Stage 5: Committing, Planning, and Acting

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
~Thomas Carlyle, Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian, and teacher during the Victorian era (Dec 4, 1795 – Feb 5, 1881)

Now that you have decided what you’d like to do about your worrying, you have to nail it down in a way that prevents you from getting cold feet and slipping back into old unproductive habits.

The best antidote to worry is action, action that minimizes the chances of a dreaded and undesirable outcome. Get busy and stay busy. Lose yourself in action rather than despair. Action crowds worry out of your mind. My depression  lifts when I start doing something, especially if it’s aimed at getting rid of what caused the depression in the first place. Unfortunately it’s easier said than done. You have to learn to stay committed.

Make a pledge to yourself to do everything you can to accomplish your goal. Think of it as an obligation to which you must remain loyal. Write it down and review your progress daily. Tell those close to you about it. They are your support group and you don’t want to let them down.

Set realistic goals based on reasonable expectations. Aim and hope for the best, but be ready for the worst. There will be roadblocks. To move through them concentrate on your strengths. Don’t worry if your plan works or not. Life is about revising plans, especially as you commit to transformational change.

“One grain of sand at a time … one task at a time.”
~Ugandan saying

Stay optimistic and be steadfast as you welcome ongoing change. Controlling worry is a valuable skill to acquire. It will take time and effort. Remain dedicated and disciplined. Work on it every day. Be persistent and persevere when you encounter new challenges.

As you take control of where you are headed you will appreciate more and more that you have the power to make changes and transform yourself. The subject of  “change” is a discipline with many theories and experts selling their wares. Perhaps I’ll get into a deeper discussion of it in future blogs, but for now back to frameworks that can help you dealing with worry.

Many of the “effectiveness rules” in earlier posts apply, especially “Begin with the end in mind” at:

“Put first things first.” should be a daily checkpoint.

“You have nothing to lose. All that you can lose is your tension and your worry, your little-mindedness, fear, and anxiety. And fear and anxiety, tension and worry in the small, little mind will keep the mind from being free, will keep the mind from experiencing its infinite potential, will keep the mind from becoming more powerful on this planet.”
~Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values (May 13, 1956 – )

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