Workplace worrywarts

September 23, 2018

MANY people worry at the workplace. They would fret about sales, profitability, quality, competition, lawsuits, labor unions, equipment failure... you name it!

Some even worry about being worried!

The obvious advice is “don’t worry!” But for certified worrywarts, it is easier said than done. So let me propose three basic strategies to get our worry levels down.

The first step is to decide that worry is useless. We begin with our mindset. Why do people worry?

Inspirational author James Bryan Smith shrewdly describes worrying as magical thinking.

There’s something I am afraid of, so I worry that it will happen. But it didn’t happen.

So what do we conclude?

Hey, worrying works! The more I worry, the less likely that the thing I dread will ever happen.

So I keep on worrying until it becomes second nature to me.

When worrying is exposed this way, we wonder why we devote all that time and energy fretting.

A wise teacher put it this way: “Has worrying ever added one inch to your height or one minute to your lifespan?”

Of course not. It actually endangers our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

The second step is to do something about the things we can control. Face the worry and take action. Here’s why it works. Worry focuses on the things we cannot manipulate or produce. What if I invest in the stock market and it crashes?

What if my boss or client doesn’t like me?

Whenever I get a check-up, the doctor would ask me if I am allergic to anything. I would say, “Yes, I am allergic to poverty.”

I would worry about being penniless and my favorite cookbook will be “50 Ways to Cook Alpo and Love It!”

But suppose I take definite action steps such as working hard to earn a promotion or pay raise, building alter-native income streams, investing in a retire-ment fund and so on. I find my worry levels going down. You see the principle. Instead of biting our nails, let us bite into the problem.

All right, so we have decided that worrying is useless and we will do the things we can to reduce (if not eliminate) that worry. But worry still has a point. There are things that are beyond our control. If I am terminally ill and told that a treatment has a 95% success rate, there is still that nagging 5%. So what do we do?

The third step is to dare to trust God for the things we can’t control. There is a God and we are not Him. We can never be in complete control; that is why there will always be the temptation to worry.

But if we believe in a personal God who is in absolute control and that He cares for us beyond our wildest imagination, would it not make more sense to trust His care?

I have a friend who’s an entrepreneur.

He would lie awake at 3 a.m. and worry about his business. What if he won’t get the customer’s order?

What if the workers go on strike? What if his bank turns down a loan request? What if this and that? Then he realized that God never sleeps.

So he prayed, “Lord, there’s no sense that both of us stay awake. I’ll let you worry about this. I’m going to bed. See you in the morning!” That was when he was able to sleep normally again.

There is a beautiful promise in the Psalms that go like this, “He provides for His beloved even in their sleep.”

If you are an incurable workplace worrywart, I would invite you to take that as your pillow when you go to sleep tonight.

We do not have to make ourselves miserable with worry.

When we decide that worrying is useless, do the things we can and dare to trust God for those we can’t, we can enjoy not only a good night’s sleep, but peace of mind, a cheerful disposition, enthusiasm and creativity at work, the favor of our bosses and co-workers. Not to mention a body that’s free of ulcers and eye bags.

So ladies and gentlemen… no worries!

(For more insights, check out my Author’s Page