The abyss that can be unfounded worry holds us back too much. Learn to control it.

5 Tips to Kick the Worry Habit

Throughout my life and my career, I’ve had spells of being a big worry wart.

For whatever reason, as a younger professional, lacking some confidence despite my talent, I over worried about many things. This included many things out of my control or about people or issues that really didn’t interfere with my day-to-day work, or career trajectory.

Fast forward 20 years and I think I have a pretty good handle on this now. So much so that I’ve developed what I believe to be five habits that always help me focus on what’s important and to not worry about those things that don’t matter when taking a larger perspective.

We let worry and concern get the best of us when we put the focus on other people and the wrong things.

It’s important to learn how to manage anxiety and worry in the workplace to reach our full potential. If you worry about the wrong things, it can take away your focus away from the work. And, in the end, it can damage your ability to be productive and perform to your full potential.

Here’s the five habits I employ everyday to beat-down that worrier inside my brain:

  1. Back up: Perspective: Too many times, we make judgments and our emotions get the best of us because we’re close to a situation. Instead, try and take a step back and look at the situation from another perspective. This means giving it some time and letting go of some of our selfishness to perhaps look at the situation from another person’s perspective. Like the old song says, Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” Doing this helps you gain a better handle on what is happening vs. what might be happening.
  2. Focus, Focus, Focus: You’re working hard on a project and suddenly something else happens around you and suddenly it occupies your head the rest of the day. In turn, you’re not focused on what you’re supposed to be doing and instead take on others worries, concerns, or problems. This leads to all sorts of derailing thoughts about the future, the past, et al. What it doesn’t do is keep you focused on the present — which matters more. Focusing on the present helps non-worriers be more productive. All you can control is the now. Deal with the now, not the later. Focusing on your work, your issues and your worry helps greatly.
  3. Solve Root Cause: When you do worry, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a valid issue or concern you need to resolve. But when you have it, work to solve it fast. The more time that goes on, the more you do the worry “pile-on” and you’re further from the root cause to begin with. That means you never actually get to or solve the initial concern. This is especially important when you have issues in the workplace. My philosophy is always solve it now, or deal with a problem 10x greater later.
  4. Ask Yourself the Right Questions — Being Honest with Yourself:We can be our own worst enemy. When things arise that cause us angst or worry, we have a bad habit of looking at everyone else for the cause or blame. Instead, first look inward and ask yourself the questions that will get to the core reason you’re concerned. Many times, the issue is right in our head and asking honest questions helps us solve it quickly before we heap it upon others or make our own situation worse.
  5. Have Confidence You Can Handle It: Most worriers lack a level of confidence they can deal with their negative emotions and are unable to honestly deal with their emotions. Non-worriers see possible and even attainable positive outcomes even when mired in a worrisome situation. Build your confidence and take a deep breath. It’s work and, unless you’re a medical professional or first-responder, no one is going to die while you work through it. A lack of confidence can seriously throw you into a worry tailspin that can negatively impact you and others around you daily.

My biggest takeaway from all of this is simple — worry about you and your ability to handle, work through, and ultimately solve issue that effect you daily in the workplace.

We let worry and concern get the best of us when we put the focus on other people and the wrong things. No matter who they are — no matter how great or horrible they are — they cannot control your thoughts. Only you have the power to do that.

To truly kick the worry habit, you have to ultimately be honest and introspective to get past it.

Scott Gulbransen is a veteran of the digital marketing world. Having managed public relations, social media and digital marketing at brands like Intuit,Applebee’s and H&R Block, and in college athletics at his alma materUNLV. He currently serves as the Global Head of Digital Content at Haymon Boxing, creators of the Premier Boxing Champions series. Gulbransen resides in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas. #BattleBorn

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