Let Go of Worry and Other Life Wasters

Reviewed Feb 6, 2019

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Summary

  • Self-absorption and fear can rob us of a meaningful and joyful life.
  • Make one small change at a time.
  • Let go of perfectionism. 

Do you ever look back on your day and regret wasting time? Do you get distracted, worry too much, or try to get everything perfect? What if you were to feel the same at the end of a year, decade, or even a lifetime?

Self-absorption and fear can rob us of meaning and joy. Life is much better when it isn’t all about you, and you are not so fearful.

Time wasters and joy robbers

Focusing on the self and a healthy dose of fear are basic to survival. It’s when they become out of balance that you see so much of your life wasted. Warning signs are:

  • Insecurity: Spending a single minute feeling less than anyone else serves you no good purpose. You are a unique individual with strengths and flaws. Someone else’s good traits in no way diminish yours. 
  • Perfectionism: Strangely, this one can be closely linked with insecurity. Since you never will be perfect, you feel less than your ideal. Let go of the belief that you or others or life must be perfect. The hours you spend striving for perfection just might be stealing your peace and happiness. High standards are fine; perfection is an unreasonable goal. 
  • Materialism: Do you devote what adds up to years of your life chasing after the newest “thing” out there? What would happen if you wore last year’s shoes or drove an older car? Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy buying the occasional new item. Just ask yourself whether pursuing “things” is out of balance in your life. 
  • Worry: Do you waste time fretting over things that might happen but never do? Instead, spend time solving actual problems. If you can’t help but worry, set aside time each day to do it. If a worry comes up that you can’t do anything about, put it on hold. Remind yourself you can worry about it during the allotted time.
  • Controlling: When worry and fear overwhelm you, do you try to control everyone and everything around you? Take a vacation from managing your universe and see what happens. The world still spins. 
  • Complaining: This wastes your time and the time of others. Be constructive when you have to point out a negative. Otherwise, let it go.
  • Regret: Do you rehash your mistakes and failures? Let your regrets prompt you to learn and grow. Then press on. 
  • Guilt: This happens when you cannot get past your regret. Ask for forgiveness of those you have wronged. Make amends, forgive yourself, and get back to living in the present. 

Moving forward

If you see yourself in some of the descriptions above, don’t despair. Awareness is the first step toward making changes.

Everyone wastes time one way or another. Make one small change at a time. If you feel “stuck” in any habit or mindset that wastes your time, talk to a mental health professional, life coach, or other trusted advisor.  

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: A Month of Mites by Nancy Twigg. Counting the Cost Publications, 2004; The Happiness Handbook by Timothy Sharp, PhD. Finch Publishing, 2005; Parenthood by Proxy: Don’t Have Them If You Won’t Raise Them by Laura Schlessinger. HarperCollins Publishers, 2000; “Coping with Guilt” by Miriam Levi, www.darchenoam.org; “Handling Insecurity” by James J. Messina, PhD and Constance M. Messina, PhD, www.livestrong.com; “Perfectionism: A Double-edged Sword” University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center, www.utexas.edu

Summary

  • Self-absorption and fear can rob us of a meaningful and joyful life.
  • Make one small change at a time.
  • Let go of perfectionism. 

Do you ever look back on your day and regret wasting time? Do you get distracted, worry too much, or try to get everything perfect? What if you were to feel the same at the end of a year, decade, or even a lifetime?

Self-absorption and fear can rob us of meaning and joy. Life is much better when it isn’t all about you, and you are not so fearful.

Time wasters and joy robbers

Focusing on the self and a healthy dose of fear are basic to survival. It’s when they become out of balance that you see so much of your life wasted. Warning signs are:

  • Insecurity: Spending a single minute feeling less than anyone else serves you no good purpose. You are a unique individual with strengths and flaws. Someone else’s good traits in no way diminish yours. 
  • Perfectionism: Strangely, this one can be closely linked with insecurity. Since you never will be perfect, you feel less than your ideal. Let go of the belief that you or others or life must be perfect. The hours you spend striving for perfection just might be stealing your peace and happiness. High standards are fine; perfection is an unreasonable goal. 
  • Materialism: Do you devote what adds up to years of your life chasing after the newest “thing” out there? What would happen if you wore last year’s shoes or drove an older car? Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy buying the occasional new item. Just ask yourself whether pursuing “things” is out of balance in your life. 
  • Worry: Do you waste time fretting over things that might happen but never do? Instead, spend time solving actual problems. If you can’t help but worry, set aside time each day to do it. If a worry comes up that you can’t do anything about, put it on hold. Remind yourself you can worry about it during the allotted time.
  • Controlling: When worry and fear overwhelm you, do you try to control everyone and everything around you? Take a vacation from managing your universe and see what happens. The world still spins. 
  • Complaining: This wastes your time and the time of others. Be constructive when you have to point out a negative. Otherwise, let it go.
  • Regret: Do you rehash your mistakes and failures? Let your regrets prompt you to learn and grow. Then press on. 
  • Guilt: This happens when you cannot get past your regret. Ask for forgiveness of those you have wronged. Make amends, forgive yourself, and get back to living in the present. 

Moving forward

If you see yourself in some of the descriptions above, don’t despair. Awareness is the first step toward making changes.

Everyone wastes time one way or another. Make one small change at a time. If you feel “stuck” in any habit or mindset that wastes your time, talk to a mental health professional, life coach, or other trusted advisor.  

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: A Month of Mites by Nancy Twigg. Counting the Cost Publications, 2004; The Happiness Handbook by Timothy Sharp, PhD. Finch Publishing, 2005; Parenthood by Proxy: Don’t Have Them If You Won’t Raise Them by Laura Schlessinger. HarperCollins Publishers, 2000; “Coping with Guilt” by Miriam Levi, www.darchenoam.org; “Handling Insecurity” by James J. Messina, PhD and Constance M. Messina, PhD, www.livestrong.com; “Perfectionism: A Double-edged Sword” University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center, www.utexas.edu

Summary

  • Self-absorption and fear can rob us of a meaningful and joyful life.
  • Make one small change at a time.
  • Let go of perfectionism. 

Do you ever look back on your day and regret wasting time? Do you get distracted, worry too much, or try to get everything perfect? What if you were to feel the same at the end of a year, decade, or even a lifetime?

Self-absorption and fear can rob us of meaning and joy. Life is much better when it isn’t all about you, and you are not so fearful.

Time wasters and joy robbers

Focusing on the self and a healthy dose of fear are basic to survival. It’s when they become out of balance that you see so much of your life wasted. Warning signs are:

  • Insecurity: Spending a single minute feeling less than anyone else serves you no good purpose. You are a unique individual with strengths and flaws. Someone else’s good traits in no way diminish yours. 
  • Perfectionism: Strangely, this one can be closely linked with insecurity. Since you never will be perfect, you feel less than your ideal. Let go of the belief that you or others or life must be perfect. The hours you spend striving for perfection just might be stealing your peace and happiness. High standards are fine; perfection is an unreasonable goal. 
  • Materialism: Do you devote what adds up to years of your life chasing after the newest “thing” out there? What would happen if you wore last year’s shoes or drove an older car? Don’t feel guilty if you enjoy buying the occasional new item. Just ask yourself whether pursuing “things” is out of balance in your life. 
  • Worry: Do you waste time fretting over things that might happen but never do? Instead, spend time solving actual problems. If you can’t help but worry, set aside time each day to do it. If a worry comes up that you can’t do anything about, put it on hold. Remind yourself you can worry about it during the allotted time.
  • Controlling: When worry and fear overwhelm you, do you try to control everyone and everything around you? Take a vacation from managing your universe and see what happens. The world still spins. 
  • Complaining: This wastes your time and the time of others. Be constructive when you have to point out a negative. Otherwise, let it go.
  • Regret: Do you rehash your mistakes and failures? Let your regrets prompt you to learn and grow. Then press on. 
  • Guilt: This happens when you cannot get past your regret. Ask for forgiveness of those you have wronged. Make amends, forgive yourself, and get back to living in the present. 

Moving forward

If you see yourself in some of the descriptions above, don’t despair. Awareness is the first step toward making changes.

Everyone wastes time one way or another. Make one small change at a time. If you feel “stuck” in any habit or mindset that wastes your time, talk to a mental health professional, life coach, or other trusted advisor.  

By Laurie M. Stewart
Source: A Month of Mites by Nancy Twigg. Counting the Cost Publications, 2004; The Happiness Handbook by Timothy Sharp, PhD. Finch Publishing, 2005; Parenthood by Proxy: Don’t Have Them If You Won’t Raise Them by Laura Schlessinger. HarperCollins Publishers, 2000; “Coping with Guilt” by Miriam Levi, www.darchenoam.org; “Handling Insecurity” by James J. Messina, PhD and Constance M. Messina, PhD, www.livestrong.com; “Perfectionism: A Double-edged Sword” University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center, www.utexas.edu

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2019 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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