoying, right?

But what if, instead of ignoring that worry. You listen to it. So this time, let’s take a listen to what The Worry is saying. It’s a pretty simple message actually:

“Hey, you should do something about this.”

Did you finally get the message this time? Like I did?

The Worry isn’t saying what you think it is saying. For instance, it isn’t saying: “Hey, freak out about this!” or “Hey, get really scared and anxious about this!”

No, all that The Worry is saying is that you should “do something” about this. It’s not specific about what, nor does it demand that the action be big or small, it is just requesting that you do something.

A Worry, as you now see, is not a call for you to become paralyzed with fear, it is instead, a call to action. A Worry is your mind telling you that you need to do something about a situation so you that you can feel at ease about your future.

Today, I recommend listening to your worries, instead of trying to shut them out. First, find out what specific situation The Worry is most concerned about. Then, write down a small, easy, and immediate action you can take in the next week or so to address every, single worry. When you do this, I promise you will feel much better afterward. Why? Because instead of ignoring or shouting at The Worry’s request, you are thoughtfully listening to The Worry and giving it a practical answer.

The Worry: “Hey, you should do something about this.”

You: “Okay. Got it. Thank you. I’ll take care of that right now.”

You might be wondering: “Ollin, what about the worries that seem COMPLETELY out of your control?” Well, my go-to actions in those situations are either:

1. Write about it, or

2. Try to spread more love and goodness in the world.

No, it’s not like you’ll cure cancer by doing this, but hey, it’s something. And that’s all your worry is asking you to do:something. You may never get rid of your old pal, Worry, but now that you know how to deal with him, he won’t bother you so much anymore.

Why?

Because you’ll be way too busy taking care of yourself.

much love,

Ollin

How do you deal with Worry? How do you address those BIG worries that seem to be way out of your control? I’m sure we’d all love to learn from your wisdom.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Action!

  1. Sounds so very good on virtual paper, but if I pay attention to my worries, they will just make themselves at home.

    Give ’em an inch, they’ll take the mile in my mind.

    I appreciate you trying to help, though, thank you….

    • Hey, whatever works for you, Alexandra! 🙂 But I find that listening to these worries and taking actions on them, sort of neutralizes them, empowers me with choice, and shuts them up. Good luck to you! 🙂

  2. Very true. Worries are a part of me, though I can safely add a “rare” part now. It used to happen a lot years back. A lot of searching within goes into it.

    Loved that inspirational post! And also the friendly, casual way you’ve put the whole “issue” at hand 😉

    Thank for doing this.

    -BrownEyed

  3. I think worries ARE like a bad cigarette addition. LOL

    Fortunately, choosing to stop worrying about everything and anything is much easier than quitting smoking . . . cold turkey . . . during the week of Thanksgiving.

    You’ve got the first step down pat . . . notice that you are worrying. Listen to that little voice in your head as it tries to create mountains out of molehills. Then, tell it to shut up and think about something else.

    If that doesn’t work, and sometimes it won’t, do something. As you say, anything would do for a start.

    • Yes, I’ve learned that our emotions are not us, but it is the way in which our body is dealing with the things we face and go through. For instance, the tears we shed are not sadness, they are just us dealing with the sadness, so the sadness can go through us and we can heal. The same thing with anger, and the same thing with worry, we need to let the worry go through us and use that energy for good, as my sister would say, on not for bad.

    • I used to worry about anything and everything. Now, I rarely worry, or get angry, or get embarrassed.

      But it took a long time to get here. And maybe we’re not all wired the same way?

      For most people, worry is a BIG part of life. I’m constantly on my sister and my mother to stop worrying. It doesn’t seem to work. So I’m going to give them YOUR advice instead.

      Do Something!!! Thanks, Ollin 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your worry wisdom, Ollin. Great advice again.

  5. Very eloquent advice Ollin!
    Normally, I’m the type to live out of love and loving, feel good actions and thoughts but I might try your technique and see if it makes a difference.
    I’m nervous it might cause me to run around like a headless chicken, upsetting apple carts here and there (wow… cliche overload!).
    Thanx for your words.

  6. Hey rubywildflower,

    You know, if you have managed to silence your worries by using positive thinking, I applaud you and suggest you keep that going. I think my advice is more for people who haven’t been able to silence their worries no matter how much they managed to shut out, ignore their worries, or suffocate them with positive thoughts.

    I think the answer may be that different things work for different people. Try it out, if it doesn’t work toss it. If it does, great! 🙂

  7. Great post! Good tips. I think that the writing notes will address most of the nagging “things I gotta do” worries.

    But sometimes there are certain, “big picture” worries that are out of your hands. Such as waiting to hear if you got that scholarship you really need, or the news that a relative is sick. Things you can’t immediate do anything about.

    I once read about a good strategy for those. Find a box (any box really) and keep it in a special place. Any time you have one of those Big Worries, write that worry down on a slip of paper and put it in the box. Then say a prayer or mantra to yourself, “I release this worry to [a higher power (God, Buddha, universe, grilled cheese, whatever you believe in)] and close the box.

    This has really helped me put aside those pesky things I can do nothing about.

  8. That’s a great tip, Erika! I heard that tip from Julia Cameron, you might have gotten it from her. Thank you for sharing, that is a good point you made.

  9. Good topic. I enjoyed the post.

    I like the saying from the Dalai Lama – if you can’t do anything about it, there’s no point worrying. If you can do something about it, there’s no need to worry.

    The Tibetan’s call worry a mind sickness.

  10. Lovely. I love the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  11. Pingback: The REAL Reason Why You’re Distracted and How to Achieve Laser-Like Concentration « Courage 2 Create

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