- Your flight arrives on time, your luggage doesn’t
- She was supposed to pick you up at 2:30 for your appointment, it’s 2:45 and she texts you that she’s on her way
- You’re on a bus in the mountains of Laos for 11 hours with no bathroom, no food, no water, and no air conditioning, the bus keeps breaking down, and the driver doesn’t speak English
If any of those scenarios gave you anxiety, it’s probably because you like getting shit done. And if you like getting shit done you’re probably used to doing the shit yourself because that way you know the shit will get done. So when you have to depend on someone else to get the shit done your brain might decide to go into panic mode and create every possible (and maybe even impossible) terrible no-good very bad outcome.
Depending on other people or circumstances kind of sucks. But sometimes you don’t have a choice and I can promise you that worrying will do absolutely nothing. I italicized that to stress its importance. Here it is again but also in bold: worrying will do absolutely nothing. It will just make you feel bad. It’s a waste of perfectly good moments.
“Okay Asia I hear what you’re saying but what if I lose my luggage forever and what if I’m late and can never ever reschedule my appointment and what if I’m stuck in Laos until the end of time and WHAT IF THE EARTH BREAKS OUT OF ITS ORBIT AND GOES HURTLING INTO THE SUN?!?!”
Yeah, your brain will always win the What-If Game. So don’t play it, and don’t worry.
^^^Also, isn’t it just awful when people like me tell you “don’t worry” even though we have no idea what your situation is or what you’re going through? I get that. It feels frustrating, superficial, and not very helpful, especially when all you need is some empathy. But at the core it’s still good advice. Because when was the last time worrying worked for you?
I honestly believe that convincing yourself you shouldn’t worry is a better use of your energy than the actual worrying. We both know that whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Sometimes it will be in our favor and sometimes not, but no matter what the outcome is, worrying does not and will not help. Ever. I used to think that I couldn’t control any of my negative thoughts or emotions, but it turns out I was wrong (my epiphany came at about hour 7 on that bus in Laos). It takes practice, just like anything worth doing well, but it got easier for me and it will for you, too.