Last week, I told you I was launching my new site this week. But something came up to cause a delay. The site should launch in the next two weeks, though I can’t tell you exactly when. I will, of course, keep you posted!
But you know what? I haven’t spent a single second stressing about it. I know this has happened to all of us, and worrying won’t change a thing. The site will be launched when it’s time and that’s that.
Hold on—I need to pause for a moment and read that last paragraph again. Is that really me talking?
See, I’ve spent most of my life cozying up to anxiety. Feeling responsible for everyone else around me. Taking things way too hard and way too seriously. But I got sick of that, sick of always living in fear.
Now I have a few questions I ask myself when something goes awry, and I thought I’d share them with you. These questions keep me grounded, and stop me from spinning off into a terrible spiral of negative emotions. I hope they’ll help you too!
When you're in the situation:
> Can I do anything to change the situation?
This is a pretty open-ended question, and it often has several answers. Yes, I obviously had to take some action to change the situation, but no, I couldn’t keep the launch on schedule. Do what you can and accept what you can’t.
> Will worrying help?
A trick question! Worrying about something you can’t control only increases your anxiety and takes your time and attention away from the other things in your life. Deep breathing while repeating a mantra about a positive outcome helps me control worry.
> Could I have kept this from happening? What can I change in the future?
This answer will also vary, but it’s worth taking a look at the situation objectively. We hear constantly that we should learn from our mistakes, and there’s a reason for it. Take the steps you can for a better future outcome, but remember to be kind to yourself in the process.
> Am I alone?
No! The answer to this one is always no. Things go wrong for everyone—it’s part of being human. And you also likely have a support system in place, so in both ways, you’re not alone. Remember that everyone goes through tough situations, and that you can talk to those close to you about what you’re dealing with. You’re not alone.
And then after the situation is resolved:
> How is the actual outcome even better than planned?
You know how it goes. Once the situation is resolved, you can usually identify the good things that came out of it. You can see how the outcome was better than it would have been if there had been no issue. Make sure you stop to celebrate what the stressful moments brought you.
> How did I handle the situation? What could I do better next time?
If you aren’t pleased with how you handled the situation, identify things you’d like to do differently the next time around. There’s always, always, always room for growth if you're aware. (But don't forget to celebrate what went well.)