Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Magic Formula for Solving Worry Situations!

I learned this "magic formula" for solving worry situations when I took my first Dale Carnegie course over a year ago and I decided it was worth a shot right then and there!  One persistent worry that creeps into my mind is the possibility of my husband, Alan, being denied tenure at his university position.  This is an extremely pesky worry because there is nothing I can do to control the outcome of this situation (I'm not Alan and I'm most certainly not an university administrator!).  So here's how I put the magic formula into action:  

1. Ask myself, "What is the worst that can possibly happen if I can't solve my problem?"
  In this case, the worst that could happen is that Alan is denied tenure and loses his job the following year at the University. 

2. Prepare myself mentally to accept the worst--if necessary.
 Deep breath and try to accept. 

3. Then calmly try to improve upon the worst--which I have already mentally agreed to accept.
To improve upon this worst-case scenario, Alan and I had a great discussion about possible alternatives should this happen. We discussed the possibility of him finding a different position in Omaha or even moving to a smaller town to raise our family.

I walked away feeling much calmer because I knew now that this possibility would not be the end of the world.  In fact, the "worst that could happen" didn't seem so bad after all!

One more example from just this past week... I've started to worry about the possibility of having our baby early and, therefore, not completing everything on my to-do list at work and home! (Major problem for a Type A checklist person like myself!).  In this case, having the baby early is my worry so I mentally accepted that this could happen.  What can I do to ease the worry a little?  I documented the duties that will need to happen during my absence and forwarded the link to my boss.  This felt like a weight off my shoulders but hopefully she doesn't need this "magic formula" now!

I think Dale Carnegie called this "magic" because of its simplicity.  This isn't pulling rabbits out of hats or sawing people in half.  This is something we can all do each and every day to calm our lives a little.  Try it for yourself this week and watch (POOF!) the magic that results!

1 comment:

  1. What great advice, Marisa! I'll try to follow your script. As I heard said once, "Today's worries can quickly become tomorrow's opportunities." Keep sharing the 'Carnegie Lessons' you're learning.