Are You a Worrier?

What's the opposite of goal setting?

Not setting goals perhaps?

Well, yes, but not really.

A more direct opposite is something we've all done many times in our lives …


In his program, "The Psychology of Achievement," Brian Tracy refers to worrying as "negative goal setting." Because worrying is thinking and talking about things we don't want to happen.

And because of the Law of Attraction, "that positive and negative thinking bring about positive and negative physical results," we actually attract whatever it is we're worrying about to us.

Plus, there are two other laws working against us when we worry: the Law of Belief, "that whatever you believe with feeling and conviction becomes your reality," and the Law of Expectation, "that whatever one expects, with confidence, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Tracy says flatly that we "worry about things more today that probably will never happen than any time before in history."

We worry about our finances, our weight, our appearance, our relationships, our health, politics, losing our job, paying bills, accidents that never occur, the cost of gas, and so on.

So how do we stop worrying anyway? Is it even possible? Or is it something programmed in us at such an early age that it's now an immoveable part of who we are?

Well, the good news is, it is possible.

And Tracy shares with us what he calls the "Master Method" for doing so, which he says more people have used to alleviate worry than any other method in history. It's a four-step process beginning with:

  • Step One – Define what you are worrying about. Tracy tells us to clearly write out what you're worrying about. He says that over 50% of the time, once your source of worry is defined, the solution will leap out from the page at you.
  • Step Two – Write down the worst possible outcome. Tracy suggests drawing a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On the left side, write down the problem (or problems), and on the right side, write down the worst possible outcome(s). He says that once you identify the worst possible outcome, "all of the stress will go out of your worry situation, like air going out of a balloon."
  • Step Three – The next step is to resolve to accept the worst possible outcome should it occur. If the worst possible outcome does happen, tell yourself that you'll learn to live with it. And once you accept it, you have nothing left to worry about.
  • Step Four – Begin immediately to try to improve the worst possible outcome and do everything in your power to make sure it doesn't happen. Here is where the transformation takes place. You go from someone who was focusing on negative thoughts and emotions to someone who is taking purposeful, positive actions towards a solution.

    Tracy relates the story of oil billionaire John Paul Getty. Getty said he never used to worry about a business deal once he made it. He didn't enter into deals lightly and always did his homework, but once he made the decision to move forward, his entire focus was making sure the worst possible outcome did not happen.

Tracy adds that this four-step process is a good one to use if you're entering into a new situation or endeavor.

If worrying is eating up parts of your day, try Tracy's four-step method and check out an article I wrote recently titled Achieve More, Reduce Stress and Live Happier When You Eliminate Negative Emotions From Your Life. You'll be more productive and have peace of mind, which means you'll have more time to focus on the positive things in life – like propelling yourself closer to meeting your business and personal goals.

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Published: May 24, 2011

1 Response to “Are You a Worrier?”

  1. Good reminder and good tips--I particularly liked the John Paul Getty story--made me think about how I approach clients in a new way.

    Cindy Cyr

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