By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Worrying about the wrong things is keeping you stuck.
Some things may be worth worrying about. Especially if that worry will spur you to take action and change something.
There are a whole lot of things that consume people’s time in worry that really should not be on your list of things to worry about.
Chuck these topics of worry for a happier more productive life.
1. Stop worrying about what others think about you.
The more you do the more people will find to criticize you about. What others think about you is none of your business. Do things because you think they are right, do them because they please you and because this is what you chose to do. Let others opinions go.
2. Stop worrying that you are not good enough.
You are however you are. Accept yourself as you are and then go on to make the best of who and what you are. You are plenty good enough for you. If there is room for improvement focus on the things you would like to be better and let go of the thoughts that you are not yet all you want to be.
You are and will be throughout your life a work in progress, not a finished person.
3. Stop worrying about what you “should” do.
That list of “should’s” left over from childhood is holding you back. Do not do things because others said you should. If you think it is right do it. Do only those things that are right for you.
Do what you are doing. Do it to the best of your ability and in a fair and honest way but never sweat whether the thing you have chosen to do is what you “should” be doing.
While doing one thing do not worry about other things you should be doing. Stay focused on the moment or quit and change what you are doing.
You are always doing what you are doing now.
4. Do not worry that people do not agree with you.
There are always people who will disagree no matter who you are or what you will do. New, innovative things arise because someone does something that others never thought of doing.
You will not be able to make everyone happy. Start by making yourself happy. Consider the consequences of who will disagree with you and why, but the final authority on you is you.
5. Do not worry about someone else’s issues.
You can only change you. If someone else has issues then they need to be willing to change. You can offer support if they chose to change but you are not in charge of others’ lives and they are not in control of yours.
Focus on your own issues, those things you can and should be working on and offer others the same option.
6. Stop trying to get someone to do what you want.
You can waste a lot of time on manipulation and trying to control others. Work on being the kind of person others would want to work with rather than trying to make them do things your way.
Your way may be good for you but it might not be what someone else needs. Especially stay focused on the results you want rather than on making others do things the way you would do them.
7. Don’t worry that you do not have enough education
Plenty of people have accomplished great things with minimal education. People frequently use a lack of formal education as an excuse for not doing anything.
Do what you can with the training you have. Practical experience is a great teacher. Get more education if this is a requirement for a field you want to work in. You are never too old for more learning. Many people have to retrain multiple times for new careers. People with one degree decide that field is not a fit for them and change occupations.
Make the most of what you know and learn something new each day. You will be amazed at how far you can go.
8. Do not worry about your looks.
Make the most of what you have but always stay focused on who you are inside and what you can do. Sure in some fields a certain look is valued. But there are plenty of stories about how a person who is driven to succeed made it even though they did not fit the normal look.
A quick glance around any large employer will show you that there are lots of people working there that have less than perfect looks.
9. Do not think that you can’t face a problem.
Most problems have to be faced one way or another. Even if you run you have had an encounter with that problem. Run once and you may have to run the rest of your life. Problems do not disappear when you run from them. Many problems shrink as soon as you begin to take actions to work on them.
10. Avoid rehashing what you should have done.
The past is gone. Worrying about what you should have done prevents you from doing in the only time you ever really have – the now.
Keep doing. Accept that some things will work out. You will have some regrets and along the way, you will accomplish some things you can be proud of.
11. Stop thinking that you are not doing enough.
Do what you can. Make an honest effort. That is enough. If you can do more do it. Time spent worrying that you are not doing enough is time not spent working or relaxing. Self-care, time not working, is a part of keeping yourself productive.
12. Do not worry that you are doing too much.
If you are highly productive give yourself credit. If this is wearing you out cut back. Practice saying “No.” If you need to do this because of a boss or a position you hold then relax and stop worrying about it.
Do not concern yourself that you are doing more and someone else is doing less. You are not them and they are not you.
13. Stop worrying about things that are out of your control.
Plan for the unexpected. Work to mitigate the effects of disasters and the unexpected but worrying about them wastes time trying to control the uncontrollable when you should be making the most of the opportunities at hand.
Worrying about the unexpected wears you out and accomplishes nothing.
14. Do not worry that you are going to fast.
Some things take more time than others. Some people move and work at a fast pace. If you are making too many mistakes slow down. Work at the pace that is best for you.
15. Stop thinking that you made a mistake.
If you made mistakes, correct the ones that you can. If it can’t be corrected learn from it. Most mistakes are small things in the long run. What is the lesson you needed to learn? The more you try to accomplish the greater the risk that some things will not work out. Do not think of these less than perfect outcomes as mistakes. They are learning opportunities.
16. Avoid worrying about money.
Worrying about money does make more of it. Somehow those with little money get by and those with a lot never seem to have enough. If you have money problems work on ways to spend less, stretch what you have further and make more.
Worrying is wasted effort. Learn all you can about money and finances. Do not be misled into thinking that if you just had more money your troubles would disappear. You would still have problems they would just be different problems.
17. Avoid the thought that there is something wrong with you.
You are fine just the way you are. If you have medical or psychiatric concerns see a doctor or a therapist. If you have legal or financial issues see a professional in that field.
Learn to accept yourself the way you are and then work on becoming a better more skilled person.
18. Don’t worry that you do not have the best things.
People who judge you based on the things you have are shallow people. Judging yourself that way will make you shallow. The more you have, the farther away the goal of having the “best things” moves.
There is no end to the things people think they need and then tomorrow those things are passé.
Anyone out there jealous of my collection of 8 track cassettes and 8-inch floppy diskettes?
19. Stop thinking that your opinion is wrong.
You have the right to your opinion. You also have the right to sometimes be wrong. Accept that no one is right all the time.
When making decisions and taking actions consider the possibility that you could be wrong. When you get new information or situations change reconsider your opinion.
Do not beat yourself up for having had an incorrect opinion and especially do not waste time on worrying that today’s opinion may be tomorrow’s error.
20. Stop worrying that people are taking advantage of you.
Be careful in your dealings. Do not assume others have your best interest at heart. Make sure you do things because you want to and they are right for you.
Once you make those decisions do not worry if someone else is getting something out of your interaction.
Reserve the right to periodically reevaluate things and change relationships as needed. Worrying will not protect you from being taken advantage of. Careful research and good advice will help here.
21. Do not worry that others are better than you.
There will always be someone better than everyone else. Records only stand so long and then someone breaks them.
You can’t be the best at everything. You may not be the best at anything. Work on being the best you can be and accept that if you approve of yourself then what you do will be good enough.
22. Don’t worry that you are out of time.
Time keeps moving forward. Make the best of what you have and then let it go. Worry that you are out of time waists some of the precious time you do have.
23. The things you want will never happen.
If they did happen then you would only want more. Some things we want happened and some do not. In retrospect, as we grow older, some of the things we wanted in the past we become glad never happened.
There are 23 different things that you could worry about, but why would you? Stop worrying about as many of these things as you can and see if your life does not become happier and more productive.
Are there other things you have found that you no longer need to worry about.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.
Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.