1. Define The Problem In Writing
Step one is to define the problem or situation you are worrying about clearly in writing.
The best way to do this is to take a pad of paper and draw a line from top to bottom right down the middle.
On the left side of the pad of paper, write a clear description of your problem, the answer to the question, “What exactly am I worrying about?”
Fully 50% of all problems can be solved at this definition stage. In medicine, they say that “Accurate diagnosis is half the cure.” Many of our worries exist because we have not taken the time to sit down and really define clearly what it is that is bothering us.2. Write Out The Worst Possible Outcome
Step two is to write out the worst possible outcome of the worry situation. On the right-hand side of the page, answer the question, “What is the worst possible thing that can happen as a result of this problem?”
You may lose your money, lose your relationship, lose your job, your investment, your health, or your prestige. Whatever it is, write it down.
Steps one and two will quickly start relieving the stress that causes worry.
What we have found is that it is resistance to facing the worst possible outcome that causes most of the anxiety and stress associated with worry. Once you have written down the worst possible thing that can happen, you will find that you will slowly stop worrying.3. Accept The Worst Possible Outcome
Step three is to resolve to accept the worst possible outcome, should it occur. Just say to yourself, “Well, if it happens this way, I’ll learn to live with it.” Once you have resolved to accept the worst, should it occur, you no longer have anything to worry about. All the stress caused by denial, by refusing to face what the worst could be, suddenly disappears.
4. Begin Improving On The Worst
Step four is to begin immediately to improve upon the worst. Having resolved to accept the worst, should it occur, now think of everything that you could possibly do to make sure that the very worst does not occur. Once you stop worrying and have resolved to accept the worst, your mind will be calm and clear and capable of creative thought. By overcoming fear you are now in a position to do something constructive.
Remember, worry is merely a sustained form of fear caused by indecision. The only real antidote to worry is purposeful action. Get so busy doing something about your situation that you don’t have time to worry. As you take action, your confidence, courage, and sense of control will return and wipe away your fears.