Overcoming Worry

My organization offers Dale Carnegie training sessions every quarter. I attended “Interpersonal Competence for Career Growth” in June, and one of the takeaways was Dale Carnegie’s “Golden Book,” a pocket guide to the fundamental principles these courses and Carnegie’s books address.

As I was setting up shop in my new workspace, I decided to give the golden book a more prominent focus, and to fold it open to a new page after really taking some time to think about and incorporate the principles on the page I’m on. The first page I chose contains principles from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

Fundamental Principles for Overcoming Worry

1. Live in “day-tight compartments.”

2. How to face trouble:

     a. Ask yourself, “What is the worst that can possibly happen?”

     b. Prepare to accept the worst.

     c. Try to improve on the worst.

3. Remind yourself of the exorbitant price you can pay for worry in terms of your health.

The last one in particular reminded me of my earlier post about neglecting and abusing our emotional selves, and the physical manifestations of the workings of our mind alone. At an impromptu meeting this morning, we received some data – just information, no concrete plan for change, but still, the atmosphere was thick with worry and anticipation. “What ifs” began flying, and with them, heart rates and anxiety levels and muscle tension.

If we keep these few simple principles in mind when faced with information that causes worry, if we can bring the focus in to the “day-tight” view, consider the worst and turn it over in our heads with logic rather than fear, and breathe deeply to keep our bodies from running away with our worry, then we can move forward with some confidence that we are prepared for the next piece of data.

Take it all in stride, baby. That’s what we gotta do.


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