The WASTE of Worry

Have you ever spent a nearly sleepless night worrying about something that turned out to be AWESOME?

You plan, you organize, you prepare, you cross your fingers and hope for the best – but the whole time you’re doing these things, you think please, please, PLEASE work out the way I’m hoping.

When the moment finally arrives, everything USUALLY works out even BETTER than you had hoped.

My question to you is: WHY do we put ourselves through this?

Deep down, we know that worry is a COMPLETE WASTE of time and energy. Worrying about things does not change what will ultimately happen.

It’s like inviting anxiety in for a visit. “Hi there, WORRY. Come on in. Not sure if you’ll actually be needed but I thought I’d ask you to keep me company for a while.”

The habit is so ridiculous.

This past Saturday (October 1st) was my very first book reading and book signing. It was hosted by Chapters and co-sponsored by Sudbury Living Magazine.

I’ve been working and promoting and getting excited about this for nearly three months.  I knew it would be great, but still I worried.

This is my pattern. When something is a long way off, I usually feel 90 percent EXCITEMENT and 10 percent STOMACH BUTTERFLIES.

By the time the event is actually about to begin, my excitement and my butterflies seem to have done a complete role reversal (woohoo! 10%, fluttering insects 90%.)

I call this phenomenon my obligatory meltdown.  It happens approximately 10 minutes before I’m supposed to speak.  The get-me-out-of-here panic usually lasts for about a minute into the talk – and then I relax into it and I’m okay from then on.

My biggest concern for this book reading and book signing was that NO-ONE would show up. I had nightmares of talking to a bunch of empty chairs and finding out how much echo can reverberate inside a Chapters store.

Saturday arrived, and I discovered YET AGAIN, that I was worrying for NOTHING.

The event was terrific!  There were over 50 people in the audience (and NOT ALL of them were my friends!) The staff at Chapters had to set up extra chairs for people who wanted to sit down once I started talking.

Best of all, the store SOLD OUT of all 24 of their copies of my book.  That’s something my mom can tell her bridge club!

Now, what can this (or COULD this) teach us?

Worrying DOES NOT keep “bad” things from happening, nor does it  increase our chances that “good” things will happen. It just keeps us from enjoying the time leading up to WHATEVER is going to happen.

If you worry, and it goes well – you worried for nothing. If you worry, and it doesn’t go well – all you did was torture yourself BEFOREHAND.

I sure am looking forward to LETTING GO of worry, once and for all.

Are you with me?

Talk soon.




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8 responses to “The WASTE of Worry

  1. Sean Barrette

    I’m with you, and by that, I mean literally in the same boat with you! Intellectually I know that every word you’ve said is true. Funny how your subconscious isn’t the good little do-bee he or she could be when you finally talk your conscious mind into shutting off the worry tap, fall asleep, and then all of a sudden dream about it! :-0)

    I’m looking forward to letting go of worry too – and I’d like to do it before October 22nd. Lol.

  2. Great story to illustrate a very important point. Congratulations on your successful Saturday at Chapters! And fyi…I did not spend one minute of worrying about you : )

  3. Laurie

    WOW…. You worry? who knew ??? I think we should all decide to stop the worry on the same day…can you just imagine??

    You look beautiful in pic …

    • I definitely aim for inner peace. Sometimes it is easier to achieve than at other times. I guess that’s the challenge we call “life”. Love your idea of everyone letting go of worry on the same day. Maybe we should set up International Inner Peace Day. That would be amazing! Sign me up!!!

  4. Jim

    Congratulations Colleen! My wife and I help organize a major event every year, but have really stopped worrying about how it will turn out. If we have done what we are supposed to do, we have faith that it will fall into place. And it seems to follow that pattern. Also, if you manage your own expectations, you’re rarely disappointed.

    • Wise words, Jim. Thank you so much. It really is about letting go (of worry and of expectations) and holding on to trust, isn’t it? Here’s to following the good advice of an old friend.

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