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Do You Worry About What You Cannot Control?
If you are like most people (myself included), you probably spend a lot of time worrying more than you should. Like me, do you worry a lot about what you cannot control?
I worry about my son, my job, my home, friends, family – even what the weather will be like tomorrow. There are things I can control, and others that are completely out of my power.
Sometimes, it feels overwhelming which makes it hard to keep a clear mind. The answer here is being able to separate and differentiate the two.
What Can You Control, What Do You Have To Let Be?
Ask yourself these two questions:
– Are there any actions that I can take that will make any impact on these events or circumstances?
– Will worrying about what you cannot control change anything?
Worrying begins with a teeny tiny nagging thought. This thought grows quickly into a few more thoughts; in turn, those grow into bigger thoughts and you find your mind brewing and stewing, a volcano about to erupt in your head.
The chaos begins. You start to panic, anxiety sets in and you spend the next few hours worrying about what you cannot control. You are completely worked up and do not know what to do.
For me, this usually happens when I am either all alone, or in bed at night. I cannot sleep and my mind begins to wander. This is when my worry is at it’s best.'One of the traits of positive people is that they don’t worry about things they can't control' Click To Tweet
So What Is The Solution?
A good way to sort out these thoughts is putting them down on paper. I love lists, so this is easy for me. Lists will help you analyse and divide your worries into two categories:
- Concerns you can do something about
- Concerns beyond your control
Plan and take action for the things you can control. For example, if you worry about the speech you have to make in front of 50 colleagues, commit some time to practice the speech in front of your partner, a friend, or even in front of the mirror.
Heck – record yourself on your smart phone. Do this a few times and it will become easier. Always plan an action that will help ease your worry or fear.
For the things you cannot control – let go. It will be hard at first, but making it a habit will ease a lot of headache and heartache.
Talk to someone. Write it down. Vent if you have to and let the worry out. Don’t waste valuable and precious time in your life worrying about what you cannot control.'Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Leo Buscaglia' Click To Tweet
Set Ýour Goals and Affirm Them
Goal setting and speaking positive affirmations to yourself are two things that can help you when you worry about what you cannot control. I have some freebies to help you available in my resource library. Take and look and see.
Do you worry too much about what you cannot control? or do you make lemons into lemonade?
Share your thoughts,views and suggestions for coping with me below.
You never know who you might be helping.
Love this post. I definitely spend too much time worrying, it’s a bad habit and hard to get out of. This is really inspiring though – there is definitely no point worrying about things that are out of my control! x
Worrying about the worry is such an easy thing to do, and can have a horribly detrimental effect on how you feel about a situation. I think one of the things I have learnt to do is to reassure myself that most of the worry I am actually working myself up about is unreasonable.
This is so true, and a great reminder thank you. My teens and I suffer with worry and anxiety, I am going to show them this. Kaz x
This is a great post.. I spend far too much time worrying & getting upset about things I can’t do much about… like politics. I need to be less upset & more active
This is such a great post. I am definitely a worrier, but my mum is SO much worse. Anything you can possibly think of and she’ll worry about it. I need to show her this!
I was a born worrier my mum says. Also my favorite Robert Downey Jr. quote is “worrying is like praying for something bad to happen.”
I’m a terrible worrier and always about things that are out of my control. I love your advice and will definitely be trying writing a list next time.
I absolutely agree. Overthinking can become a serious compulsion and it can be exhausting. Learning the difference between planning ahead and worry about things beyond our control is a great place to start.
I’m one of these people who worried about this sort of thing all the time. Thanks for the tips here as they really do help
Great article! So true that you need to plan for things you can do something about and let go of things you can’t. It is hard to let go, but naming what you are feeling emotionally is the first step in doing so. Then I usually bring my thoughts back to the present moment with something like focusing on my breathing. It really helps, I’ll be sharing this with my Facebook page.
I appreciate you sharing this post and for providing me with some more insight! 🙂
I find myself worrying about any little thing and it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, I’m trying to focus a lot on dealing with what I can but the idea of having no control is frightening.
My own philosophy in life is that … Fix it if you can, and let it go if you can’t.
And a great philosophy it is! 🙂
Excellent post! It’s so true that worrying about things you cannot affect is just waste of time and your resources. Instead we should take actions if we are worried about something that more or less in our hands. This post was a good reminder about this. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
In my mid twenties my mantra became: always focus on the positive things in life and be grateful with what you have.
I think we’ve all been here. It’s important to let go sometimes. Always good to be reminded though.
This is really fantastic post, i also kind of a person that have so much worried about my family, my husband and my parents and so on and so on. But by reading this it help to know on how to handle it. Or maybe talk with someone else as best friends it can helps.
I worry about so many things I can’t control and it drives me insane. Thanks so much for sharing this great post!
Such a great post, I’m a bit of both tbh sometimes I can’t help but worry but most of the time I’m pretty proactive and plan etc and when something goes wrong that is out of my control I like to look on the positive side!
Great post. I like to plan ahead, and I like to know what will come next. Sometimes I worry about the “what ifs.” I have issues with anxiety, so I’ve been working on not worrying and/or stressing too much about things that I cannot change. I’m trying to let things go and focus on what I can do something about. Thank you for the reminder. 🙂
This was such a lovely read! I used to really worry about all the things I couldn’t control in my life. I would spend hours thinking about it and would stress me out. But recently, I have been working on that and now I can let actually let it go (for the most part). So I say that’s an improvement! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I’m a big worrier and I’ve definitely had to practice the art of letting go and focusing on what I can actually control. I can definitely relate to this post!
I do alittle bit of both, I worry sometimes but I also push myself to make lemonade when its needed (:
It has taken me so so long to let go and stop worrying about what I cannot control. I moved from a natural disaster free area of the world to a city that is overdue for an enormous 9.0 mag earthquake which could hit us at any time and that took a lot of work to let go of and try to keep my anxiety down on but there’s no point worrying about what we cannot control. It only keeps us from living our lives happily!
same thought as my Dada always tell me – not to worry about things I can’t control. And sometimes he finds me silly because of it, hahaha. Now I’ve learn to be less uptight.
[…] cannot control every situation, so when things do not go as planned, I choose to remain […]
Hi Sheri! hope you’ll be happy to know that I really enjoyed this article and cited it here: http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/2016/11/06/sunday-suggestions-8/ 🙂
Hi Lisa, I am glad you enjoyed the article and I very much appreciate you citing my link on your post. Loving the pictures on your site and will be reading more of your content. Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks again. Hugs from Vienna xoxox S.
[…] second post ” Why You Should Never Worry About What You Cannot Control” written by Sheri, is a great reminder that it’s okay not to have under control […]
This is a great advice. I am such a worrier. I often overanalyse things and can’t get them out of my head. I really like your advice regarding putting things down on paper.
Very informative! Be happy with what you can control, everyone situations are different and never compare your chapter one with someone chapter 10 is a nice principle to live with.
I spend too much time worrying about things I can’t control. Thank you for the reminder to stop worrying.
I used to be this anxious girl who would fret over anything and everything small. The thoughts of not being accepted by people, scared the hell out of me. But not any more. The more I started to like myself, I saw that, the more I get liked by others. I just had to reach the equilibrium. I’m happy now and what you have written is spot on.
You are absolutely right and I am glad that you are liking yourself more. It changes your outlook on everything in life!
You are 100% correct. This post actually inspired me a little. Thanks for this!
Sheri, this is right on time! Sometimes I worry over the things I can’t control way too much and for that reason I won’t even try doing something.
Sometimes I also understand that there things I can’t control, they are just there. But some things still control me.
Hi Veronica, the less you worry, the easier things will fall into place, just like they were meant to. It has been hard for me to learn this lesson and I work on it daily.
This is so timely!! I have to remember to just let go and stop letting unnecessary things affect me. I can’t control life and to do so, only makes me feel more stressed!
I totally agree, there is no point in worrying over things beyond your control. What is to happen, will happen and you cannot influence it.
This is perfect! Just yesterday me and my long-time boyfriend is discussing something, and I couldn’t help but to worry of something. He told me to stop worrying of the situation that is not yet happening, as I am spoiling the fun coming in.. I realized he is right.. I should go with the flow and enjoy this moment!
Yes Blair! Savour the moments, enjoy life, and strive for happiness! 🙂
So true. I used to be really good at not worrying, I even won awards about it in high school, believe it or not. But, sometime in my career-life I got stuck with bosses who couldn’t handle my carefree attitude. I was always serious about my job, always worked to my deadlines, but I tried not to sweat the small stuff. So, I started adapting a worried persona and it sucks. Now, instead of people always telling me that I’m always so calm, people tell me to calm down. I’m going to try to be more aware of that, though, and go back to me. Thanks!
Staying positive is a key to stop beinf overwhelmed by things you cannot control. It takes time, it takes stress management, but hell you can do it when you commit to. Of course, it’s true, and it can ruins your life. I was such a nerve record breaker, but after living abroad, I took everything the easy way. As every girl, I was the one expeting everything will go wrong, but staying positive helped me a lot. This, and meditation. x
These are great tips. I try to leave the uncontrollable alone, but then I end up micromanaging the things I can control. I do have to say though, writing it down does help me realize how fruitless my worries are and helps to calm me down.
Great tips. thank you
I try not worry about things I can’t control. I have enough to focus on without worrying about stuff I can’t change.
I can totally relate to this post because I, too, worry more than I should. And my husband would tell me the same thing, there’s only so much you can control and to do my best to stay positive. 🙂
This is great advice. It really helps put things into perspective. I have had to really work on this for myself.
I think I’m pretty good about not worrying about things I can not control. I do a lot of yoga and I just generally like being in a relaxed state of mind. So when I find that my mind is getting agitated I ask myself if it’s something I can do about and if the answer is ‘not’ then I just push it out of my mind. Life is too short to worry about what I can’t control.
I think many of us live life anxiety- but it may be masked as perfectionism, or efficiency, or busy. I think these are great tips to help people be more aware of how to handle worry.
I agree with you 100% Roxanne!
I think this is so hard for me. I worry MORE about the stuff I can’t control because I can’t control it. Vicious cycle!
What a great post! I definitely worry way too much about everything that I can’t control! This is an easy way to ease some stress. Thank you!
What a fantastic post. There are so many things I worry about, that I have no control over whatsoever. I really need to learn to let go.
I’ve gotten better, but I tend to worry. However, I don’t allow it to stop me from making decisions or taking risks.
Oh i love this post! It is so true what you say about how you can’t take control of everything but be prepared for what you can! Great post
I tend to worry a lot and I need to stop. I worry about things I can control and things I can’t. It just adds more stress on my head and I need to chill as my husband would say.
ohh yeah i definitely can worry too much about things without needing to! so sometimes i try to shift my focus from worrying about the actual things i have to do (which i can’t control) to the positive outcome/results, and that’s what keeps me motivated. such a great reminder though, great post 🙂 #sharingthelove
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Hi, I actually love what you said. I’m a mother, a wife, a college student and a daugter, and I do sometimes worry alot. I worry about everything, not sure why but I do. I’ve actually started this year with a thought about “making this year a better year for me inside and out. ” Some of that has to do with not letting things get to me so easily and worrying less. Worrying takes so much out of you and you actually spend more of your energy and time worrying about things, instead of just enjoying your life and being happy for who is in your life and what you have. I think that writing things down, venting, exercising, anything to take your mind off of it helps, but also realizing that there are some things in life that you can not control, and if you can not control it, then just let it go and see how it plays out. Great post by the way. Love your blog so far.
[…] http://www.purposefulhabits.com/never-worry-about-what-you-cannot-control/ A Busy Bee’s […]
This is also what I need to learn. a lot of people are anxious about the things they can’t control. sometimes it’s best to acknowledge your limitations and hope for the best.
Great advise! …..Love this post
When we understand that we cannot control other people’s emotions and decisions, it is when we know when to let it go. In the past, I used to struggle too with so many worries about situations I couldn’t control. I realized that worrying too much never changes the outcome, it just adds some more stress to an already stressful situation. Great post, thank you!
Zaria you are 100% correct. It only adds worry and heartache to a situation you already do not want to be in and have no control over. It is hard to teach yourself not to worry, and I constantly have to talk myself out of doing it, but it does work and it is getting easier over time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me 🙂
I’m a worrier too. My mind worries away down one track or another. I wish I could turn off the worry faucet sometimes!
Worrying is such a bad habit of mine. I’m going to try your suggestions and hopefully it helps! Thank you!
Your advice to focus on what you can control sounds a lot like a major principle in Stephen Covey’s book & Habits of Highly Effective People. He calls it the “Circle of Influence” and the “Circle of Concern”. When we focus too much on the circle of concern, we waste our time and energy. When we focus on our circle of influence we see positive change.
I think about this often! Although it’s hard to put into practice on a daily basis. Have you read it?
Hi Ivanna, No I haven’t read it, but it certainly sounds interesting and a book that I would love to read. I love learning new books/articles about positive thoughts, self affirmation and personal development so I will find this book. Thank you for your feedback and recommendation. 🙂
How much time do we waste delving into the future and all it’s potential catastrophes with the energy we should be using to just enjoy the present moment? Thanks for this reminder!
You are right Rica, if only we would take more time to savour the moment, in the moment and not miss out on it by thinking of all the possible negatives that may or may not arise.
It’s so true, I try my best to do this, but I have my weak moments 🙁 Great post x