Does it matter?

Have you heard about the 5 questions technique? Often used by coaches (or therapists) who ask “Why?” five times to get to the root of the issue, it is also a great tool to help you figure out what’s really important in life. Too often, the issues we worry about the most, are the least important. (To apply the Pareto 80/20 principle. 80% of our stress normally comes from things that carry 20% importance in the scheme of things.)

Worry is almost always linked to fear. Fear of possible outcomes, fear of appearing incompetent, fear of the unknown, fear of letting others down, fear of failure; the list goes on. So next time you’re worried, stop and examine the source.  Why am I worrying?

The rule of five, applied to worry is:

Will this matter in 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years – from now? If you look back on your life and think about times of great stress or worry, what actually happened? Was your worry warranted? Sure, sometimes bad things or even “the worst” did happen. That’s probably the exception, not the rule, though, and you survived it!

To get a handle on your life and dump the worry habit, it’s critical to ask yourself: “What really matters to me?” What’s important? For example, your relationships, your pursuit of your goals, your personal development are examples of issues that should get the most attention. If you haven’t yet figured out what your top priorities are, maybe it’s time to do that.

Going through the Boot Camp will give you a great method to get life on track and have those issues prioritized.

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My best advice to worriers (building on the teaching of Jesus who reminds us of the futility of worry) comes in three steps:

Step 1: Realize that worry is a useless emotion and it never solves the problem. If you have to think about an issue, start by imagining the best possible outcome.

Step 2: Then think about what the worst outcome could be.

Step 3:  Now think about how you would handle the worst. If you have that plan/solution in mind, then you can let the issue go.

We are amazingly capable of dealing with whatever life throws at us, so worry just wastes energy that could be put to better use.

Figure out what matters and pay positive attention to it. Life is just easier that way.