When you wake up, is your first thought, “What do I need to worry about today?” Or do you think, “What does my husband/child/boss/friend need from me today?” As you go throughout your day, are you constantly scanning for what needs your attention—in a negative way?
I used to wake up every morning and immediately think, “What do I have to deal with today?” And then I’d start ticking off a mental list of other people’s needs and other people’s activities, and my anxiety was already palpable before I’d even rolled out of bed.
Now, I wake up and ask myself, “What’s the most loving act I can do for myself today?” And I do it. Great self-care and living in approval of myself is the antidote to worry. And it leads to a solid sense of self-worth. Because here’s the deal: Worthiness is an inside job.
How do we take stock of our worthiness quotient? First and foremost, we start to notice when we’re judging ourselves. One of the easiest ways to tell if your self-worth could use a tune-up is by paying attention to how you talk to yourself. Do you get really upset when you make a mistake? Do you say something like, “Damn! I’m such an idiot!” Do you tell yourself that you aren’t smart enough, aren’t good enough, aren’t capable? Do you compare yourself to others and make up stories about how you don’t measure up?
Sometimes, that voice of judgment is so automatic that we don’t actually “hear” it, but we sure do feel it. The excuses come next. “Oh, I can’t go back to school for that degree. I’m too old and that just a stupid idea.” Or, “I can’t take that job. It’s too far away. What a commute that would be!” Underneath those excuses is the longing for the very thing we’re pushing away. And we push it away because we’re afraid we aren’t good enough.
Whenever we don’t feel good enough, we invoke worry.
Allowing yourself to worry is giving unnecessary airtime to negative thoughts about yourself.
Worry lives in the past and future, and it prevents you from living in the present.
Flip the script by taking charge of your worry. Name it and write down the most loving action you can take for yourself today. And if what you’re worrying about is beyond your control, why let it take up precious real estate in your head and your heart?
Remember, action alleviates anxiety!
The bottom line is you need to take care of yourself in order to kick worry to the curb. And if you’re anything like I used to be, you’ve been abandoning yourself for far too long.
So, stop it! Start living in the present and kick that worry to the curb.