I’ve noticed a resurgence in worrying and stress
amongst some of my executive coaching clients. I’ve spoken to at least three of
them in the last month who were worried that their worrying was impacting their employees and making
their employees worry, which impacted their focus and productivity, which made
everyone worry about their jobs.
My RX was to help my individual clients stop or
reduce their worrying, so they could not only prevent an increase in employee
worrying, but they could also help stop or reduce their employee’s personal
I’m a former (and on occasion, present) worrier.
Several years ago I realized three things.
spent worrying is time we can use to seek solutions for some of the issues we
have been worrying about.
over people, place and things, I can’t control is a waste of time, and doesn’t
allow me to take action where I can have control.
because I feel a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s true and worrying about
something that is not real is a waste of time.
In other words, time spent worrying is a total waste of time. Since I didn’t have time to waste I took three
1- I learned
to let go of things I couldn’t control
2- I learned
how to use relaxation techniques to stay calm in stressful situations and use
physical exercise to energize myself.
3- I learned how to laugh at myself and
some of my worries, unless they were serious and I could do something about
I also changed my thinking in three ways:
1- When I was obsessing over something I couldn’t
control, I substituted thoughts of a place, or event that made me feel great
and powerful, which pushed out the obsessive, worrying thought.
2- I used my brain to reframe, and looked
at what I could learn from
situations that didn’t go my way, or changed the negative messages I gave myself.
3 – I
thought about those messages I had received in the past, that said you have to rely on yourself and
never ask for help. I identified people who I wanted in my support system, and
didn’t hesitate to ask their help when I needed it.
And although this might not work for everyone, I
learned the positive power of hot fudge sundaes with lots of whipped cream and
nuts (After a good workout, of course).
Simma Lieberman is the author of Putting Diversity to Work and a member of The Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. Simma Lieberman Associates works to create workplace cultures where people love to do their best work and customers love to do business. Read the Inclusionist blog. Follow her on twitter: @theinclusionist. Subscribe to her newsletter.